March 7th, 2008 at 12:00 pm by Kangus

March marks our first year of construction at the King Mountain Glider Park.

On October 11th, Kenny Bell a local farmer used his Brillion Seeder to plant 19 Acres of the runway, tie down and glider staging area. In this Panorama, we are looking left of the tractor to the North up runway 34 toward Sunset Ridge, and to the right of the tractor at the tie down area adjoining the future RV park with King Mountain in the background.

Kenny was great to work with and did a first class job. With soil temps never getting above 50 after seeding, we think we were successful in our dormant planting strategy. Fingers crossed, we are looking forward to seeing our first seedlings in April. Currently there is over 3 foot of snow on the runway which should provide great moisture this spring. Stay tuned for pictures of the green fuzz!

Our first Paraglider Pilot and happy neighbor Gerry Gibeault dropped in from a great soaring flight above King Mountain on October 28th!

On October 24th another milestone occurred with our first aircraft landing.

Mom and Dad flew from Cascade in the Aeronca Champ that my Grandfather, J. W. Kangas purchased new in 1946. Dad hopped out and said “OK kid I got the first landing but you get the first takeoff.” So I hopped in and Dad flipped the prop (no electrical system) and I was off. Wow, what a velvet smooth airstrip!

While on left downwind for my first landing, I shot a photo looking NW.

By golly we sure had a great first year! To recap…we finished our surveys and our plans for the park development. We applied for our conditional use permit, attended public hearings and were approved by the County. We submitted our plans to the State of Idaho and the FAA and the project was welcomed with open arms. We graded the airstrip, tie downs and staging area. We planted 19 acres of drought resistant durable turf. We designed, surveyed, and staked out the 27 space RV Park, Open Park, and Irrigation Pond. And late in the fall, we began excavation of the Pond and began our road construction. All and all a pretty darned good year!

Fingers crossed, our first sailplane operations should be this coming summer. One of the great things that we noticed during our time at the park was the soaring conditions late in the season. September and October are just fantastic. On one day in mid October we observed 7 dust devils on the airstrip at one time.

On October the 29th, Alan Paylor and myself drove up to King Mountain and launched our simplest 53 lb Falcon Hang Gliders that only take about 15 minutes to set up. Alan climbed up to 9000′ and then flew out over the valley looking for a wave. Do these guys act like they are pushin 50?

King Mountain! What a great place!