Hi guys, for those that don't know me, my name is Aaron Price and I'll be running the SoCal XC League this year. For those that haven't been out with us before, the league is a fun way to learn to fly cross country safely and effectively. We have a huge range of skill level that comes out to these events, from those getting set up with their first GPS to world class XC pilots that are able to share great tips and tricks. For P3s and above out there, the SoCal XC league is one of the best ways to take your flying to the next level. Whether you are just trying to set some new personal bests in the air or are warming up for a national level competition later in the year, I guarantee you will learn something new with us! The league is very informal, there is no sign-up fee and you are free to pick and choose which events you wish to attend. Each event is usually around $10 which covers trophies and swag for the league. If needed we organize retrieve drivers for the events which is another great reason to come out and fly with us. Here is the registration for the year. Included in this form is a section for league feedback to help me create events this year that will appeal to the largest crowd.
I've scheduled the first meet meet for San Diego on the 16th and 17th of March. Beyond that I've yet to finalize the schedule, but I do have a rough draft available of all paragliding events this year setup on my school page (including tentative dates for SoCal) below. Currently I'm waiting for Jug (NorCal XC League organizer) to finalize locations in NorCal so that I can avoid conflicts and schedule a mid year joint meetup in Dunlap. Hopefully things will solidify in the next few weeks and we'll have more details on the schedule for the rest of the year.
Some notes for the league this year. Jug has made it mandatory for all NorCal XC participants to have both a SPOT (or similar) device and a HAM radio license. I personally consider these to be vital things to have as a pilot whether you are flying XC or not. However I will not be making them mandatory for SoCal. However if you want to attend the joint events (Dunlap/Owens Valley), for all intensive purposes, they are NorCal events and you will be required to have both of these items. I will be investigating getting some HAM license classes scheduled for league participants if there is interest.
This year I will be introducing a new incident reporting system for the league. Basically, if there is a flying incident during a league event those involved will be required to fill out this form before they can fly at another league event. Hopefully we can have a short debriefing with the pilot(s) involved at the next league event to discuss things as a group.
The purpose of this is to make sure that the pilot involved has a good understanding of what went wrong and also so that we can learn as a group how to stay safer in the air. In no way is this meant as a tool of public ridicule but simply as a way to stay humble and make sure we learn from our mistakes. It is a policy I use in my paragliding school and I've found it very effective as a teaching tool.
I would also like to start scheduling short talks before events to help new XC pilots learn more XC skills. Again this is based off of interest in the group. I did a few of them last year and I feel like they were well received and provided all pilots a chance to share their insights or tricks into flying XC more effectively and still remaining safe.
Finally, just a reminder that the league is open to P3 pilots and above. If you are a P2 pilot you are more than welcome to come and hang out and either wind dummy for us or help with retrieve and potentially fly later in the day. I would really like to see the league grow this year so hopefully you can spread the word to friends and keep me in the loop if there is something I can do to make it more exciting (and still safe) for pilots to come out and fly with us.