Flyable wind direction S (190)
1280 ft (600 AGL)
Glide to LZ
Primary 7.5 : 1
Secondary 15 : 1
Location Bethel PA
FL steep slope grass, small hike-in
even with double surface glider, launch only if soarable
H3 double surface only
To fly this site contact
What a blast today at 501 Bethel
Yes we flew; Alan B.and I..
Pretty much strait in about 15 mph on launch, with a little switching back and forth and a little gusty with thermals rolling in.
Launched an went up immediately.
Flew over 1.5 hours. Stayed up found lift lines and got over 750 ft over launch.
A little rough at first then smoothed out and was nice. Glider flies better now with the adjustment to quote Bill Waters "power steering" Landed just before sun down.
Enjoying my favorite IPA at home now.
Miss you all
Interesting day at 501 it was crossing from the SE most of the time. Then straight in cycles would come in for a few minutes. I launched at 5:00 PM into a straight in and building cycle. Got 200' over quickly in ridge lift, caught a thermal that took me up to 2000' over launch. After that it turned SE again and I went out and landed 24 minutes. Later at 7:00 when I went to pick up my wind streamer it was blowing mostly straight in at 8-12 MPH. Looked like ridge soaring would have been easy.
Once again 501 is soarable on a weekend and where are the pilots? It was cloudy with only light ridge lift with some weak thermals. I got 45 minutes before it looked like rain was moving in so I landed. Could have dodged the rain for awhile longer.
Once again 501 delivers. Wind was a bit strong but not too turbulent. I launched around 7:00 and flew for an hour in mostly ridge lift. GPS tracking indicated SSW from 13 to 19 MPH
Yesterday at 501 was a hot one! Sticky as if maple syrup was drizzled on us during glider setup.
Jim C. went first at around 5:15. The air was a bit rough so Romano waited a bit and probably launched around 6:15? Aron launched around 6:45
Jim and Romano got up pretty high say 1000 over??
Aron was around 600 over bobbing back and forth between 500 and 600 over for most of the flight.
There were even a few raindrops as Aron made the long run over the sea of trees to the lz for the first time.
The landing situation got really interesting as Romano was just a few seconds ahead of Aron getting set up for final approach. Horses in the field added a little more panic.
Both down safely Aron realized the VG was still full-on having been nervous about making the lz and really blew the landing checklist! Can't belive we didn't get any horse pucky on us since there were piles everywhere.
Bacil, Bob B. and Julie were the support crew - a big thanks to you! Also thanks Doug, Joe & Karen for the phone call and info about flying 501.
Another neat part of the evening was that we met several Appalachian Trail through hikers who were delighted to pop into the launch clearing off the trail to see us set up and fly.
Aron stopped and said hello to Judy at the horse farm and say what a joy it was to fly there and to thank her for letting us land there.
Let's fly soon!
Will and I got to soar 501 Saturday 24 July. I launched at 4:00 and flew for 1 hour 45 minutes. The thermals were not very good, only got to 1400' over launch. However the ridge lift was very solid. I flew down to route 645 a couple of times and up past the knob to the left of 501. We both had good launches and landings. Here is my track: https://ayvri.com/scene/0jgrreyeko/ckrj74ikl00011w69njg9zyn1
Learned Something Yesterday:
That was an experience flying 501 for the second time ever!
Allan had a good call to try 501 Saturday... Thanks Allan!
I decided to go and take the Liberty 158 even with my love hate relationship with that great glider. (harder for me to land).
Earlier Bob Beck called me back and said he would estimate a 300 over day, soaring not a given, but maybe if you work it...that was spot on. Thanks Bob!
For me launching last I was inspired by seeing 3 pilots get up...but did I wait too long to go??
Getting up in ridge lift was not a given because it was light wind, but there was enough.
I turned left out of the slot and scratched along, very smooth air allowed me to keep my left wing pretty close to the trees at times say 10 feet vertically and 15 feet horizontal was the closest to the trees I'd estimate. I watched my left wing pretty closely and was ready to dive away if needed.
It took like 4 long passes back and forth doing this till I got to about 100 over. Then I could relax and enjoy a bit and try for more gains. I think the best gain was short-lived at around 280 over. Most of the time I was boating around 150-250 over.
I practiced something Allan had told me to the best of my ability to make my dogbone turns only in lift...I did that and it worked for the most part if I started my turn where the lift was felt and visually there were leaves of the trees swirling below.
After up say 100 over I put on my vg to full and played around with that trying to put it on for sink and off for lift areas...that was tedious since lift lasted 3 seconds and sink 3 seconds as I crabbed the ridge. Eventually I left the vg full on and just eased the bar out for lift, and a slight push out for lift areas. Pulling in for sink or anything feeling turbulent.
Spinner didn't get to come today with some family obligations...but we talked before the flight today as a continuation of a conversation we started at Hyner about "believing in the lift" the lift is out there and you have to keep positive about finding it or you will go land prematurely. Repeating that phrase whenever the lift was fading and moving somewhere else to get more lift and watching the vario add a few feet back to the altitude bank was encouraging.
After about having enough anyway conditions seemed to weaken and I was getting down to launch level, I worked to get 50 ft over again then headed out to land with full vg on. Once knowing the field was made the vg was released. I had enough altitude for a steep slipping 360 and was still a little high on final but had to bring it in. I used the trick Jim C. told me about...to stick a foot in the harness boot and pull it forward on final for added drag.
The landing was nothing spectacular...but safely on the feet with minimal jarring to the landing gear! I loved the Liberty on this flight!
I got to watch Allan's beautiful landing approach and it was a much better than what I did... and a sane way to land there...I'll try that next time to do my downwind along/ inside the tree line of the horse field.
It was really great flying with you guys! Thanks for being positive about flying!
Thanks Julie for helping us out on launch and all.
Let's fly soon!
Will and I got to soar 501 for over an hour today after the rain. Nice air.
Aron and I did some trimming at 501 then I flew for an hour and half. It was mostly cloudy but the ridge lift was very consistent with some weak thermals.
I flew east up the ridge for around 5 miles and back. Fun flight. Thanks to Aron for helping me.
Here is the track: https://ayvri.com/scene/0jgrreyeko/ckw8gx10b00011w694hqgrqm7
Today we (Alan and myself) flew 501
Launched around 3 and flew for an hour. 1300-1400 ft over launch with thermals.
Good launches and landings. Three trees on left side were cut and got to see Joe G.
Will and I had a good flight at 501 6 June 2022. I had over an hour and Will even longer.
Here is the link to youtube video of us launching.
Saturday ended up being too light. It did wonder wind after 7:00 but not quite enough to soar. Will and I had a good flight on Sunday. Will had 3 hours I had 2.5 hours. It was quite windy but still good flying and the thermals were very workable. Allan B.
I've had my eye on flying weather for the past few weeks including for the July 4th at Hyner, a meet up on the Eastern Shore, and for Slurpee Day. Various models indicated that 7/11 may shape up for a SSW wind with sunny sky, and potential for late day Wonder Wind.
A casting net to capture participants drew a paucity of interest.
However, Jim Carroll swallowed the bait, hook-line-and sinker; Doug Rogers committed to a late day arrival; & Joe Gorrie was a definite "Maybe".
After discussion with Jim & Doug, we settled on a late afternoon rendezvous.
Menage a trois!?
I convinced my wife Kathy to join me. Other than Hyner, it's been ages since we spent an afternoon as couple with dedicated plans to travel to a flying site.
Enroute, a communication from Jim reinforced his given moniker.
Down to two.
As Kathy and I sat at launch absorbing the peacefulness of the sun, wind, and view, I was grateful for all the work for those that gave time for keeping this launch open. A heartfelt thank you.
Doug and Natalie met us on top, and we caught up on current events. Doug and I carried in to the launch.
After careful contemplation of conditions, Doug's assessment was it was surly "setupable".
Launchable cycles were intermingled with "wishes" that showed notes of a right cross.
We kicked rocks for a while, and sure enough conditions were now deemed go-for-it.
At approximately 7:30, Kathy (for whom its been decades since she assisted a launch) and Doug assisted me to launch. For Kathy it was like riding a bike. She was in absolute correct position under my right wing and giving me feedback on what she was feeling of the wing's behaviour. I was flooded with memories of years of yore.
The chute filled with homogenous air and I was off. An immediate right turn off launch, and a gentle climb to above ridge top was my reward.
Within minutes Doug joined me and we enjoyed a late day ridge soaring play date.
TOL ~450`, smoothish lift, and the birds of prey were abdunat.
As we cruised the abundant lift, the blazing sun was waning on the ridges behind us, and a Waxing Gibbous moon was rising on the horizon in our forefront.
As the sun was setting up for a kiss of the horizon behind us we headed out into valley. With a handful of string on the VG cruising through the wide lift band only a few hundred feet was lost getting out over the LZ.
It was interesting to watch the horses move to the western edge of the LZ field as we gently descend through the patten, allowing us an unencumbered final approach.
No horse piles were harmed on landings!
Kathy and Natalie greeted us with welcoming smiles and cold beverages.
Again, memories of such greetings from years gone by overwhelmed me.
Blue Skies and Fair Winds
501 was exceptional today. I launched at 1:00 and the ridge lift took me 300' over no problem. No other pilots were there so I flew by myself. I had a guy from work help me with drop my truck at the LZ. I did a self launch in about 8 MPH wind. The cloud streets were good and flying over the back would have been easy. However since I had no driver and flying alone I didn't attempt it. I flew up past route 183 and back. I got up to cloud suck about 500' below base and 5800' MSL a couple of times. A sailplane cruised the ridge lift down towards Indiantown Gap and then back up the ridge toward Hamburg. I had one climb of 1130' per minute. This was the best thermal activity I have ever seen at 501. Don't know if there was a nice glass off or not. I didn't check it out. I was too tired after a 3 hour flight. Allan B.
I launched at around 2:20 in about 6 MPH straight in wind. Got up in light ridge lift 200' over. Then worked thermals up to 2600' over launch. I flew for an hour and 42 minutes staying up in thermal lift. It was still working when I landed. There were many hawks flying, they must be starting to migrate. It was a nice flying day at 501, I don't understand why no one else wanted to fly today.
Once again 501 delivers Roger and I had over an hour flight each in very smooth ridge lift. I was off first and got 1400' over launch in a nice mellow thermal. I don't know if I would call it a wonder wind or just a glass off. Later in the flight the ridge lift was very consistent and smooth. Roger and I were hanging out around 300 to 400 feet over launch. Allan B.
Thought I'd go to Bethel and scare myself to death and that is exactly what I did. Seeing Allen launch and get up on top of the ridge gave me the confidence my launch would produce the same result. I launched in somewhat lighter conditions than Allen but it felt solid so off I went and headed to the rock pile to the right of launch. I almost was able to bench my way on top there but the air was still quite textured and couldn't quite get there. Now I'm 100 below and forced to head to the only possible LZ at Camp Swatara. So with VG full tight and face and toes pointed my glide path alternated between yes I'm going to make it then I'd hit sink and it was O.F.S. no I'm not. My only path into the field was between two taller trees in the middle of the field ,it was that close. Now I'm still in survival mode because I just cut the field in half and it's full of obstacles at both ends and no room or altitude to set up a proper approach.Thank God for wheels as I had to push my glider onto the ground and dig my feet into the ground to stop just before impacting some real nasty stuff at the end. This has always been the main hazard with this site. It's a long way out to any of the LZ's in thermaly conditions. Best flown in magic winds that I probably missed by 10 or 15 minutes. I'm very grateful that the glider Gods heard my pathetic whimpering and took pity on me one more time. Apparently some lessons need to be relearned from time to time.------Joe