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Sloping in Frankfort, Kentucky

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

Chris DSing a Wizard at the Frankfort slope. Photo: Ken Marks

Frankfort, KY Slope
Discovered by Dave Smith of the Bluegrass Soaring Society.

We have discovered a good slope here in the Frankfort, KY area that generates some major lift. It is in the 500-600′ range in terms of height and is quite extensive. It is quite flyable in anything form 5+ mph winds (S, SW or SE) for the bigger ships. The landing area is all grass (at least 10+ acres). The only disadvantage is that the slope is tree covered, so combat is a no-no, because recovery would become a little involved (though not impossible). Randy Elkins and Gordy of LASS have flown it and have likened it to Parker Mt. in So. Cal. in terms of lift. Will keep you or anyone else interested informed regards conditions if you would like to fly there sometime.

Local Pilots

Aj akbhat1@pop.uky.edu BSS, KY

The slope is situated on state-owned property located behind the state forensic labs in Frankfort. To get there from Cincinnati, take1-75 South to I-64 West. Take I-64 West and make your exit at EXIT #58 which is US 60 and head in towards Frankfort (i.e. go right) and then make a left on the East-West connector (about 2 lights, at the intersection of US 60 and US 421), and go about 1.5 miles downhill and turn left (this is the first possible left that you can make). Look for the Forensic Labs on the left (corner of the intersection) that are housed in a modern looking building that resembles the Titanic due to the numerous smoke stacks sticking out of the roof. Drive up the road till it dead-ends into some construction and make a right angle turn and head to the parking area behind the building.

You can park your vehicle in the paved lot, and just head up the gentle grade in the general direction of the communicationtower. Once on top of the ridge, follow the path left (about 200-250 meters) till you come to an area that has a distinct clearing and you can look out over this fantastic but rugged slope. The landing area is to the rear and is mostly grassy (at least 10 acres) with one main area of trees and some very thorny bushes (the thorns are an inch or longer, so avoid this area at all costs).

The slope is best flown when the winds are from the South or Southwest. My first outing with my 60″ EPP Blue Max, was a great success, wind out of the south at about 10-15 mph. Toss the plane out and watch that baby climb almost vertically up and out. The best lift is to the right of the launch area, heading out towards the communication tower. Surprisingly, the lift zone prevails to at least an eighth of a mile out (extending out over the fields at the bottom of the slope). There is decent thermal activity in this area, as evidenced by the sudden lulls that we experienced, accompanied by major lift. Buzzards and other feathered friends are also abundant in this area, and are good indicators of lift. The drawback of this slope is its ruggedness, while its finer points include a reasonably large grassy landing area. It is probably not wise to fly too close to tree level, especially at the lower elevations of the slope except in good lift conditions, otherwise it is quite a long trek down to recover the downed plane. Combat maneuvers at this slope could also be hazardous to both you and your plane, for the very same reason. Buzz has suggested using the fields at the bottom as an emergency landing area in case recovery becomes impossible…. a most excellent idea. The fields appear to be accessible by road, and I’m sure we can get permission to do this when it becomes necessary. All in all, an excellent slope that can be flown by all. So gentlemen if you have anything reasonably rugged and flyable, come on out and enjoy.

For even more info on this site check out:

Frankfort Slope

Thanks to Ben Wilson!

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