Le Chalvet Flying Site Introduction for Paragliding and Hang Gliding
January 2, 2018
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 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 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.
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.
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 Fly in 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.
Please see our blog on seasonal flying conditions and what else there is to do in the area...