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WCSC Woodside Site Safety Standards

Revision 2.0 - July 2012

(Changes approved by the WCSC board of directors in June 2012)


The West Coast Soaring Club (WCSC), as the founding developer of the Fraser Valley flying site known as Woodside, has as its priority the preservation of the site and the long term recreational accessibility to its members and the general public. The following site safety standards are intended to promote the safe and courteous use of the site by all users, including, but not limited to, rated Hang Glider and Paraglider pilots, training schools, students, and tandem operators. The term "Standards" implies no regulatory authority but should be adhered to out of courtesy to the WCSC. The WCSC thanks you for your cooperation.


Pilot Requirements:

For pilots intending to fly only within the Woodside Flying Area, a HPAC Novice rating (or foreign equivalent) is required. For pilots with less than a HPAC/ACVL Novice rating (or foreign equivalent) instructional supervision by an HPAC/ACVL Certified Instructor is required.


For pilots intending to fly from Woodside, beyond the Woodside Flying Area (XC), a full HPAC/ACVL Intermediate Rating (or foreign equivalent for visiting pilot) is required. For pilots with less than a full HPAC/ACVL Intermediate rating, instructional supervision by an Instructor/School is required.


HPAC/ACVL Insured (or temporary insurance for visiting pilots).


WCSC Membership (Visitors may fly as a guest of, and under the guidance of, a WCSC Member. Visiting Student pilots must fly under the supervision of a recognized Instructor/School.


Users of this site are expected to operate with airworthy equipment and fly with a suitable helmet and parachute reserve.


Any required landing fees must have been paid.


Pilots performing their "first flight" are asked to contact an Instructor for a site briefing. Please be prepared to provide proof of flight experience.


All pilots are expected to follow BCHPA and HPAC/ACVL policies for all items and areas not addressed by the WCSC Woodside Site Safety Standards.


All pilots are expected to abide by Transport Canada flight rules, specifically those addressing VFR (link).


Instructor / School Requirements:

Instructors/Schools are required to operate within BC Land & Water commercial use guidelines.


Each School will limit its use of launch to one Training Group at a time during Peak Hours. The club reserves the option of extending this standard to all flyable hours.


Instructors/Schools are encouraged to participate in WCSC sponsored instructional forums.


Instructors/Schools will maintain a daily log of site use and file an annual report with the WCSC. Information to be recorded will include: number of supervised Student or Novice pilots, number of flights, number of trips up the mountain, summary of incidents or accidents (as defined by HPAC/ACVL). The information gathered will assist in future site planning.


Instructors/Schools must register an emergency response/procedures action plan with the WCSC Safety Director.


The WCSC leaves the determination of safe operating conditions for instruction up to Instructors/Schools. Therefore Instructors/Schools are responsible for their actions, and the actions of those pilots under their supervision, while operating at the "Woodside" flying site.


Instructors/Schools are requested to limit operation during periods of substantial recreational use, during Peak Hours for example, and will yield to requests for recreational access.


A Hang Gliding Student will have a minimum of 20 foot-launched take-offs and landings (excluding all tow or tether launches) and have performed a minimum of 5 foot -launched solo flights "from altitude" at a site other than Woodside.


Before flying Woodside, a paragliding Student will require 3 hours of theory training, and a minimum of 4 hours of training hill, low altitude flights, conducted within the prior 2 weeks.


A Student pilot will remain under the direct supervision of an Instructor/School and will be considered as a participant of a Training Group, until an HPAC/ACVL Novice rating is achieved.


A Student pilot is entitled to a one-time $10 WCSC Student membership. Instructors/Schools will encourage and facilitate a Student's registration in this membership program. Student membership should begin when the Student commences instruction, and will expire on the following October 31st (WCSC fiscal year end).


The Instructors/Schools will ensure that the Student or Novice has paid all required landing fees.


The Instructors/Schools will ensure that the Student or Novice has been briefed on all WCSC Site Safety Standards and operates in accordance with these protocols.


Launch Protocol:

As there are more than one type of aircraft using the Woodside launch, launch order is to be determined by alternating launches (example: if a Hang Glider is launching, a Paraglider will be next to launch. If no other Paraglider is ready to launch or the next pilot has chosen not to go, then the next Hang Glider may proceed to takeoff).


The launch area should not be occupied until ready to launch. Gliders are expected to set up away from the launch area when there are more than 6 pilots preparing to fly, as follows:


Hang Gliders should set up away from the launch area, and move into the launch queue only when ready to fly. Pilots should avoid setting up in areas where a blown Paraglider launch could result in a Paraglider wrapped around a glider, especially on windy days.


