Why Field trips?
One of the most important steps in every pilot's development comes when they begin to fly sites away from the home field nest. Successfully launching at a new site for the first time and nailing that strange LZ is an experience on par with first solo flights.
This is also a major reason to be involved in your local USHPA club like the Northwest Paragliding Club.
NWPC hosts regular organized trips to new sites. We head out as a group so you can learn how to get there, have experienced pilots provide site orientations and tips, and then get in some sweet airtime in beautiful new locations. These trips are great for building experience and confidence. Trips will include guidance for minimum recommended flight skills so you can judge if you're ready. These trips focus on helping you as a newer P2/P3 pilot spread your wings.
Fort Ebey and Blanchard Mountain
Fort Ebey on Whidbey island offers ridge soaring site along tall sweeping ocean bluffs. Blanchard Mountain is just south of Bellingham and offers ridge soaring, thermaling and XC potential.
Oceanside is a small town on the Oregon coast due West of Portland. The flying site is a bluff that provides beautiful ridge soaring flights. The LZ is a miles long wide beach. This year, several groups from the club are headed down for the popular Oceanside Fly-in event. There are many rental houses available, and we have one house that has been set aside for field trip newbies that haven't flown Oceanside before. We'll open the rental for reservations at the club meeting, and publish here shortly after.
Chelan hosts the Beach in Fly at the end of April each year where pilots get the chance to fly lakeside and land right on the beach in front of the Lodges hotel.
In July, Chelan becomes a mecca for paragliding and hang gliding competitions with the annual bi-wing XC classic and US national series event.
Chelan hosts the Bike in Fly at the end of September each year where pilots get the chance to fly and also ride their bike up from Chelan Falls to the town of Chelan and back down a trail following the river canyon to Chelan Falls. Points are given to the fastest riders of the day as well as spot landings.
In October, things mellow down and the season finishes with the annual Women's Halloween fly-in where flying in costume and partying at the airports lounge and the famous Chili cook off happens.
The annual Can-Am bi-wing fly-in takes place at Black Mountain next to the beautiful Silver lake. The scenery in the North Cascades is stunning and at this event, pilots camp in wonderful settings as well as having the opportunity to be able to fly to the Canadian border and back!
Baldy traditional hosts the bi-wing fly-in in September when the flying is milder and camping and festivities take place right next to the Yakima river. During the rest of the year and especially in early spring, Baldy is the start of some famous XC flights by pilots.