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The Y

Brigham Young University

Logo Graphic Only White.png

Provo, Utah

Revised 01 Feb 2024


N40º 14' 53.58" W111º 37' 11.05"

40.2482, -111.6197

Elev 6283' / 1915m

Ratings & Skills

High Altitude, Foot Launch

Restricted Landing Field

Radio Comm

Primary . . . . . . . .  447.800

Alternate . . . . . . . . 447.825

Emergency . . . . . . 146.560


This is a hike-and-fly site only, no vehicles on the Y Trail. Steep, switchbacked one-mile hike on a public trail from a public parking lot, accessible year-round.

Known Hazards

Midday thermic turbulence. Two sets of cross-country transmission wires and towers between launch and the Kiwanis Park LZ. Bigfoot LZ is permanently closed.

Site Sensitivites

Launch site is on university property. Expect numerous onlookers in the setup and launch area. Hillside launch site is a sensitive natural area. Kiwanis Park LZ is in a city park. Scout the Kiwanis LZ before launch as organized student activities in the park are common.

Attention All Users: The Y 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.

Trail Conditions

You will be traveling on paved public roads accessible to a 2WD passenger vehicle. Once you reach the trailhead, gather your gear and begin the one-mile hike. (Before leaving the parking lot, look above and below you to mark the location of BOTH SETS of cross-country transmission lines and towers.) The wide well-maintained trail, popular year-round with hikers including families, takes you through eleven switchbacks to the top of the massive stone-and-plaster monogram Y built into the hillside.

The Setup

The setup and launch area consists of the grassy slope above the monument. Erosion and overuse make this a sensitive natural area. There is room to lay out and launch several gliders at once. Expect onlookers below you, gathered around benches at the upper edge of the monument. You are on property belonging to BYU that is required to be accessible to the general public under the terms by which the university acquired the land from the Forest Service. To ensure continued access for our unique purposes, always yield the right-of-way to non-participants. Set up and launch so as to minimize potential conflict with spectators, even if this means delaying your launch. Minimize direct overflight of the monument itself.

Properly executed under the right conditions, your launch will carry you fifty feet or more above the heads of onlookers and well on your way towards the LZ, which is clearly visible from launch. Mini-wings and speed-wings should take special care to avoid the transmission lines noted earlier. There are numerous trails criss-crossing the bench above and below the power lines, any of which can be used as a planned or bailout LZ for high-performance wings.

Your route of flight will take you over dense residential areas with roads, trees, wires and people. If altitude and performance are in doubt, choose a bailout LZ at the foot of the hill. Note that the former Bigfoot LZ is closed due to the construction of a school on the site. Northwest of the Kiwanis LZ is a schoolyard with open fields. We have not been given permission to land there. Plan ahead and use the Kiwanis LZ.

The Y favors a west wind of 10 mph or greater. There is reported to be a thermal trigger associated with this launch, so soaring flights are possible. Expect moderate midday thermic turbulence. Late afternoons offer the best conditions.

2024 The Y Launch Detail.webp
The Landing Zone

The Kiwanis Park LZ is the only planned landing zone, and with a minimum 4.2 to 1 glide ratio you should safely reach the park. The 2.7-acre rectangular landing area is lined with tall trees on the east and south sides. Plan your landing for the center of the rectangle, and avoid the more constricted grassy areas to the north (see diagram above). The landing surface is flat, open, well-drained turf. The field doubles as a drainage basin, so be prepared for soggy surfaces after rain.

Kiwanis Park is close to the BYU campus and in the middle of a busy residential neighborhood, so both scheduled and non-scheduled group activities are common in the park. Pilots should always visit this LZ before launch and be sure the landing area will be clear at the time of intended landing. On approach, be prepared to call out your intentions and control your landing to avoid non-participants. After landing, promptly fold your glider and exit the LZ. If needed, act as a safety spotter for pilots landing behind you.

The Bigfoot LZ is permanently closed and unavailable for landings.

Kiwanis LZ Detail Labeled.webp
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