A magic day at Panorama
Warren Puckett at Middle Cliff launch, Buffalo Mountain
Though not required, pilots using sites maintained by the Buffalo Mountain Flyers should also be members of BMF. Your membership fees help support the maintenance and gear necessary for us to keep these sites open, acquire and develop new sites, and purchase the specialized equipment needed for tree rescue.
B. General site info
- All of our sites are, or can be, technical and challenging for the average pilot and why we require a Site Guide to help pilots new to our sites. Tall trees affect setup for landing, especially midday and when winds are high. Our region is known for severe weather, such as large hail, tornadoes, mountain wave rotor, and high winds. Weather conditions may change suddenly. It is important that all pilots have the ability to check the weather before launching. We recommend: National Weather Service forecasts, XCSkies, and RadarScope as some primary tools for doing this. Flying in windy conditions or mid-day could necessitate greater skills than the minimum rating required by the site. When winds aloft (2,000 MSL+) are greater than 15 mph it is possible to experience wave rotor and unexplained turbulence of non-thermic origin. Paraglider pilots may experience collapses. All pilots should land right away.
- Wildlife hazards – we have plenty!
- For safety, always visit the landing field before going to launch
- Do not land in fields with tall grass. There may be hidden holes, rocks, or stakes that could cause a serious accident. Note hang glider pilots: tall grass can pull you down into a hard nose-in.
- Vegetation at some launches may require a haircut in order to safely launch
- Helmet, reserve, radio, cell phone, and a safety strap (HG) are required. Tune your 2m FM transceiver to 151.925. For help with radio setup, go here. A functioning radio could save your life. If you land in the trees, a radio and cell phone become very important.
- During the evening hours, it is not uncommon for wind speeds to blow at 10mph but then increase to velocities as high as 30mph near dark.
- Please comply with specific landowner requirements, as posted
- Stay on existing vehicle roads
- Please do not cut trees without permission from the landowner
- If you open a gate, please close it
- Help keep our sites sparkling by picking up any trash you see! This is a volunteer organization and your help is important.
- Be considerate of others at all times. Think about how you can help preserve our sport in this region.
C. Requirements for all pilots
- First (5) flights at Buffalo Mountain, Heavener, and Panorama "PG Point" made with assistance of a Site Guide
- Subsequent flights must be made with launch assistance of an H3 or P3 pilot who is experienced flying the site.
- Panorama is H3 RLF only!
- Mt. Magazine and Mt. Nebo launch sites are managed by the Arkansas State Parks. A minimum USHPA pilot rating of H3 or P3 is required to fly these site. H3 and P3 pilots must be accompanied by an advanced pilot (H4 or P4 respectively) serving as a Site Guide until they have successfully flown this site a minimum of 10 separate flights along with a minimum of 5 hours flight time.
The person who is a Site Guide must meet these requirements:
- USHPA instructor or a H4 P4 pilot guiding the same sport (HG or PG)
- Experienced flying the site
Novice Pilot Limitations (H2 P2)
- Should fly only in smooth winds of (18 mph/HG, 8 mph/PG) or less and gusty winds to (11 mph/HG, 5 mph/PG).
- If foot launching, should launch only on slopes 2:1 to 7:1, where wind is within 25° of being straight up the slope.
- Should maintain heading within 90° of directly into wind, and within 45° of directly into wind below 60' AGL.
- Flight speed: Should not attempt to fly slowly when encountering lift but, instead, concentrate on maintaining attitude, heading, and airspeed. Slow flight
might result in a
stall, which could be hazardous within 500’ of any object.
- Fly only in stable conditions such as morning, evening, or overcast days.
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