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The V

Wasatch National Forest

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Centerville, Utah

Revised 01 Feb 2024

Location

N40º 54' 38.08" W111º 50' 40.69"

40.9106, -111.8446

Elev 6344' / 1933m

Ratings & Skills

USHPA H2 / P2

(P4 if using the North Launch)
High Altitude, Foot Launch

Radio Comm

Primary . . . . . . . .  447.800

Alternate . . . . . . . . 447.825

Emergency . . . . . . 146.560

Access

Winding, steep 2-track dirt road. 4WD recommended, 2WD if roadway is clear and dry. Forest Service closes Ward Canyon Road to vehicles Nov thru Apr.

Known Hazards

North- or south-trending winds produce cross-ridge rotors and wind shadows. Transmission lines and towers between launch and all LZs. Gun range below launch is active when large red flag is present. North Launch is rated P3/H3 due to steep terrain and close-in obstacles. General aviation aircraft use the airspace directly above launch (see diagram below).

Site Sensitivites

Launch and Fire Break LZ are on National Forest and Centerville City land. School LZ requires the overflight of a dense residential neighborhood. The School LZ is unavailable during normal school hours. Use the Firebeak LZ if altitude required to reach School LZ is in doubt.

Attention All Users: The V is a challenging, high-altitude mountain-thermal site. No pilot should fly at this site who is not a current USHPA and UHGPGA member holding the minimum USHPA ratings and skills indicated. Visiting and first-time users should obtain a detailed in-person pre-flight briefing from a local UHGPGA member-pilot with recent flying experience at this site. This briefing should take place at the launch site on the day of the flight. Pilots should also 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.

Road Conditions

From November to late April this road may be gated by the Forest Service due to snow. If closed, foot and snowmobile traffic is allowed, but no vehicles. The climb to the launch site is 3.6 miles. Under the right conditions a 2WD passenger car can handle the curves and modestly steep grade.

The Setup

The primary P2/H2 West Launch is 150 yards downhill from the car park area. There are no permanent tie-downs.

 

Looking straight down the canyon to the valley floor, pilots will note large plowed fields in the shape of a backwards L. This is NOT an LZ! To the right and farther out in the valley pilots can see a not-backwards L-shaped building with pavement and a large athletic field on its eastward side. This is the School LZ.

Wind readings from the Centerville West or West Bountiful stations (WindAlert app) should be 10MPH or less for P2 pilots. Surface patterns visible on Farmington Bay also indicate wind intensity and direction.

The large V monogram on the hillside (for Viewmont High School, in case you’re wondering) will not be visible from launch, nor will the gun range and Firebreak LZ just below it, but they will come into view towards the bottom of the drainage ahead, or from either shoulder.

Pilots report significant wind shadows in that drainage, resulting in a tendency to drag feet through the treetops on light days. Staying up on the ridgelines, left or right, is a better plan. Winds shifting to the northwest or north will produce rotors in the lee of the ridges.

 

On strong thermic days avoid direct overflight of the knoll with the windsock. Strong rotors have resulted in mishaps there.

The North Launch is uphill from the primary launch and consists of a very steep, nearly cliff-like takeoff to the north. Both the turbulence associated with north winds and the technical launch profile restrict this launch to P3/H3 pilots only.

2024 The V West Launch Detail.webp
The North Launch

The North Launch is uphill from the primary launch and consists of a very steep, nearly cliff-like takeoff to the north. Both the turbulence associated with north winds and the technical launch profile restrict this launch to P4 pilots only.

2024 The V North Launch Detail.webp
Aircraft Activity Overhead

As depicted on this section of the published VFR Terminal Area Chart for Salt Lake City, VFR Transition Routes (double-headed maroon arrows) and Low Altitude Federal Airways (light blue lines) criss-cross the airspace above The V.  Aircraft may be cleared to operate on these routes at altitudes as low as 6000 feet (i.e., lower than The V's launch altitude of 6344 feet). Consider using a strobe on board your glider to enhance your visibility to other pilots. Keep your eyes and ears open for the presence of aircraft. See and avoid!

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The Landing Zones

Firebreak LZ: All wing types can easily reach the Firebreak LZ, which rests on a bench east of the line of houses and downslope from the large letter V and the gun range. The Firebreak LZ is unimproved open land criss-crossed with dirt bike trails and dotted with sparse shrubs. The surface is firm and grassy. Though the slope in the LZ is moderate, it will have an effect on a run-out to the west. If winds permit, consider landing north or south. Paragliders can pack up after landing and follow the trail at the north end of the LZ, down into the neighborhood and west to the School LZ.

There is a city gun range with several firing lanes set up between the V and the Firebreak LZ. A large red flag on a pole tells you the range is active. Avoid flight directly above and downrange (to the north) when the flag is up. (Visit www.centervillesmallarms.org for scheduled live fire events.)

Before bypassing the Firebreak LZ, pilots attempting to reach the Junior High School LZ are urged to check their altitude using the gun range or the V. (See profile view, below).

 

Gliders below 5200’ MSL over the range (or visually below the V) will sink out before reaching the School LZ. There are no bail-out LZs past the Firebreak—just suburban streets, tall trees, houses, wires and people. If in doubt, LAND and try for the School another day. Mini-wings/speed-wings must land at the Firebreak LZ!

2024 The V Site Profile View.webp
2024 The V Firebreak LZ Detail.webp

School LZ: This is an 11-acre athletic field nearly free of obstructions, flat, open, and well-drained. Wires border the south and west approaches; landing from the east or north is preferred. The School LZ is not available during normal school hours. There may be children present at any time, so scout the area before launch and be prepared to adjust your approach.

Do not launch if your flight plan requires the use of the School LZ during normal school hours!

Promptly exit the LZ after landing and disassemble or fold your glider. The neighborhood around the School LZ is traffic- and noise-sensitive. Our host is the Davis School District, and they appreciate your professional and courteous conduct while using their property.

2024 The V School LZ Detail Labeled.webp
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