Mission Ridge (aka Mission Peak or Mission)

Last updated on September 19th, 2021 at 4:25 pm

Quick Overview:

Mission Ridge is open to Advanced-rated (H4/P4) pilots, and Intermediate-rated (H3/P3) pilots with additional provisions, under a special use agreement with the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). Mission can be flown as a hike-and-fly site, or driven to launch through a restrictive “keyholder” program. The Mission Ridge flying site is located within Mission Peak Regional Preserve and is sometimes referred to by that name or simply referred to as Mission. Mission Peak Regional Preserve is located in Fremont, CA. Parking is available at the Stanford Avenue Staging Area at the end of Stanford Avenue.

Site Committee Chair: Steve Welch

[email protected]

Hang gliding – H4 or H3 plus additional requirements
Paragliding – P4 or P3 plus additional requirements
Mini-wings – M1 special skill recommended

COVID-19 Related Protocols [March 21, 2021]

Social Distancing Protocol for Mission Ridge
Pilots flying at Mission Ridge must follow Alameda County Health Orders regarding social distancing specified on this web site: https://covid-19.acgov.org/

This protocol will be updated as needed.

Pilot Requirements

To fly at Mission Ridge pilots must:

  • Be a full or visiting member of the Wings of Rogallo Northern California Hang Gliding Association Inc.
  • Be a member of USHPA (full or temporary) for insurance purposes.
  • Have an Advanced or Intermediate* USHPA pilot rating or foreign equivalent for the wing type they are flying.
  • Have in their possession, an electronic Wings of Rogallo membership card that shows the membership expiry date, pilot rating, and pilot eligibility to fly at Mission
  • Be familiar with the Mission site procedures, rules and regulations, and meet all of the requirements.
  • Receive a site introduction before flying at Mission.

*Protocol for Intermediate-rated Pilots

In addition to meeting the requirements outlined in the Site Procedures, Intermediate-rated pilots must meet the following requirements to fly at Mission:

  • Pilots must possess basic thermal and mountain flying skills, be proficient in flying in active conditions, and be able to land in restricted areas before being sponsored to fly at Mission.
  • Pilots must describe their thermal and mountain flying experience to their sponsor before flying at Mission.
    • As a guideline, pilots should have flown a minimum of 4 mountain flights from launches over 2800′ MSL, each over 20 minutes duration in thermal lift per flight, before flying at Mission.
  • Pilots must complete at least 3 flights under the supervision of a member of the Mission Ridge Site Introduction Team on the same wing type. At least one of those flights must be a sustained flight under thermic conditions (i.e. not during late evening conditions when there is only ridge lift, or when there is no lift).
    • The sponsored flight will only count if it is conducted safely and in compliance with the site procedures. It must include a safe controlled launch and landing in the designated landing zone.
    • The sponsor has the authority to determine whether the sponsored flight has met the requirements described above.
      The sponsor may also decide that only 2 supervised flights are required, if the pilot is exceptionally skilled and experienced, or that more than 3 supervised flights are warranted.
  • H3 pilots must have completed their H4 spot landing requirements.

A Site Introduction checklist is available to sponsoring pilots to help ensure a consistent and thorough site introduction.
Intermediate-rated pilots can request an introduction from approved sponsors by:

When requesting sponsorship:

  1. Pilots are asked to try to request an introduction at least 24h before flying, in order to help sponsors coordinate plans.  Last-minute requests are OK, and are at the sponsor’s discretion, but may not be accommodated depending on sponsor availability and capacity.
  2. Sponsored pilots are expected to be fully prepared with knowledge of the site procedures. Pilots may be asked questions about the procedures and will be expected to demonstrate knowledge for the introduction to be counted towards their sponsored flights.

Guidelines for Visiting pilots

Visiting pilots who meet the proficiency requirements above may fly at Mission Ridge free for up to two days per calendar year. In addition to meeting all of the requirements above above, visiting pilots must:

  • Sign up for a visiting pilot membership on the website (there is no charge).
  • Have in their possession an electronic Wings of Rogallo membership card, that indicates that they are a visiting pilot who is eligible to fly at Mission.

Launch

There is one launch for Mission Peak which is gently sloping and grassy, which turns into dried grass early in summer.

Mission is flyable in WSW to NW winds. The ideal direction is W to NW. These wind conditions are present many days from March to mid-September. The typical daily weather pattern for Mission under benign conditions is for light and variable conditions to be present in the morning, thermic conditions to be present mid-day, and for a stable sea breeze to be present by mid to late afternoon, producing a mixture of ridge lift and thermal lift.

It is a 4:1 glide ratio to Landing Zone 1. Top Landing Zone 2 is at the same altitude as launch.

For Hang glider pilots:

  • Minimum wind speed 0 MPH
  • Ideal wind speed is 15 MPH
  • Maximum wind speed is 25 MPH

For Paraglider pilots:

  • Minimum wind speed 0 MPH
  • Ideal wind speed is 8 MPH
  • Maximum wind speed is 20 MPH (for advanced pilots only who are comfortable with strong winds).

