Buffalo Mountain

Launch & LZ info East slopeMiddle cliff - West slope

Donna Stokes at Buffalo Mountain

photo by Donna Stokes

Buffalo launch area details

Buffalo launch areas

Access to all launches

 34.7501  -95.1401    Talihina, Oklahoma

Access is by Buffalo Mountain road, a 4-mile dirt road that is accessed just west of the grounds of the Choctaw Indian Hospital.

Notes – general

Typically, right off launch, pilots will experience a significant dip because of the terrain, even touching the ground.  It is important to head for edge of the rim out front before turning if winds are light.  Do not crab if winds are cross in stronger conditions, point your glider straight at the rim even if it means drifting.  If you get below the rim out front, head for the LZ ASAP or you may not make it.  Always be aware of your ground speed when soaring.  It is easy to drift west and not be able to reach the LZ when the winds are more SE.  In emergencies, pilots may land in the many open fields that are in the Buffalo Valley.  If you do, be on the lookout for cattle!

Top landing is doable for intermediate PG.  Get high and then crab back behind launch.  Stay in front of the dirt road to avoid the rotor.  If winds are above 10 mph at launch expect some turbulence.

Buffalo Mountain launch area

Buffalo Mountain launch areas – West slope launch is just beyond the lower left corner of the photo below.

 

East Slope launch

Requirements for pilots Paraglider Hang Glider
Minimum required rating & special skills P2 FL H2 FL
Recommended wind limits (mph) Min:0 Min:5
  Ideal:7 Ideal:12
  Max:15 Max:20
  Gust:5 Gust:5
Launch altitude ft 1,984
LZ altitude ft 863
Launch to LZ distance 1 mi
Glide ratio to LZ 4.7
Wind direction ideal 180
Wind direction OK 170-210

Notes – East Slope launch

PG

[none]

HG

The launch pad is approached from the back by climbing a 6 foot high mound.  Hang checks should be performed before traversing up the mound. In windy conditions it is advisable that launch assistants be used to advance up the mound and stabilize the glider until launching.  Maintain good air speed and fly toward the head wall before changing course in light or cross winds to clear the slope in front of launch.

Middle Cliff launch

Requirements for pilots Paraglider Hang Glider
Minimum required rating and special skills P2 FL CL H3 FL CL AWCL*
Recommended wind limits (mph) Min:0 Min:5
  Ideal:7 Ideal:10
  Max:15 Max:20
  Gust:5 Gust:5

*if windy requiring wire assist

Launch altitude 2,009
LZ altitude 863  
Launch to LZ distance 1 mi
Glide ratio to LZ 4.6
Wind direction ideal 165
Wind direction OK 145-185

Notes – Middle Cliff launch

Middle cliff launch should not be flown in light winds.

PG

[none]

HG

Hang glider pilots launching from the Middle Cliff have two options for launching.  In significantly windy conditions (15 mph or better) with a south/southeast flow the pilot can launch with a couple of steps and be airborne over the small cliff.  In lighter conditions the mound on the right side of the launch gives enough slope to create a sufficient distance to accelerate to launching speed before reaching the bluff line.

Buffalo Mountain hang gliding

Middle Cliff launch

West Slope launch (HG only)

Requirements for pilots Paraglider Hang Glider
Minimum required rating and special skills n/a H2 FL
Recommended wind limits (mph) Min: n/a Min:5
  Ideal: n/a Ideal:10
  Max: n/a Max:20
  Gust: n/a Gust:5
Launch altitude 1,983
LZ altitude 863  
Launch to LZ distance 1.1 mi
Glide ratio to LZ 5.1
Wind direction ideal 180
Wind direction OK 150-210

Notes – West Slope launch

West slope is the original launch for Buffalo Mountain and is owned by Barbara Hair.  Please do not attempt to drive down to launch, park on top.

West Slope launch at Buffalo Mountain

photo by Warren Puckett

hang gliding at Buffalo Mtn

Roy Mahoney launching at West slope launch

PG

Not recommended for PG – When wind is crossing from the west, PG pilots have been known to experience multiple collapses after launching and flying over the bowl in front of the headwall.

HG

The West Launch is a shallow slope launch.  Hang glider set up should accomplished in the south part of the parking area above the launch when numerous pilots are attempting to launch.  Assembled gliders can be carried to launch when ready.  Pilots should make sure the air flow is coming directly up the hill before launching to clear the bench to the bluff. 

LZ

34.7332  -95.1467    Talihina, Oklahoma

Jim Steele at Buffalo

photo by Warren Puckett

The Buffalo LZ is immaculately manicured by its owner, Ken Cobb.  The north or south approach is a dream.  Pilots should avoid landing in the eastern half of the field which sloops down to the eastern property line.  Landing with an east final approach must be done while flying over the pond. In a westerly final approach, the tree line is lowest at the northeast corner of the field and entrance can be made there.

hang gliding at Buffalo Mountain

Warren Puckett

View is south from behind the launch areas.  The red zone is private and cannot be used for landing.

buffalo_LZ

Buffalo Mountain LZ

Notes – LZ

A significant hazard is attempting to land during peak thermic conditions.  The LZ is know to spawn multiple dust devils and pilots must be extremely cautious.  There have been multiple reserve throws over the LZ.

During the evening hours, it is not uncommon for wind speeds to blow at 10mph but increase to velocities as high as 30mph near dark and make the entire area above the LZ very turbulent.

PG

[none]

HG

The north or south landing approach is a dream.  Pilots should avoid landing in the eastern half of the field which slopes down to the eastern property line. Landing with an east final approach must be done while flying over the pond.  In a westerly final approach, the tree line is lowest at the northeast corner of the field and entrance can be made there.

Buffalo Mountain LZ

Coming in to the Buffalo LZ after a long flight