Pilot Guidelines

The Telluride Air Force, (TAF), is the local hang gliding and paragliding club in Telluride, Colorado USA. The primary launch, Gold Hill, is near the top of the Telluride Ski Area. This high altitude launch is 3735m ASL, (12,250ft).

Located at 2667m ASL, (8750ft), the commonly used landing zones are a wetland known as the Pearl, and a long sporadically forested valley floor.  Within town limits is the Telluride Town Park.

Contact the TAF prior to arrival and coordinate with a TAF guide pilot to arrange flight activity.

Visiting pilots click the guide pilot link under the contacts tab and organize your flight with a TAF Guide.

Requirements to fly in Telluride

  • USHGA membership minimum ratings P3 and or H3.  Restricted Landing Field, High Altitude, and Turbulence check-offs recommended.
  • TAF membership: Local Voting Membership is $100/yr. Guest pilot is $10/day, $25/yr
  • Download, print, and sign the required flight waiver:  download here.
  • TAF guide pilot is required for all visiting pilots
  • Reserve parachute
  • Radio that transmits 151.xxx & cell phone
  • USFS Colorado Search and Rescue permit is required. This permit is very low cost and available at Paragon Sports, Telluride Outside, Telluride Sports, each outlet is located in town on Colorado Ave.
  • Link to Important Visiting International pilot information: www.ushpa.org/page/international-pilot-information
  • Click here for TAF site rules and 2017 USHPA Risk Assessment of TAF launch and landing sites

Gold Hill Flights Summer Access

  • Pilots must use the TAF club truck to access Gold Hill. No private vehicles allowed.
  • As you enter town immediately turn right at the traffic circle onto Mahoney Drive continue to, “Shandoka,” a large parking lot across the river on the right. Pilots meet at the NE corner.
  • Telluride is a high alpine site. Encounters with strong turbulent conditions are not uncommon and are to be expected
  • Light and variable westerly winds are optimal for foot launched aviation from Gold Hill.
  • Early morning light easterly winds often rise from the very steep Bear Creek.
  • 4×4 vehicle access is nominally available June – October, weather and road conditions permitting
  • Launch access in ski season is available using the privately owned Telluride Ski Resort ski lifts during regular their hours of operation. Additional fees may apply.

Summer, morning:

  • Gold Hill East is a steep grassy launch
  • 37°54’13.69″N latitude, 107°49’18.67″W longitude
  • Light easterly winds flow up from Bear Creek Canyon
  • Suggested east morning lauch
  • Expect light wind cycles
  • Converging winds often gather at and above the ridge-top, be aware of wind rotor activity
  • Paraglider note: A light wind reverse may be preferable over forward facing launch

 

Gold Hill from the east

The Gold Hill East Launch

SUMMER, AFTERNOON AND WINTER

  •  West Launch
  • 37°54’10.60″N, 107°49’25.78″W longitude
  • Broad, grassy launch
  • Westerly winds 250-300° optimal
  • Cycles greater than 18mph not recommended
Gold Hill Launch

The Gold Hill Launch

Winter Flights

  • Gold Hill West
  • 37°54’10.60″N, 107°49’25.78″W longitude
  • must launch 50 feet or more from the gold hill wind station
  • Launch access during ski season is available using the “Telluride Ski Resort” ski lifts during regular hours of operation. Additional fees may apply.
  • Typically flights are during the heat of the day
  • Pilots must use skis or a snowboard on non-detachable lifts
  • FORBIDDEN to Top Land Gold Hill or anywhere on the Ski Resort

Landing Zones

Town Park

  • 37°54’10.60″N, 107°49’25.78″W longitude
    Hazards can include
  • Zero to gusty winds from variable directions
  • Year-round sport activities
  • Metal fences, kids, dogs, and adults who do not see you on final approach
  • Crowds which can exceed thousands of persons
  • When landing in town park the above hazards may be an issue

Landing in town park is not recommended when numerous humans are visible from above. Pearl Property and Valley floor are preferred landing sites.

Telluride LZs

Telluride LZs

  • Pilots are encouraged to land onto the valley floor. This massive landing zone has many strategically place wind socks, wind streamers, it offers long straight final glides with few obstructions. 37°56’51.64″N latitude, 107°50’50.85″W longitude
  • The Pearl LZ is a wetland, water and mud is not visible from the air under the tall grass. Telluride Pearl property landing  37°56’26.51″N latitude, 107°49’22.42″W longitude
  • Click here for TAF site rules and 2017 USHPA Risk Assessment of TAF launch and landing sites
  • The TAF wishes you many happy landings.

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

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