Le Chalvet (1550m) 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. Visiting pilots are warmly welcomed but they do request that any formal commercial groups notify them of their 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 our shuttle, the Aerogliss navette ( July-Sept pick up at the school), or a local taxi (minimum 5 people).
Take offs face E, SE, S, SW, W (There are options for N and NE but they are rarely used).
For the E, SE and S take off (1540m):
Park at the first car park on top of Le Chalvet. These take offs are an easy 3 minutes walk from the car park essentially on the same bit of rounded 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 forestry log cabin. The 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 checks/ rigging on all sites. Show good pilot etiquette - 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 official 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.
Meouilles Training Field - Located just 2km to the South East of the main landing field. This is used by Aerogliss for their paragliding training courses. Its a shallow sloping field and provides a suitable landing for paragliding pilots only, particularly if making a failed attempt to cross to the Crete de Serres and not having the height to make it back to the Aerogliss landing. The wind here is also more often one directional so may be better if the main landing field is experiencing switching winds.
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). Check the local information boards at Aerogliss of some fields where landing is PROHIBITED. 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.
Dreaming of Cloudbase?
Looking for 100 km+ XC paragliding challenge? The goal for many active pilots coming to St Andre is the run north to Dormillouse and back. Check out the map for some hints on getting there...and back. If you are looking for support on this or other local XC routes read about our fly guiding and retrieve service here.