The V

Overview:

The V is a popular site among locals. It has drive up access on a dirt road (except in the winter, and when not accessible due to snow.) It has great set up area with lots of roomMain launch: The main launch faces the west, and has a ridge running WNW from launch, usually with a windsock a few hundred yards below on a knob. It is ideal to fly down that ridge after launch looking for lift. If the wind is from the north or northwest, it is not advisable to fly down the low angle gully directly west of launch, as it can have dangerous rotor. As with any mountain launch, maintain good terrain clearance as much as possible, and do not scratch mid-day.

The V is a popular site among Utah pilots. It has a facebook page (The V Fly Group, Centerville) that is helpful in coordinating rides to launch. It has drive up access on a dirt road (generally not available in the winter or early spring, if too much snow). There is plenty of room for pilots to set up.

Main Launch: In straight west wind, you can launch to the west. If the wind is N or NW, it is recommended to follow the ridge that runs mostly WNW from launch, stay above the ridge as you look for lift, and continue out into the valley, if you do not encounter lift along the way. If the wind is N or NW, it is NOT recommended to fly due west down the low angle gully, as it can produce dangerous rotor. Always make sure to maintain good terrain clearance.

North launch: There is a north launch a 100 yards or so up the ridge, facing due north. It is more technical, and has a bit of wind shadow, such that when your wing is laid out, it will not catch the wind very easily. Once you bring it up, it will then be in the wind (if the wind is from the north and sufficiently strong). This is a bit of an advanced skill that is easy to misjudge.

Note that the Fire Break Road is now designated as the primary LZ for P2’s, with the school being the secondary LZ for P2’s. The reason being is that there have been a few incidents where pilots have landed short of the school LZ in residential areas. It is easy to lose too much altitude while trying to find a thermal on the way to the LZ, and not monitor the glide angle needed to get to the school LZ.

Winds:

  1. Max recommended wind on launch: less than 10 mph including gusts.
  2. 250-290 degree heading for P2 conditions, 270 degree heading recommended.
  3. 240-300 degree heading for P4 pilots, still 270 degree heading recommended, depending on conditions.

Known Hazards:

  1. Gun range at the bottom of the mountain is a minimal safety concern. The club flies a flag when they are shooting at that location.
  2. Mechanical turbulence exists from the wind rolling over terrain as the prevailing wind direction approaches true north and true south.
  3. During north wind conditions, which is common in the afternoon, rotor commonly exists south of the ridge that runs down and NW from launch. This can potentially create south cycles at launch.  Pilots should make sure to keep plenty of ground clearance.
  4. Power lines cross between the bottom of the hill at launch and all designated LZs.
  5. Trees and shrubs present hazards that must be cleared if a pilot’s launch run extends significantly far down slope.
  6. Two recorded incidents at this site in 2019 involve pilots launching on a northerly day and surfing the north bowl deep. Both pilots allowed themselves to get low enough, and deep enough in the canyon that they had no escape to the LZ and landed in the canyon in trees/shrubs.

Hazard mitigation:

  1. Pilots should use discretion when launching in less than ideal conditions.
  2. Pilots should be familiar with and recognize the conditions where rotor can be created due to mechanical turbulence at launch.

Site sensitivities:

  1. Do not land at the primary school LZ when school is in session.  Watch for children and others if there are activities in progress after school hours.