Crestline Kooks invite you to Sunday Night Flights

Jul 16, 2020 | Crestline, Recreation & Entertainment

Staff Writer

Sunday Night Flights is a free local event hosted twice a month during the summer by the Crestline Kooks, a group of friends and lighter-than-air pilots who come together every other Sunday during the summer to fly around Teddy Bear Peak and entertain spectators.

Hang gliders and parasailing pilots launch from that designated USFS site in Crestline all year long, but have these special events during the summer. On these designated Sundays in the late afternoons and early evening, there is music, a slack line, hacky sack games, food and other activities while watching up to 20 fliers launch and fly off the hillside in a relaxed atmosphere.

The July 5th event had a family-friendly atmosphere, was filled with fun and Tie Dye Tacos serving dinner. Some spectators brought folding beach chairs and others sat on blankets at the launch site while watching the parasailers do amazing aerobatics, including upside-down loops and crisscrossing with each other directly in front of them. The activities offered a great opportunity and outdoor location to get out of the house on a Sunday evening.

“Sitting on the hillside in the shade is very relaxing and I love the view of the valley below,” said Loretta Sharpe of Crestline. “There are so many things we have not been able to do this spring, and this is so family-friendly, it’s exciting, outside and free.” Her husband, King Sharpe, added, “I am really enjoying being outside, the weather is perfect. We’ve been here previously and I really enjoy this launch site any afternoon but, with this many fliers, it’s truly exciting watching them interact up in the sky.”

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and lasts until a little after sunset.

The scene at the launch site usually consists of happy people and family fun. Dogs and children have a great time running around and seeing all the cool flying equipment and pilots getting ready to fly. The carpeted area is reserved for the pilots to set up and launch, but pilots love to talk about their equipment and past flights.

Mike McBride shared some of his experiences with paragliders dating back to the 1970s and was excited to be watching them this evening. It was a laid-back, friendly time, with people socializing at an appropriate distance, which attracted about 100 people.

Wolfgang Siess from Austria, who has been parasailing around the world, said that Teddy Bear is one of the wonderful launch sites world-wide and is a consistently great place to fly year-round. It has been written up in numerous hang-gliding books over the past several decades.

“The Crestline launch site provides a great location for watching the sunset any day of the year,” said Tyler Burke.

This is the second year the Crestline Kooks have hosted this twice-monthly event where they invite people of all ages to attend. Every other Sunday Night Flight will have a different local band performing.

The next Sunday Night Flight is July 19, with events on Aug. 2, 16 and 30 sponsored by the Crestline Kooks.

Luke Weaver, the coordinator, has been paragliding for seven years. He spent several years choosing the best place to live, which would enable his passion for paragliding, and believes he has found it in Crestline. He also is on the mountain bike patrol at Snow Valley and has been on the ski patrol there for the past three years. You can contact him through Instagram at CrestlineKooks.

Parasailers may land back at the Teddy Bear jump-off point, but hang gliders sail faster, so they fly all the way down to San Bernardino to the Andy Jackson landing park behind Cal State University San Bernardino, operated by the Crestline Soaring Society.

The Crestline Kooks are excited to put on this bi-monthly event, inviting anyone interested to attend. They suggest those who are interested in learning more about them and Teddy Bear Peak to watch their “Crestline Kooks” YouTube video.

“When the sun sets, we also usually hang out afterwards and enjoy the night lights from the cities below,” said another spectator.

The Teddy Bear launch site is a U.S. Forest Service-established site at 600 Playground Road, off Crest Forest Drive in Crestline.



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