Location

The Mission Ridge flying site is located within the Mission Peak Regional Preserve and is sometimes referred to by that name or simply referred to as Mission.

The Wings of Rogallo Northern California Hang Gliding Association Inc. (WOR) is licensed by the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) through a revocable Special Use Agreement (SUA) to administer hang gliding and paragliding activities within the Mission Peak Regional Preserve.

The Mission Peak Regional Preserve is located in Fremont, CA. Parking is available at the Stanford Avenue Staging Area at the end of Stanford Avenue.

The lot is small and is frequently full, even on weekdays; carpooling is encouraged. Limited street parking is available on Vineyard Ave. on weekends and holidays. Street parking is allowed on the North side of Stanford Avenue on weekdays. Observe the posted No Parking signs and hours/days of enforcement. Plan to arrive at Mission early in order to account for time to find a parking spot.

Accessing Mission Ridge

Mission Peak Regional Preserve is a multi-use open space preserve. Please respect the rights of other preserve users. The launch area at Mission may be accessed on foot through the front gate entrance at the Stanford Avenue Staging Area.

The launch area at Mission may be accessed by vehicle through a private locked vehicle access gate off of Mill Creek Road. Thanks to successful negotiations between the Wings of Rogallo and the East Bay Regional Park District a limited number of pilots are granted vehicle access to the park. This is managed by allocating a restricted number of keys to WOR pilots each year.

History

Dave Kilbourne first soared Mission Ridge in a standard Rogallo wing on September 6, 1971. The original launch was lower, closer to Ohlone college. Mission Ridge was opened as a Wings of Rogallo site for hang gliding in 1983, and is now usable by Advanced-rated, and Intermediate-rated (with additional provisions) paraglider and hang glider pilots, under a special use agreement with the East Bay Regional Park District.

Weather Information

Webcam

A webcam is hosted at a local pilot’s house, and it points directly at the Mission Ridge launch. It is publicly accessible, and can be viewed at http://missioncam.wingsofrogallo.org.

Flying hazard: South wind

When the winds at Mission are from the South, the conditions at Mission can be turbulent and potentially dangerous. Mission will be in the lee of some of the ridges and spines of Mt. Allison. Flying at Mission is not advised under these conditions (flying at Ed Levin can be great under these conditions).

The Mission Ridge Site Introduction Checklist has a more thorough discussion of weather conditions and hazards.

Weather resources

It’s beyond the scope of this page to provide you with links to all the tools available to help assess the weather at Mission Ridge.  There are many sources for weather forecasts such as Windy, XCSkies, National Weather Surface Area Forecast Discussion, and NWS Point Forecast to get you started.

For real-time conditions, the Mission Cam is a good place to look.  There is also a cam at the top of Ed Levin which is of limited value, but still worth mentioning.  Additionally, there’s a wind sensor at the top of Mt. Alison (just south of Mission Ridge, but about 600′ higher than launch), weather balloon reading (Skew-T) from Oakland, and a profiler at Ft. Ord.

Visiting Pilots

Flying Mission Ridge as a visiting pilot requires a P4 or H4, P3 or H3 plus additional requirements (or foreign equivalent of USHPA ratings with temporary USHPA membership), and a site introduction.

Please refer to the Mission Site Procedures for additional information, or view our Visiting Pilots page.

Site Committee

Chair: Steve Welch

The Site Committee is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all pilots who fly at Mission Ridge follow the site procedures and abide by the established rules.
  • Monitoring and reporting any violations or questionable behavior
  • Appointing and removing members of the Site Introduction Team
  • Helping out with key distribution and HG rack inspections

Mission Ridge Site Committee Chair

  • Welch, Steve- USHPA #: 91725

Mission Ridge Site Committee Members

  • PG
    • Cohen, Evan – USHPA #: 88630
    • Posey, Robert – USHPA #: 84727
    • Spiegler, Julie – USHPA #: 54168
  • HG
    • Allmendinger, Karl- USHPA #: 35092
    • Bowe, James – USHPA #: 84977
    • Clayton, Paul – USHPA #: 41958
    • Spencer, Roy- USHPA #: 45805

Mission Peak Site Introduction Team

Intermediate-rated pilots can request an introduction from approved sponsors by:

Hang Gliding Sponsors

  • James Bowe USHPA #84977
  • Paul Clayton USHPA #41958
  • Eric Hinrichs USHPA #57944
  • Soham Mehta USHPA #95973
  • Abhishek Sethi USHPA #84050
  • Michael Soderstrom USHPA #79621
  • Roy Spencer USHPA #45805

Paragliding Sponsors

  • Dietmar Burkhardt Jr USHPA #57395
  • Evan Cohen USHPA #88630
  • Thomas Davis USHPA #86677
  • Daniel Fourie USHPA #97550
  • Susan Kent USHPA #78989
  • Jesse Meyer USHPA #83606
  • David Oddy USHPA #98729
  • Robert Posey USHPA #84727
  • Julie Spiegler USHPA #54168
  • Michael Vergalla USHPA #92026
  • Steven Welch USHPA #91725
  • Daniel Zaslavsky USHPA #97516

Photos from Mission Ridge