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Local Santa Barbara Rules
By Gilbert Roberts.
We have a problem. On Saturday, January 20, 2001, visiting pilots from Ojai flew close to the windows on the Round House when Judy Smith was in her bathroom. And she is furious, and after her husband Norman to do something about it, like write to the City Council and the FAA. This would not ordinarily matter much, but, as you know, we are still, after two solid years of work, not recognized in the ordinance for landing at Parma, nor, what we also seek, landing at the beach. The city only reacts on a complaints basis so a letter from Norman would likely undo all this work and have a very serious effect on flying in the Santa Barbara area.
The Round House
In April '97 there was a similar incident when a student pilot hung his paraglider on their retaining wall and I, as your public relations director, had to deliver a letter of apology and promise that we would all stay 500 feet horizontally and 200 feet vertically clear of the Round House.
Clearly this is very difficult for aircraft that almost have to obtain some lift to make it to Parma, and that lift is situated on the spine close to the White House and Round House complex, However, I urge you to consider alternative flight plans that do not bring us into conflict with these people who can do us so much harm at this juncture. If you feel compelled in cloudy conditions to launch from the Bypass, it is absolutely un-acceptable to fly right over the Round House with 50 feet to spare as somebody did as recently as Friday.
I have again delivered a letter of apology to the Smiths with promise to stick to the rules. ( I hope it is in time). It is up to you to police yourselves. If you let out-of-towners violate their airspace by not telling them the rules, that would be truly dumb. If you violate their airspace yourselves, flying will likely be severely curtailed in these mountains. Remember the 100 foot chain link fence the City put around the launches in the not so distant past!
In the interest of accuracy I would like to clarify a comment regarding an incident in April 97' referred to in Gilbert's letter.
A novice paraglider pilot, Tim McCormack (from Hope Ranch in Santa Barbara, not Ojai), did crash on the spine below the Round House several years back. He was under the direct supervision of his instructor, Tom Truax. The instructor had advised him to "turn back" when he disappeared around the corner below the Round House. It was the instructor's intent to have him return to the spine, but rather than a 180, the student interpreted "turn" differently and attempted a 360 without enough room. He impacted the hill about 100+ feet below the Round House. The instructor didn't know what happened because the student never came back into view after disappearing around the corner.
For Clarification, he did not "hang his paraglider on their retaining wall". He did respectfully apologize to Norm, packed up and exited the property quickly. This incident took place prior to the agreement with Norm to keep a reasonable distance from his structure and respect his privacy.
This clarification is not intended to reflect disagreement with Gilberts concern.
EAST BEACH LANDING RULES
*Please do not land at the Beach before walking (or cruising) the LZ.
These guidelines are subject to change and are not intended to replace the need to contact a local guide for a complete site-specific orientation.