NW & S launches, premier cross-country flying site.Mount Ascutney stands alone above the Connecticut River valley. There are multiple bowls and ravines that collect and funnel thermals up the mountain as the sun swings from east to west each day.
Many New England cross country flights start here.
Access to both launches is through the Mount Ascutney State Park, in Windsor Vermont. Pilots have access to the park during the off-season via a special use permit. Access is only permitted via one of several selected apostles that have keys to the gate and are aware of the additional restrictions we must follow.
Meeting Place: State Park Entrance
Coordinates: 43.437815, -72.405632
Park across the street from the Park entrance and consolidate onto as few vehicles as possible. Leave unused vehicles there.
Sign in with the park rangers at the park entrance and sign a waiver each year.
Show current USHPA membership card and current VHGA membership card.
Pay $3 / person
Drive up the mountain until the road terminates at the parking lot at the top and park.
Good ridge soaring, excellent thermal soaring, and occasionally good wonder-wind conditions.
Cloud base over Mount Ascutney is usually higher than over the surrounding terrain.
Pilot must have an H3 or above rating for the Northwest launch. Pilot must have an H4/P4 or above rating for South launch.
Pilot must have a windy cliff endorsement.
Pilot launching here for the first time must be accompanied by a pilot that has launched here before. If you’ve never flown Mount Ascutney before then Your first flight will have to wait until the state park officially opens with a ranger at the gate. No first time flights during pre season. If you show up you’ll be turned away at the gate.
Pilot must have signed the site waiver. This is usually done when the pilot becomes a member.
Pilot must sign in with the park rangers at the park entrance before flying.
Pilot must show current Vermont Hang Gliding Association and USHPA membership cards to the park ranger.
Pilot should have a wire crew on all but the most calm days.
Ensure vehicles are off the mountain before the park closes at dusk. If you plan to fly to far away places, plan to have someone drive your vehicle down the mountain and park it across the road from the entrance.
Do not land on the circular horse track to the east of the mountain.
It is hard to see the support wires for the radio and television towers. The towers also produce signifiant radiation that can interfere with flight computers, radios, and pilots.
Wind blowing over the “arms” of each bowl can create turbulence unless the wind is blowing straight into the bowl.