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FlyBC "Site of the Day" - March 1/2002

Go to the FlyBC Weather Page to predict the weather. Send us your flight reports here!

news What's new around the Vancouver Flying scene.

FlyBC's Rookie of the Year 2001 has been chosen and will be declared in March 2002 at the grand opening of Eagle Ranch!

Date Site Forecast Precip. Winds Aloft
3000 ft.
Lapse Rate

February 28 Sumas in the AM, then Woodside in the PM sunny 0% POP 300° at 8 knots -3.0°/1000'
(very unstable lapse rate)
Woodside Report - as posted by Martin Henry, it was leeside at Woodside. One exciting flight to the Crash Pad by Rob S convinced others to not fly. Thanks for coming down to unload our U Haul! As Ian Porter said " Looks like you have enough projects to keep you busy for the next 5 years!". Okay . . . so the Ranch needs a little paint - Jim
February 27 Woodside (get there early!) cloudy with sunny breaks, moderate westerlies to kick in later 00% POP 270° at 15 knots

300° at 28 knots after 1pm

-2.5°/1000 feet (unstable lapse rate) No pireps, but if cloudbase was high enough to launch I am sure you would have had great flying! - Jim
February 26 Blanchard/Whidbey cloudy with sunny breaks, moderate westerlies to kick in later 30% POP 330° at 5 knots -1.5°/1000 feet (very stable lapse rate) Woodside Report - I had lots of work to do, but Ian J convinced me to go to Woodside after 1:00 pm. I arrived at launch at 2:00 as Allan D, Roman and Ian were heading out to land. The air looked quite rough below launch, CUs were drifting from the SE, so it was leeside.

There was good lift and they were above launch but the lift shut down as I arrived. I decided to drive down to help with retrieving vehicles, but convinced Rob S to launch. He climbed out nicely after a few passes and I drove to to pick up the three that had to land.

On arrival back at launch Allan offered to drive my Suburban down so I flew, nice lift but you had to turn tight to stay in it. A few eagles showed me where the lift was near the towers and they flew with me for a while. I almost sunk out a few times but mananged to snag another thermal to get above launch. Rob and I made several top-landing approaches but it was quite turbulent near launch so we bailed. Above launch was smooth and buoyant and you could go wherever you wanted on the mountain, just like you had a paramotor on!

I landed at 5:45 pm, with over 2 hours airtime. Rob S managed 2.5 hours. Ian probably logged 2 hours as well.

The valley temps heated up above the forecast 6°C so the lapse rate was better than forecast. Thanks Ian for talking me into the drive out! - Jim
February 25 Sumas clear and cold 0% POP 120° at 12 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (stable lapse rate) Sumas Report - Steve Hotzak and Steve Steward both managed 30 minutes in real strong conditions, landing near the old LZ. They had a driver so retrieve was easy.
February 24 Sumas or stay home locally windy NE 0% POP 070° at 27 knots -3.0°/1000 feet (very unstable lapse rate) Woo Hoo

Malahat was ON today. Climbing strongly right off launch, Jayson and Claudio easily got to the legal altitude limit all along the ridge and flew until threatened by hypothermia. Bruce and the Kids drove retrieve. Then it was off to the lifty training hill for the afternoon for Rob and Analise to practice launches. Flying season has arrived - Bruce McGuigan

February 23 RESERVE CLINIC Saturday Feb 23, 2001 in Cloverdale gusty outflow winds 30% POP 030° at 12 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) Reserve clinic went well according to Margit.

Unfortunately, a few that didn't go to the clinic spent the day spamming the WCSC forum with their immature chatter.

There are many people (pilots) who feel they should "close the door" after they have achieved certain levels in Paragliding/Hanggliding. Examples include: Now that I have my Intermediate Rating . . . the requirements should be higher; now that our club has secured this launch area . . . no one else should fly this site; now that I have learned how to fly at Woodside . . . everyone else should learn at another site (to stay out of my way!).

Don't forget the thrill of flight should be enjoyed by everyone . . . and at the safest site in Western Canada (Woodside). No other site offers the safe conditions and large landing fields that Woodside has to offer.

