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The Bearback site is "somewhat closed." The new owners of the property do not want people flying there anymore. Eventually, launchable and landable parts of the ridge, including the ones referred to as Bearback, may be for sale as 100+ acre parcels.
The site may currently only be flown by launching from within Bear Valley Springs, the gated community about 1/2 mile west of Bearback, and landing in a different LZ southeast of the traditional Bearback LZ. To fly there now, you must be with one of the few pilots who have property within Bear Valley Springs (I am one of them). We welcome competent, considerate visiting pilots, but not much flying happens up there between December and March when it tends to be cold and wet.
If any of you go to fly Bearback the way you used to, you will probably be chased away by the new landowners. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. John
The most commonly flown (by non-locals) Tehachapi site, "Bearback," remains unregulated and free at this time. However, it has become a much more sensitive site over the past few years following a few serious accidents that received a great deal of negative publicity. If the local authorities could stop us from flying there (and if they ultimately want to do that, they'll find a way) without giant hassles right now, they would. They are very sick of responding to bizarre and ugly incidents out there. The site is awesome and often pleasant to fly, but far more dangerous than most non-locals realize.
PLEASE contact me, another local, or someone with a great deal of experience before flying Bearback!
We enjoy and welcome visiting pilots, but we get very nervous about uninformed, unchaperoned pilots flying here as all of our sites become more and more endangered.