The Stables is one of the premier coastal soaring sites in the country. It is a west-facing ridge soaring site, to the south of Fort Funston and to the north of Thorton State Beach.
A P3, formal site intro and signed WOR Chapter Affirmation waiver is required to fly here. Pilots should be proficient at ridge soaring and cliff launching. Once the pilot meets the requirements to fly at The Stables, their WOR membership card will display a site sub-permit sticker icon for The Stables. Pilots must have their WOR membership card on their person (either printed or electronically) to be legally allowed to launch and land in the designated area for The Stables.
The launch is accessible by a public hiking trail to the southwest of Mar Vista Stable. The trail is roughly 1⁄2 mile long, through hilly, sandy terrain. Hang gliding is not currently permitted.
Pilots may encounter horses with riders on the hiking trails or on the beach. It is imperative that pilots avoid launching, landing and flying anywhere near horses as it puts everyone at risk. Anyone found to be doing so will be suspended.
There is no potable water nor any public restrooms near the site, so plan ahead accordingly. Please be good stewards of this land by leaving the site as clean as you found it, or more!
The launch area at The Stables (see MAP C and Interactive Google Map) is relatively small and prone to rotor. Pilots must choose carefully when setting up their glider for launch, accounting for whatever N or S component is present. There is room to safely launch 1 glider at a time.
The launch area may be accessed by foot by hiking approximately 1⁄2 mile down the main trailhead starting at the SW corner of the Mar Vista Stable. Parking is available along Olympic Way. Hikers should not go off-trail and must give right of way to horses.
The primary landing zone is the area just east of the designated launch. Alternative landing is allowed on the beach, but do not land near the water, horses or pedestrians. Pilots may use the hiking trails to the north and south of launch to access The Stables from the beach. Pilots must carry their gear when hiking back up. Kiting on the dunes is not allowed.
Top landing is permitted only in the vicinity of the launch area, provided that the area is clear. See the Google map.
The Stables is located near the departure path for SFO, under San Francisco International Airport Class B airspace. The floor of the Class B airspace is 1600ft MSL. There is a significant amount of general aviation fixed wing and helicopter traffic which transit the area at low altitudes. Pilots are required to see and avoid all aircraft, and yield way per FAR 103 guidelines at all times.
Pilots are required to stay below 1600ft MSL in the vicinity of The Stables. See the graphics below (courtesy of flyfunston.org) for a more detailed view of the airspace restrictions.
The Stables may occasionally be subject to Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs), and pilots are responsible for checking the latest restrictions before flying.
In addition to normal airspace limitations, as part of our agreement with the GGNRA, we have the following airspace constraints:
Paragliders will not fly within two hundred (200) feet of Westlake houses to protect the privacy of homeowners. NPS rangers will respond to homeowner complaints.
Paragliders will not fly above the elevation of the upper golf course when they are within two hundred (200) feet west of the fairway.
Paragliders must be at least five hundred (500) feet AGL to fly over the Olympic Club lands.
Insurance and memberships
All pilots flying at The Stables under WOR’s Special Use Agreement must be members of WOR (either full membership or visiting pilot membership) and must also be members of USHPA, in order to have appropriate 3rd party liability insurance.
Visiting pilots should sign up for a free visiting pilot WOR membership, which allows flying at The Stables for a limited number of days per calendar year. Additional details are provided in the club’s bylaws and on the club’s website. Foreign pilots must also obtain a 30-day temporary USHPA membership, which can be issued by any USHPA instructor or tandem pilot. Foreign pilots must follow the pilot proficiency requirements for the USHPA rating level that is equivalent to that of their foreign license.
All tandem flights are currently prohibited at The Stables. The Stables site committee is planning to allow non-commercial tandem instructional flights in the future.
Safety and Pilot Responsibilities
Every pilot flying The Stables must obey the following rules:
- Wear a helmet and carry WOR membership ID (printed or electronically) when flying. While not required, pilots are encouraged to fly with a radio and phone.
- Launch and land within the designated launch and landing areas only.
- Fly straight and level in the launch window.
- Adhere to all Federal Air Regulations (FARs).
- Maintain enough distance and visibility with cliff, clouds, fog and other pilots so as not to endanger themselves or other pilots.
- “Rule of 6”
- Observe International Ridge Soaring Rules.
- Use caution and courtesy when flying near other aircraft.
- Do not pass upwind of another aircraft in such a way that would intentionally and dangerously wake the other aircraft.
- Respect a minimum safe distance from other aircraft of 25’ in all directions, unless prior mutual consent is obtained.
- Do not linger upwind or in front of any launch site in such a way that would prevent another pilot from launching safely.
- Do not linger upwind or in front of any landing zone or landing window in such a way that would prevent another pilot from landing safely.
- Do not enter an established soaring pattern if joining that pattern would create a safety hazard or cause another pilot to take evasive action to remain in that pattern.
- Do not deliberately intimidate another pilot by flying in an aggressive or threatening manner.
- Fully cooperate with inquiries or investigations by NPS Law Enforcement Officers related to any HG or PG activities.
- Protect Natural Resources by preventing erosion and trampling of vegetation.
- During Bank Swallow season, March 15 through August 15, pilots shall not fly north of the northern beach access trail into the Bank Swallow habitat area unless they are at least 500’ AGL. In addition to the rules above, the following activities are prohibited at The Stables:
- Launching or flying after sunset
- Stunt flying and aerobatics
- Smoking, drug and alcohol use
- Commercial instruction (tandem, or otherwise).
- Launching or landing motorized paragliders at The Stables
Pilots must comply with all terms and conditions indicated in these site procedures, as well as with any additional terms and conditions formally communicated by GGNRA staff, WOR officers, or The Stables Site Chairperson.
Stables Site Procedures 2022 – GGNRA
Emergency Procedures Communications
- In case of an emergency, for fire, ambulance, police, or ranger dispatch, call 911. Be sure to state the victim’s exact location and extent of injuries.
- If 911 is down, call the NPS dispatch, 415-561-5656.
- The emergency 2m radio frequency is: 147.495 MHz. If an accident occurs
- Stay calm: Your job is to prevent further injury to the victim and make them as comfortable as possible until qualified help arrives.
- Survey the accident site: Make sure the pilot can be approached safely prior to providing assistance. A water rescue requires specialized training and procedures – do not cause a second accident in trying to help someone.
- Stabilize the glider if there is a danger of it moving the pilot.
- Do not remove the pilot from their harness or remove the helmet until you are certain this will not injure the pilot further. When in doubt and if you do not have sufficient training to rule out spine/head injuries, do not move the pilot unless their life is at stake.
- Control bleeding with direct pressure.
- Perform CPR/First aid as necessary IF you are sufficiently qualified.
- Keep the victim calm, stable and warm
- Keep spectators away
- Clear airspace for rescuers: if any helicopter approaches the area and sounds its siren, all gliders must immediately leave the area or land.
- Report the accident: any injuries and accidents shall be reported as soon as possible to The Stables Site Committee Chairperson who will notify the GGNRA as soon as possible and will work with the WOR safety director to file an accident report with USHPA. Pilot Identification Pilots must carry a copy of their WOR membership card (either electronic or a physical copy) which shows their current USHPA rating and The Stables flying permission. Pilots must be able to provide evidence of valid USHPA and WOR membership when requested by any WOR officer, The Stables Site Committee member, or NPS/GGNRA staff member. NPS Law Enforcement Officers have the authority to penalize and/or issue citations to pilots flying without proof of permission.