My Weekend at Glider Point

Eric Hvinden sent in this story.

My Weekend at Glider Point

Having previously been hooked by the slope flying bug, I had gotten away from flying after an incident several years ago involving R/C Sailplanes, Pellet Guns and a Homeowners association. Needless to say, I needed a new place to fly. Living in Southern California, with the building of new homes occurring at an all time rate, and flying sites being bulldozed, I looked for a place that was relatively close, relatively accessible, and fun to fly. Looking on the Internet, I found Glider Point in Chino Hills State Park. It is located in the Chino Hills State Park, but access is from a residential neighborhood, where they have built homes right against the park boundary. The residential neighborhood has posted signs of no parking from 7PM to 8AM. The park officially closes at dusk, but the parking is only allowed until 7PM (A problem in Summer hours).

So, I set off with my new Foamie Wing, Radio, Chair and Cooler. Parking is along a nice street in Yorba Linda. Once there, I had to hike about 0.4 miles UP a dirt trail. Once at the top, I am afforded a beatiful view of the valley below. The flying site sits about 200 Feet above any building, and the closest building is at least 1/4 mile away. New construction is clearly visible below, but behind is just open space. There are trails throughout the state park where mountain bikers, hikers and joggers can run. There are no obstructions to flying, except one tree on the left side of the hill, and the summertime assortment of dried grass, weeds and prickly plants. Access down the hill can be tricky if one loses a plane, but I saw only one bad landing, with a 10-15 minute hike down the hill for retrieval.

Being my first time, I watched others fly. The Breeze was between 5-10 MPH steady. But the lift was amazing. I set up to fly, threw it out, and the plane kept climbing…and this was 3:00 in the afternoon. With no more than 5 planes on the hill that day, I had my choice of flight times.  Luckily, no one had my frequency. The first day (Saturday), I flew about 5 times for 10-15 minutes each. I wanted to watch others fly, so I purposely landed my plane in the adequate landing zone. There were some tricky flights, where the wind/lift seemed to die, but 10 minutes later, planes were hundreds of feet in the air.

If there is a problem with this place (other than the walk/climb and lack of “facilities”) , it is there is too much lift. To land, you must fly  behind the hill, chopping your speed, and hope you can get down before the lift “grabs” your plane again, and pushes it back into the air. So after 3 1/2 hours of great flying, I packed up and walked down the hill tothe car.

The next day, after taking care of family matters, I went back up. This time I arrived at almost 4:00PM. There was a couple of guys flying homemade Slope Racers. They flew beautifully, then they left. After that, I owned the hill. For the next two hours, I had dozens of flights, practicing aerobatics, high speed passes, and landings. I hear on good days, the place could get crowded, but if this was a marginal weekend, I am definitely going back.

Glider Point – Chino Hills State Park

91 Freeway to Weir Canyon (Placentia/Yorba Linda)
Wier Canyon North turns into Yorba Linda blvd.
(2-3 miles) Take Fairmont Drive left to Rim Crest (about 2 miles)
Left at Rim Crest up until a sharp left hand bend in the road.
Park on the right side of the road.  Entrance is dirt trail.
Wooden sign behind gate points the way…left trail up the hill.
Bring everything, as hike back down takes 15-20 minutes.
No Facilities.

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