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Hang gliders land at horse track

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POSTED April 8, 2014 7:48 p.m.

ARCADIA  (AP) — Two hang gliders made unplanned landings in the parking lot of a Southern California horse track after being caught in unpredictable winds.

The pair were met by Arcadia police upon touching down Monday afternoon on the grounds of Santa Anita Park, the Daily News reported.

Jeff Chipman and Ron Keinanwere, licensed advanced hang gliders, took off from Sylmar about 1:30 p.m. and made a stop at Mount Wilson in Angeles National Forest. After heading east again for Crestline in the San Bernardino Mountains, they realized the wind was not being cooperative. They didn’t reach their planned height of 10,000 feet.

“We decided the day was over and looked for a good, big, flat place to land,” said Chipman, who began hang gliding in 1982 when he was in the Navy.

After careful consideration, the men decided to land in the lot at Santa Anita Park.

Chipman said he eyed the direction three large flags on top of the park’s main grandstand were blowing and used them to navigate to a safe landing spot.

They were questioned by police but not cited.

Arcadia police Lt. Roy Nakamura told the newspaper the men did not violate any airspace regulations, according to El Monte traffic control and the Federal Aviation Administration.

No injuries were reported.

The men are part of a group called the Sylmar Hang Gliding Association, which is made up of about 150 pilots.

There were no races at the track on Monday.

 

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