February 22 Woodside/Grouse rain tapering to some sunny breaks in the PM 40% POP light and variable -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) Man that was some bad call. The forecast didn't materialize, as the low hovered over Vancouver. Good day to stay at work, sorry if you headed out to the valley.
February 21 Stay Home rain 100% POP 210° at 35 knots -2.5°/1000 feet (unstable lapse rate) It rained all day, DON'T FORGET THE RESERVE CLINIC Saturday Feb 23, 2001 in Cloverdale!! Contact Robin at 604-857-9458
February 20 Woodside possible showers 60% POP light and variable -2.5°/1000 feet (unstable lapse rate) Woodside Report - Glen T and Allan D got an hour yesterday in 4 m/s lift, with Glen toplanding to retrieve his truck just before it shut down - Jim
February 19 Stay at Work Cloudy with showers. Showers locally heavy at times this morning. Wind becoming southwest 30 to 50 km/h. High 10. 80% POP 270° at 28 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) Rainy all day in the Fraser Valley. Edmonton was very cold and snowy - Jim

February 18 Stay at Work overcast, rain developing 80% POP 150° at 26 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) Yuk!
February 17 BC Place for the Outdoor Show or Woodside for flying between showers overcast 60% POP 250° at 8 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) BC Outdoor Show Report - a lot of interest in Paragliding and Paramotoring at the show.

A lot of dreamers wanting to get in the air!

February 16 BC Place for the Outdoor Show or Woodside for flying between showers overcast 60% POP light and variable in the afternoon -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) BC Place Report - a lot of interested prospective pilots were at our booth signing up for tandems and 3 day courses.

February 15 BC Place for the Outdoor Show clear 0% POP light and variable -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) Grouse Report - Three unidentified APCO gliders, two Allegras and one Bagheera were spotted today flying from the backside of Grouse Mountain. The wind was strong from the northeast making it quite lifty back there. Looked like a long glide out; I guess they have fairly good sinkrates. No helicopters flying today so they made interesting objects for the skiers to watch.
February 14 Woodside, Grouse, almost anywhere clear 0% POP light and variable -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) Woodside Report - four pilots managed to get between 25 minutes and 1 hour each flying at Woodside. Spring is coming!

Grouse Report - Ian Porter reported an hour of soaring in east winds, where he was joined by some eagles. All report good conditions in scratchy lift.
February 13 Stay Home clear, but locally windy! 0% POP 300° at 25 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) No pireps, but it looked better at 4:00 pm when the westerlies kicked in - Jim
February 12 Sumas high clouds 0% POP 150° at 10 knots -1.8°/1000 feet (very stable lapse rate!) Paramotor Report - Eric, Rob and I headed out to Surrey to paramotor, cause it was just too stable to waste time going to the valley. Eric's motor wouldn't spool up to high rpms so he didn't try but I flew the Presta M on the motor and it launched nicely, I flew for a while on the Presta then pulled out the Octane L and flew that until 5:30 pm - Jim
February 11 Woodside sunny periods in the afternoon, windy in the morning 30% POP 310° at 7 knots -3.0°/1000 feet (very unstable lapse rate!) Woodside Report - what a day!

Lots of pilots met up at Woodside today, Allan D was launching at noon even before we arrived, so it had to be good. "The birds were already soaring" said Allan as he launched.

Martina was out for the first time in a year and was test flying her new baby blue Allegra and got way above launch even though I forgot to give her the vario. She was pumped, read about it on the WCSC Logbook.

Robin got 2 flights and probably 2.5 hours of airtime and was very happy, couldn't wipe the grin off his face in the Sasquatch :-)

Glen T and Ian J both flew at the same launch window as Robin and were at cloudbase when we arrived, Glen having to work hard to get up but he managed it well. Ian made himself sick with his stunts and landed in the Best Field, get well soon!

Nicole got 2 flights also, one was short, the other must have been over 2 hours.

