This is by far my favorite flying place in China. The season starts in April and goes until October. Best are spring and summer months. It's a thermic site with proper mountain ranges and decent thermals. Cloud base is between 2000-3000m asl. Take off altitude is 1200m asl and landing at 600m asl.
This is a north facing ridge so it starts pretty late in the day. Take off after 1pm if you want to catch first thermals on the ridge. Flying is possible until 6pm in the evening. The ridge extends for hundreds of kilometers to the east and west. Awesome XC possibilities from easy 30km out and returns to massive down wind flights (locals broke the 100km mark here several times). There are no particular dangers as long as you stay on the front of the ridge. Going over the back is not an option as there are no landings at all. Wind can get stronger at the end of the day so landing and flying out to the valley could be tricky if too low.
Main landing is a bit restricted and requires a good check for first timers to the site. There are high voltage power lines following the ridge and restricting the landing so it has to be well understood.
There is a height limit of 2500 asl in 10km radius from the take off due to an air traffic route to Xian airport. Please respect it. Flying to the flats is also forbidden due to military jet activity there. Do not cross the main highway towards the flats.
If you venture on an XC flight alone - be cautious where you land, try to land nearby a village or a road and avoid big green / industrial areas - they may turn out to be the army bases. If you end up landing in one of them (especially being a foreigner) you may be in serious trouble and cause trouble for local pilots as well.
There is a local club there but it isn't really that well setup to receive foreign pilots. So if you wish to explore this beautiful site - get in touch with ShanghaiSkies and join a weekend trip there.
This place is great for a weekend trip during the right season: Friday evening or Saturday morning flight to Xian and an hour drive to a very nice boutique hotel. Then late wake up (10am) and 40 mins drive to the site. Very relaxing experience all together, with local BBQ and beer after flying.
2016 was amazing and we had several weekend trips to Lantian with 4-5 hours of proper XC flying per day. Several personal bests were broken and surely more to expect from the next season.
- Here are the videos from the site (VPN needed):
- And here are the track logs: