New plans for Saichia

As part of Maolin Scenic Area Administration’s (Maoguan for short) planned improvements at Saichia, a new launch will be created. The location is the small 400m peak to the north of take-off which is affectionately known as the ‘bread mountain’ or ‘dumpling mountain’, it’s face usually creates one of our house thermals. There is currently a small wooden pagoda on the south face of that spot and that’s where the access to the new launch deck will be.
Now you may be asking why it is that Maoguan would spend money creating a new launch when a perfectly adequate one already exists. Well, I have a theory but I’m looking forward to hearing more ideas on this subject.

My own feeling is that Maoguan will attempt to run a more organized launch down there, hopefully with some controls on who gets to fly and who gets in the gate. They will try to lure the majority of pilots down there and then pressure the owner of our existing launch to give control over to Maoguan also. My prediction is that they will indeed get some pilots to shift, but that Dodgy Tandem Inc. and associated rogues will resist and stay up top and do their own thing beyond the reach of the law.

In other news, Maoguan will also extend the current landing area to approximately double it’s size. Yes folks, the largest LZ in the country will double in size. Now you may be asking yourself why the hell an LZ that measures 80m x 100m needs enlarging. I would hope that it is to allow a new flock of novice hang glider pilots to land with a bit more breathing room, but I very much doubt that that is the case. No, my guess is that it’s an effort to bring more flying vehicles in the area without causing any mid air collisions. We’ve probably all had run ins with RC models, ultralights, kites, hot-air balloons and paramotors. In the past we’ve tried to reason with these people (with varying degrees of success) and get them to go fly at any of the myriad other places those things can be flown, because our sites are so limited. Maoguan will now make more room available and expect us to share that airspace with all kinds of other aircraft, manned and unmanned. Of course in an environment where there was some respect for air law or right of way this might not be a big deal, but in this country the prospect fills me with dread. We will get double the space, four times the traffic, and the same level of greed and irresponsibility as ever.

This entry was posted in Local scene. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New plans for Saichia

  1. reggie says:

    The more improvements the better for us at Sachia. I wanted to thank Rory for putting us up at his awesome home Sat. night after flying. We all had fun I believe. Thank You Rory. Reggie & Roberta

  2. les says:

    What I’m saying is that there is the perception that a lot of money could be made at Saichia because of the crowds that show up to watch paragliding. For at least ten years there have been attempts by the ultralight crowd to move in to the LZ, especially on holidays, to profit from that crowd. The guy that has the franchise on the launch is one of them. I’m all for further site developments that improve the lot of all pilots, but oppose moves that will benefit some pilots at the expense of others. The simple matter is that powered and unpowered aircraft just don’t mix well, and the ultralight guys already have five or six airstrips in the area from which they can ply their trade. I don’t think that having them using our LZ, no matter how large it gets, as yet another ultralight airport is going to have a happy outcome for us foot-launched pilots.

Comments are closed.