I launched on my Octane and got to cloudbase quickly following three eagles (the eagles were smiling as they climbed out). I snapped this picture of Allan as we were playing around near launch, me trying to warm up and him just cruising around.

It was super smooth 5+ m/s lift (900 ft/min) and the only bumps occured near cloudbase. You could get low near the south knob and climb to cloudbase with little drift. I contemplated heading east but had no speedbar and wasn't sure of the retrieve as the Suburban was at launch. But I am sure Hope was possible even after 3:00 pm.

I snapped this picture of launch as Nicole was getting ready to launch for her second flight.

I top-landed to retrieve the Suburban after 5 tries, it was darned lifty near launch requiring a full stall 2 meters up to touch down flat on my back in the snow! I logged 2.5 hours on touchdown.

Reto also top-landed after me in a full stall, spin maneuver that would have made a great video. At least he picked deeper snow than me! We hobbled back to the cars and drove down to many smiling faces in the Pub. Allan (4:30), Justin (2.5), Robin (2.5) and Nicole (2+) were landing in the Crash Pad as we hit the bottom. Lots of airtime logged today. It doesn't get any better than this! - Jim

February 10 Woodside Cloudy, rain developing later 60% POP 200° at 18 knots -1.8°/1000 feet (stable lapse rate) Woodside Report - "The Early Bird gets the Worm". Kelly, Colleen and Duncan launched just after noon and had great launching conditions. It was just getting soarable when Duncan launched and a moment of indecision required him to land in the Crash Pad. I decided to drive down to pick everyone up rather than fly because I thought it was going to get more soarable, but when we arrived back at launch it was starting to get strong and as we waited all hell broke loose! By the time we packed everything out the trees were bent over by the road and it was hard to drive on Hwy 7. It definitely paid off to get out to fly early on Sunday! - Jim
February 9 Sumas Cloudy 30% POP 160° at 26 knots -1.8°/1000 feet (stable lapse rate) No pilot reports but it sure looked flyable in Burnaby all day, did anyone make it to Sumas?
February 8 Woodside Cloudy 60% POP 270° at 6 knots -2.3°/1000 feet (unstable lapse rate) Woodside Report - it looked very thermic on the drive out. Alan D was very optimistic! However the instability became rain and hail after 2:00 pm. At launch it was snowing heavily until 4:00 pm and it wasn't going to quit before dark.

Oddly the weather towards Hemlock Valley was beautiful, partly cloudy and no rain. Maybe Hemlock would have been a better call but I arrived to late as the lifts close at 3:30 pm - Jim

Dallas Road Report - Well hell, I was wrong again today. This time it was on by 11:00! I got to fly at lunch, and Jayson, Claudio and Don were around at different times all day long. When I came back from work at 4:30 it was still on, and when I left an hour later to pick up the kids, it was still on. It was still on when the sun went down - Bruce McGuigan

February 7 Woodside later some rain and windy in the AM 40% POP 190° at 18 knots -2.3°/1000 feet (unstable lapse rate) We went kiting at Tssawassen for a few hours but it looked too strong to fly (very gusty) - Jim

February 6 Stay Home mostly cloudy, rain/hail 100% POP 200° at 32 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) Victoria Report - I took my wing, 'cause Bruce said it is always flyable after 2:00 pm at Dallas Road. Of course it started to rain at 1:30 pm so I headed to Nanaimo for a meeting. It was so wet even the birds were hiding under cover - Jim
February 5 Stay Home mostly cloudy, rain/hail 100% POP 210° at 32 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) When is it gonna get drier?????
February 4 Woodside mostly cloudy 0% POP 140° at 18 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) Elk Report - Allan and Carl hiked up Elk and had good launch cycles but the wind was too east to soar for more than 20 minutes. But at least they flew.

Woodside Report - arrived at launch at 2:00 pm, and there were light up cycles but it wasn't soarable (and I didn't feel like hiking back up after a sled ride) so I just enjoyed the sun for 30 minutes. There was active logging trucks on the road, hauling from the 8 km mark on the north side. Frequency is 158.790 MHZ to contact the trucks.

