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Hang Glider Haven Donated by Developer Near Sylmar

September 08, 1985

Hang gliders take off from high slopes and glide . . . and soar . . . and circle . . . and float . . . but eventually they have to come back to the ground. When they do, the best place to land is not a gully.

But until Richard Simonian, president of Santiago Corp., a major manufactured/mobile home park developer, put in his two-bits worth (actually about 800,000 two-bitses), that was the only choice available for those hang-gliding groups that take off from 4,000 feet up in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Simonian donated two acres, valued at $200,000, adjacent to a mobile home park he is building at 12500 Maclay St., in the Sylmar area within the Los Angeles city limits, as a landing field. "Before that," he said, "they had to land in the gully." Now about 200 hang gliders land there over any given weekend, on smooth ground marked by pylons.

"Personally, I like hang gliders," Simonian said. "They're noiseless and they ride the winds like eagles. And, like eagles, sooner or later they have to land.

"Hang gliders have been using the area for some time," he continued, "and we felt that it would be adverse and probably a little painful for them to drop into the adjacent wash, with all the rocks.

"So we donated the land as a landing field and it probably will save a lot of abrasions and bruises in the future."

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