Paragliders should clear lines and clip in away from the launch area, then bunch their gliders and move into the launch queue. Pilots in the queue should be ready to launch, except for a final layout of the glider.


Regarding the Hang Glider Ramp, also known as "The Point":


On light wind days, Hang Glider pilots going down to the ramp to launch should expect to launch in light winds quickly and safely. This is an ideal time for novice Paraglider pilots to launch, but they will wait for the Hang Glider pilot. If the pilot decides to delay launch, the pilot should move completely clear of the ramp, and signal the upper launch area, using a spotter, that the ramp is clear, and launch is delayed. Before returning to the ramp in preparation for another launch attempt, the Hang Glider pilot should signal upper launch of the intention, before moving back onto the ramp.


For ALL pilots launching from the upper launch area, do not launch if there is a Hang Glider pilot on the way down to, or on the lower ramp. Wait for the Hang Glider pilot to launch, or to completely clear the ramp area. Only launch if the Hang Glider has indicated, using a spotter, that he has cleared the ramp area, and is ready and waiting for you to launch.


After an aborted launch, a pilot may immediately re-attempt a launch only if there are no other pilots immediately ready to launch. If there are, the abort pilot may re-enter the queue after rechecking glider and equipment. After three aborted launch attempts, a pilot must move to the end of the launch queue.


Pilots should endeavor to assist one another at launch as requested by the launching pilot. All pilots (Paraglider and Hang Glider) are encouraged to learn how to wire assist a Hang Glider, and how to lay out a Paraglider.


In The Air Protocol:

Once in the air, all pilots should endeavor to remain well clear of the launch area to avoid any possible launch conflict.


Pilots must be familiar with "Right of Way" and "See and be seen" procedures. Pilots must use standard ridge and thermalling rules, and must practice safe airmanship at all times.


Pilots are asked to refrain from "stunting" or "aerobatic" flight where conditions or traffic may be unsuitable.


During periods of severe in-flight congestion, pilots having already logged substantial airtime should be courteous to fellow pilots and move away from the congested area to allow others the opportunity to safely enjoy the site.


Landing Protocol:

Please respect all land owners and their wishes. Contact a WCSC director or local HPAC/ACVL Instructor to gain accurate knowledge of all active landing zones. Be sure that where necessary, landing passes have been purchased prior to flying.


Respect neighboring properties or any property that is deemed "Out of Bounds". Please do not trespass.


When an out-landing cannot be avoided, pilots should pack up and clear the area quickly, keeping property or crop damage to an absolute minimum. If approached by a landowner, be respectful, courteous, and apologetic, regardless of the landowner's treatment of you. Remember, you are trespassing.


While the launch / setup area is occupied, no top landing should be attempted.


Tandem pilots should not attempt top landings at any time.


Other General Courtesies:

Unless assisting a launch, all spectators and ground crew are asked to remain well clear of the launch area. This includes pets, which should be leashed at all times, and children.


No vehicles should be parked anywhere, and in any way, that prevents or impedes emergency access all the way to the launch / setup area from the Highway 7.


The road and parking area beyond the spur road should only be used by 4-wheel drive pilot and ground crew transportation. Spectators should park before the launch spur road and walk in. When the site is busy, Paraglider transport vehicles should also park beyond the launch spur road, to allow Hang Glider transport vehicles closer access to the launch / setup area.


Garbage and Waste Management:


Everyone is encouraged to avoid littering, and to clean up any garbage found for transport and disposal down the mountain.


Everyone is expected to use available toilet facilities, and to avoid using the surrounding bush.

Please keep the site clean, and above all, help the WCSC preserve
this site for the enjoyment of others for many years to come! Thank you!

Woodside Flying Area

The airspace defined by the Woodside CYA (Canadian Alert Area), and including the Class G airspace immediately surrounding the Riverside Landing Zone.

Training Group

A Training Group is defined as: 1 or 2 Instructors, with a maximum total of 5 Student or Novice pilots on the launch and/or setup area for the purposes of a launch to landing training flight.

Peak Hours

Periods of the day which typically produce strong thermic and/or turbulent conditions, generally, but not exclusively, between the hours of 12 noon and 5 pm, from April through October. In addition, any time of day, regardless of flying conditions, when 25 or more pilots are either flying, or preparing to fly, will be considered "Peak Hours".

Unless otherwise noted, the word "Student" applies to a paraglider pilot who has not yet achieved a HPAC/ACVL Novice Pilot rating, or a "Beginner" Hang Glider pilot rating, as defined by HPAC/ACVL. The word "Novice" applies to the Novice Pilot rating (Paraglider or Hang Glider), as defined by HPAC/ACVL.

(Page) Last updated:  17 Nov 2013