Island Report - Don Herres, Jayson Biggins and Bruce McGuigan had a fantastic flying day at Malahat Ridge.

Bruce caught the first genuine thermals of the year on the island and totalled nearly an hour in two flights.

On their second flights of the day, Jayson and Don were able to stay up in a combination of thermal and ridge lift for as long as they wanted - over an hour - before the threat of frostbite and hypothermia notoviated them towards landing with Jayson choosing the beach, and Don going for the "why the hell would anyone land there" landing zone. An excellent day to fly on Vancouver Island - Bruce McGuigan

Colima, Mexico Report - the volcano at Colima Nevado has a swollen dome and the vent has become active for the first time is 25 years and evacuations have been ordered for surrounding towns. I know several pilots flew the volcano after the comp ended and it was dormant at that time.

February 3 Bellingham rain, then clearing in the PM 40% POP 250° at 12 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) Hey Jim - I managed to get a flight in today at Blanchard. The wind was from the south east and strong making it soarable for a couple of hangliders to the east of launch. I am leary of flying in strong south winds at Blanchard for fear of not making the landing field, or worse, the rotor that can come off the tree line down in front of the south launch. Waited until it mellowed out a bit and launched. It was not strong enough to stay up long, but at least I got a flight in. Too bad it wasn't blowing from the south west or the west - Justin

February 2 Stay Home Fog and mist 40% POP 160° at 27 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) Woodside Report - ignoring my own advice, Colleen and Kelly and I headed to Woodside at noon. There was no wind in the valley and the clouds were suspended, showing no wind at launch.

We drove all the way to the turnoff into launch, the road is plowed and the cross ditches filled in! A sign says "Active logging road" and offers a vhf frequency to use to communicate with the loggers.

We hiked into launch through 2 feet of mushy snow and arrived to light up cycles. Colleen offered to drive so we could bag the first flight, secretly wanting to go when the lift was stronger.

I launched and tried to follow the mist tendrils but was rewarded with a sled ride, likewise Kelly who launched 30 minutes after me.

The snow in the Best LZ was mostly melted but great for cleaning off the Mexican dust.

When we went back to get a flight for Colleen, she had just laid out and the catabatic winds hit, as the sun went behind a cloud. Light up cycles to 15 km/hr downwind is a few minutes, she was denied!

Great to be back at Mother Woodside! - Jim

January 27-Feb 1 Little Nick (hike and fly) Snow all week! 100% POP 080° at 14 knots -2.0°/1000 feet (standard lapse rate) It snowed and rained pretty well all week. Saturday may be better.

January 2002 Site of the Day archives Mexico vacation shots, some local flying but it was wet on the coast.

December 2001 Site of the Day archives pretty stable locally, wettest December on record, some good days sprinkled thru the month.

November 2001 Site of the Day archives pretty stable locally, had some good days at Woodside +2 hours, lots of rain later in the month.

October 2001 Site of the Day archives pretty stable locally, but great flying at Chelan at the Women's Fly In.

September 2001 Site of the Day archives starting to get pretty stable, more sled rides forecast for October.

Aug 2001 Site of the Day archives Mara, Bridal, till some great flights locally

July 2001 Site of the Day archives Road Trip Month, Golden, Mara, points east!

June 2001 Site of the Day archives Great Month, 3 hours of airtime for some pilots every time they flew Bridal Lower! Some getting up to 6 hours in a single flight!

May 2001 Site of the Day archives Unstable Month, 2-3 hours of airtime for some pilots every time they flew Bridal Lower!

April 2001 Site of the Day archives Rainy Month, not as much airtime for some pilots

March 2001 Site of the Day archives Spring has Sprung!

February 2001 Site of the Day archives Spring is in the Air!

January 2001 Site of the Day archives - Mexico Flying Trip

December 2000 Site of the Day archives

November 2000 Site of the Day archives (great month for airtime!)

October 2000 Site of the Day archives

September 2000 Site of the Day archives

July - August 2000 Site of the Day archives

June 2000 Site of the Day archives

March - May 2000 Site of the Day archives

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