December 11, 2019

Guidelines & Waiver

All Visiting Pilots must be accompanied to launch by a TAF Guide Pilot.

The Telluride Air Force (TAF) is the local hang gliding, paragliding, and speed gliding club in Telluride, Colorado. The primary launch is Gold Hill, this is a high altitude launch 3735m ASL, (12,250ft), located on Telluride Ski Resort property.

Landing zones managed by the TAF and Town of Telluride Ordinance No. 1491 are the Pearl Wetland, the Valley Floor, the Telluride Town Park. View document here.

Visiting pilots must contact and coordinate flights with a TAF Guide Pilot.

Flying Requirements Telluride

  • USHPA membership minimum ratings P4 or H4 with Restricted Landing Field, High Altitude, and Turbulence check-offs.
  • P3 and H3 flyers with USHPA insured flying site multiple launches, landings, and soaring experience can be sponsored to fly from TAF sites in stable or mild soaring conditions under direct supervision of the sponsoring TAF guide pilot familiar with the pilot’s ability.
  • TAF membership: Local Voting Membership is $100 per year. Guest pilot site fee is $10 per day.
  • All pilots pay $10 per vehicle ride up to Gold Hill.
  • Print, and sign the flight waiver:  DOWNLOAD WAIVER HERE.
  • TAF guide pilot physical presence for guest pilot flight activity required .
  • Reserve parachute.
  • Radio that transmits 151.925 & cell phone.
  • Colorado Search and Rescue card. Purchase online  or in town at Paragon Sports, Telluride Outside, Telluride Sports, and Jagged Edge Sports.
  • International Pilots Special Information.

Gold Hill Meet Up Location

Approaching town on Hwy 145 enter the traffic circle, take first exit onto Mahoney Drive, continue straight 1/4 mile over river then turn into the “Shandoka Parking Area“. Pilots meet at the NE corner.

  • Pilots use TAF club vehicle to access Gold Hill. No private vehicles allowed.
  • Telluride is a high altitude alpine mountain site, encounters with strong turbulence is common and to be expected.
  • Light and variable westerly winds are optimal for foot launched aviation from Gold Hill.
  • Early morning easterly winds often rise from the east facing  Bear Creek launch.
  • TAF 4×4 vehicles are usually available June – October, road conditions permitting.

Gold Hill Launch

  • Gold Hill West wide grassy slope.
  • Westerly winds 250º – 300° are optimal.
  • Wind gusting more than 18mph not recommended.
  • Gold Hill East, (aka Bear Creek), steep grassy slope quickly erodes into cliff.
  • Expect light easterly wind and thermal cycles up Bear Creek Canyon.
  • Caution: Be Aware of wind rotor activity converging around ridge-tops.
  • Paraglider note: A light wind reverse may be preferable over forward facing launch.

Winter Flights

  • Gold Hill West.
  • Start launch a minimum of 50 feet, (16 meter), from the Gold Hill electronic wind station.
  • Ski season access is available using Telluride Ski Resort lifts during regular hours of operation. Fees may apply.
  • Pilots must use skis or a snowboard on non-detachable lifts.
  • Landing anywhere on the Telluride Ski Resort is forbidden.

Landing Zones

Telluride Valley Floor Landing Zones

Hang Gliders are advised to land on the Valley Floor, this large LZ has strategically placed wind socks and long straight approach patterns.

The smaller Pearl LZ is a wetland, you may be landing in tall grass or shallow water not visible from the air.

Telluride Town Park LZ

  • Caution… Expert Only.
  • Solid structures in town park.
  • Wind gusts from any direction.
  • Year-round activities and crowds of people.
  • Kids, dogs, and persons may not know or see that you are on final glide into the park.

Town Park LZ not recommended when large crowds are present. The Pearl Property and Valley floor are preferred landing sites.

TAF site rules and USHPA Risk Assessment of TAF site (12Mb): HERE.

TAF wishes you a happy landing.

Telluride Air Force  P.O. Box 3113,  Telluride, CO 81435  email: info@tellurideairforce.org

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