[Stay] [Play] [Fly] The Ultimate Play Ground
Short walk to Le Chalvet take offPlenty of space for setting up hang glidersLe Chalvet south west take off - aerial shotGood launching spot for class 5'sPlenty of space on the main launch even on a busy dayParagliding tandem launchHang glider launchParagliders gain the first climb above take offSoaring along to the antenna - prime launch spot for XCMaking the transition to the Lambruisse ridge with Cheval Blanc in backgroundGliding back to St Andre Les AlpesParagliders making the final approach for the garden landingFlying over A Little Piece Of HeavenGrabbing a beer and smiling about the days flying with friends

Le Chalvet Paragliding & Hang Gliding Flying Site Introduction

The local take offs are situated on the dominant mountain Le Chalvet (1609m) just north west of St-Andre-les-Alpes (885m).

The site is managed jointly by  the Association St Andréeenne de Vol Libre, and the paragliding school Aérogliss. Visitng pilots are warmly welcomed but they do request that you notify them of your arrival and intention to fly by dropping into the school next to the official landing site or contacting them by phone or email. Further details on the Aerogliss website.

Access

Access to take off is via a narrow tarmac road which takes about 20-25 minutes to drive. There is plenty of parking. See map for directions from the supermarket to take off.

Apart from driving yourself you can also get to take off via the Fly St Andre shuttle, the Aerogliss navette ( July-Sept pick up at the school), or a local taxi (minimum 5 people).

Take Off

Take offs face NE, SE, S, SW, W (NE is rarely used).

For the N, SE and S take off (1540m):

Park at the first carpark on top of Le Chalvet for the . These take are an easy 3 minutes walk from the carpark essentially on the same bit of hill and over look St-Andre-les-Alpes. There is a large wind sock on site.

For the SW and W take off (1550m):

Continue to drive to the very end of the tarmac road -plenty of parking. 5 minutes walk leads up past a foresrty log cabin. Hang glider take off is usually to the left (SW take off), paraglider take off is to the right( W take off).

There is ample room for rigging on all sites. Show good pilot etiquete - Prepare away from the main launch areas, get all your kit ready, clip in then walk over to the launch area when you are ready to go.

Landing

There are 3 offical landing areas.

St-Andre-les-Alpes -Aerogliss (885m). This is the main landing field and is suitable for paragliders and hang gliders in most conditions (see things you need to know). It's a large open area of rough grazing at the northern end of Lac de Castillon. There are two large windsocks clearly visible from the air.

Moriez - Camping Le Pastaire (940m). (3km west of St-Andre-les-Alpes) A paragliding landing site only. This is a small field just east of the camping alongside the N202. Small windsock. Used if you have lost too much height off the SW/W take off to make the main landing field or if there is turbulence in the main landing site.

La Mure - Emergency glider landing. Located between the river Verdon and the railway just east of La Mure (2.5km  NE of St-Andre-les-Alpes) This is a large field which is reserved for sailplane out landings but is often used by pilots (particularly hang gliders) when conditions at the main landing field are strong or switching.

Other Landings:

Fly St Andre Garden - Land at your base and grab a beer while you watch your mates come back from an epic day. - Suitable for experienced paragliders pilots only. Keep an eye on the wind sock in the garden to get your direction right and take note of the hazards - antenna, power lines, house and trees. Loose height over the field near the the antenna and if in doubt land this field.

Out landings - Farmers are friendly in the area and tolerant of pilots if you respect their lively hood. If you do not make it back to St Andre choose fields away from livestock and where you will not damage any crop (cut grass fields/ ploughed fields/ rough grazing are good). Make your decision to land high so you can assess the wind and choose the best location. Notice the presence of poles and pylons and be sure you know your landing site is clear of power lines/ cables.

The Best Time Of Year To Visit St Andre Les Alpes

This really depends on what you want from your flying and the other great activities here.

Typically flying days have three modes:

  • Morning- still air for smooth top to bottoms (700m)
  • Mid morning to late afternoon- thermic conditions for good XC
  • Late afternoon to evening- lighter thermic conditions and glass off conditions for sunset soaring

Choose a mode to suit you skills and experience and get stuck into another activity during the rest of the day. Here's a summary of the 4 flying seasons of the year and the things you can do.

 

Month General Flying Conditions Other Things to Do
Jan to Mar T/O will either be open or blocked by snow.
Flying will be generally smooth and lightly thermic.
Flying further south is peachy and nicely thermic.
Snow shoe to T/O
Fly at local sites Col Dd Bleine, Gourdon, Greolieres.
Superb Skiing /Snowboarding at Allos (45mins away)
Mtn / Road Biking
Hiking
Sight seeing
Lake is empty
Apr to Jun April & May is typically our rainy season but also a time when people fly from here to Chamonix/Grenoble and do huge flights.
Gentle morining top to bottoms posible
XC's Launch as early as possible on good days and headstraight down route. Thermic, bumpy during early afternoon.
Incredible glass offs and soaring in the early evening.
Possible skiing to mid April
Mtn / Road Biking
Hiking
Via Ferrata / Climbing
Kayaking/ Canoeing/ Rafting
Sight seeing
Lake is almost full by June

July to Sept

Beginners can top to bottom and soar early morning till 12.
Experts go on huge XC’s.
Everyone else heads to the beach to swim and chill.
Be back up the hill for around 4pm to catch the evening flying and those returning from mammoth XC’s.
Mtn / Road Biking
Hiking
Via Ferrata / Climbing
Kayaking/ Canoeing/ Rafting
Sight seeing
The lake is the perfect place to cool off
Oct to Dec My favourite time. The flying days are shorter and softer. Which is perfect for Rigid wing flying. The temperature difference between day and night is huge. Mtn / Road Biking
Hiking
Via Ferrata / Climbing
Kayaking/ Canoeing/ Rafting
Sight seeing
The lake begins to empty in October

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