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POM North Side

Salt Lake County Flight Park

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Draper, Utah

Revised 01 Feb 2024

Location

N40º 28' 28,2" W111º 53' 34.08

40.4745, -111.8928

Elev 5100' / 1554m

Ratings & Skills

UPSHPA H2 / P2

(Non-rated only with instructor supervision.)

High Altitude, Foot Launch

Radio Comm

Primary . . . . . . . .  447.800

Alternate . . . . . . . . 447-8.25

Emergency . . . . . . 146.560

Access

Paved city streets to a paved parking lot, accessible to all vehicles. Road passes through a dense residential area with posted 20mph speed limits. Park entrance may be gated between 10pm and 5am.

Known Hazards

The lower bench produces strong midday turbulence. Easterly wind produces ground turbulence in the lee of the launch fingers. Avoid the area adjacent to the quarry at the west edge of the lower bench—a strong venturi effect can draw pilots down and into the quarry. During descent to the Lower LZ, expect a wind gradient, from brisk over the bench, to nil at the surface. Attempting to "bench up" prematurely (below 300' AGL) may result in high downwind speed in turbulent, sinking air. Read entire site guide for more information.

Site Sensitivites

Flying at this site without signing the required waivers puts club access to the Lower LZ in jeopardy, and without the Lower LZ, this site will close. Paragliders: do not launch, land or kite in the hang glider fly-thru area! Use caution as other pilots may not follow the Ridge Rules. Flight after sunset without aircraft  lighting is a FAR Part 103 violation.

Attention all users! POM North Side is Utah's most popular ridge soaring site for hang gliders and paragliders. Both the lower and upper benches are subject to heavy use by pilots of all skill levels, including students and tenders. No pilot should fly at this site who is not a current UHGPGA member holding the minimum USHPA ratings and skills indicated unless under the direct supervision of a USHPA-certified instructor or observer. Visiting and first-time pilots should familiarize themselves with the known hazards and site sensitivities described in this guide. As pilot-in-command, you alone are responsible for assessing your fitness for flight, the airworthiness of your glider and equipment, the suitability of the current conditions for launch and recovery, and for continuously monitoring glider position and performance to ensure a safe landing at an approved landing zone. If in doubt, do not launch.

POM North Side Rules
  • Follow all posted Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation regulations.

  • Motorized aircraft are prohibited.

  • Wear a helmet any time you are attached to a glider.

  • Kiting in or upwind of the hang glider landing area is prohibited.

  • Immediately before launching, clear traffic and yell “Clear” or “Launching.”

  • Adhere to standard Ridge Rule and thermaling right-of-way procedures. 

  • Do not perform aerobatics above residences or within 300 feet of the setup and launch areas.

  • Paragliders landing in the green grass area must yield the right-of-way to bystanders.

  • If crowds prevent landing in the green grass area, land in the hang glider landing area and exit the LZ promptly.

  • Land before official sunset (FAR Part 103).

  • Do not park in the red-curbed t-zone at the west end of the parking lot near the restrooms. Emergency vehicles need this turn-around area clear when exiting the parking lot.

Incident Awareness and Response
  • Fly with the Zello app open in the background and the UHGPGA channel live. Click here for app and channel. Announcements will be made over the channel, just like walkie talkie.

  • While airborne, be alert for the lights or sirens of emergency vehicles below. They may be responding to a flight incident or accident in the park or its environs, including the Upper and Lower LZ or along your route of flight.

  • The presence of emergency vehicles, smoke canister, and/or car on launch with its lights on and alarm blaring requires you to land. A helicopter (or gust front) may be en route.

  • If you see any of the 3 (above), and it is safe to do so, pull big ears as you descend; Multiple wings in big-ear configuration catches the eye of other pilots.

  • Upon landing, secure wings as soon as possible.

  • Familiarize yourself with alternate LZ’s away from the Flight Park. Consider scouting these LZ’s on an off day. Talk to an instructor about arranging a pre-planned off-site landing and retrieve at Steep Mountain Park, Wheadon Farm Park, or the South Mountain Golf Course.

‘Benching Up’ and Staying Safe at the North Side
  • Watch this video of top tips for TOP LANDING at the North Side.

  • Changes in wind direction, velocity and useful lift can be subtle and gradual—or pronounced and dramatic. Pay close attention to your glider’s performance throughout your flight. If in doubt, land before conditions exceed your limitations.

  • Winds aloft will be stronger than surface winds at launch and can easily exceed safe limits for H2/P2 pilots. Loss of penetration and uncontrolled blowback are serious threats to pilots soaring near the ridge of Steep Mountain (the upper bench).

  • Under conditions favorable for H2/P2 pilots, expect some difficulty climbing high enough to safely ‘bench up.’ Ironically, the harder you have to work to gain the altitude needed to transition to the upper bench, the safer conditions are likely to be once you get there.

  • Paraglider pilots should not base launch or in-flight decisions on the perceived performance of speed-wings and mini-wings launching from the top of Steep Mountain.

  • Brisk winds and buoyant conditions in front of the lower bench are an indication of

    1. a high likelihood of strong rotors at the base of Steep Mountain (between the parking lot and the hillside), and

    2. potential out-of-limit conditions at altitude in front of Steep Mountain. Consider remaining in the lower bench pattern rather than benching up.

  • After a successful transition to the upper bench, and as you start your climb, remain within the upwind lift band well away from the face of Steep Mountain. At altitude, continuously test your ability to penetrate to the north away from the hillside. Until you gain experience, stay in front of the tallest portion of Steep Mountain rather than flying out to the shoulders.

  • Steep Mountain produces dangerous rotors in the lee of the ridge line across its entire width. Do not cross the ridge line towards the south at any point, including the peak and shoulders. If you find yourself blown back and unable to penetrate back to the north,

  1. do not attempt to top-land;

  2. gain as much altitude as possible and fly west (towards the freeway);

  3. fly south over the South Side and land in the open fields to the south of the South Side LZ.

  • Midday conditions at the North Side demand technical flying and advanced skills. Midday launches should only be attempted by very experienced pilots and only from the upper bench.

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