By Yanick Boisclair
Copper Mountain is an old abandoned flying site where hang gliders used to fly until 25 years ago. I met one of them last summer. He said that at the time they would call his glider “The Killer”, because it was technically impossible to recover once it would enter into a dive. At the time, they would land on the driving range at the golf course.
The Copper Mountain flying site was reopened in summer 2019 after a work team of 10 aspiring free flight pilots from Mountain Axis Technical, a specialized mountain construction company, went to Colombia for a paragliding course. Concurrently, a few locals and newcomers (including one very motivated hang glider pilot), were also getting ready to fly Copper, bringing together a new flying community. And so FlyTerrace – The Terrace Free Flight Club was born. It has become a registered non-profit society in BC and is responsible for site regulations, landowner negotiations, maintenance and upgrades.
Having flown Mt7 in Golden, