Ed Levin is open to pilots of all levels (From students to H/P 5) according to the criteria described in the Ed Levin Park Site Procedures document. Be certain you are familiar with these procedures and meet all requirements before attempting to fly Ed Levin. Ed Levin Park is located in Milpitas, CA
NEW: SCCPD Sticker
Since 2018, the Santa Clara county parks department, the authority regulating Ed Levin park, has required WOR members to sign an additional parks waiver before flying Ed Levin. The signed waiver must be mailed to the address below. You will be sent a sticker by mail that must be displayed on your helmet as proof of signing the parks waiver. Note that WOR does not require or enforce the parks waiver/sticker - it is up to the parks office and the rangers.
Parks waiver mailing address:
SCC Park Permits
Santa Clara County Parks
298 Garden Hill Drive
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Rules and Restrictions
See Summary page and Ed Levin
Park Site Procedures for specifics.
First-aid equipment is available in a lockbox in the landing zone, 20ft North of the vehicle entrance gate. Locate the lockbox and learn the combination before flying Ed Levin. There is a pay phone in the LZ which can be used for emergencies. Calls to 911 do not require any payment. Please also print and review the Ed
Levin Emergency Procedures document.
Road Information for Ed Levin Park
408-355-2200, then menu 7, then menu 6
All of the launches at Ed Levin are grassy slopes. Most have an excellent angle for encouraging great launches. There are no trees or other obstructions at launch, nor are there any significant upwind obstacles to create nasty rotors when launching into recommended wind directions. Caution is required when launching from the back side of the 1750 foot launch. Conditions which make this launch useable often also place the LZ in rotor. When doing a backside launch, you should head towards the LZ immediately, as you can get trapped on the back side and not make the gap leading to the LZ. You should think twice before using any launch when the wind talker (408-946-9516) is calling out eastern winds. Even if the flags on the 300 and 600 foot hills appear to be favorable, it's often actually the rotor from the top of the ridge curling around and blowing back up the slope. In these conditions, launching might be uneventful, but you may find yourself in significant sink as you fly away from the hill, and have a tenious glide all the way to the landing zone. The 40, 50, and 60 foot training launches have a fairly shallow slope, and require aggressive take off runs.
Altitude in Feet AGL
|LZ Altitude in Feet
||Best Wind Direction
Landing Zone Characteristics
There is a single LZ at Ed Levin used by all launches. It is a very large grassy field, with trees defining the southern and eastern boundaries in sort of a tipped over "L" shape. If the wind is anything between 90 and 270 degrees, you should take care to stay far enough back of the trees trees to avoid any rotor. The most common direction in the LZ is WNW, but it does vary, especially when fronts are passing through. One of the attractive features of Ed Levin for the newer pilot is that since all launches use the same LZ, for a given wind condition the same landing approach can be used for any of the launches at 300 feet or above. For example, one can fly from the 1750 foot launch arriving over the LZ and burning off altitude until he is just above the 600 foot hill. Then he can fly the same approach last used from the 600 foot hill given similar conditions. As always though, be aware of current conditions and don't count on everything being the same as your last flight.
Best soaring conditions
Ed Levin is usually soarable from the top launches in pre-frontal conditions. Post-frontal generally can't be done because the road to the top is closed when wet. For the same reason, timing your pre-frontal flights can be challenging. More than one pilot has had to leave their vehicle on top until the road was dry enough to pass, sometimes several days. Ed Levin is not generally thermal soarable in the summer due to an omnipresent inversion, but some of the best pilots seem to be able to break through the inversion or get long flights below it. Legend has it that on perfect days, some pilots have launched the 600 foot hill and managed to work their way up the ridges and over the top.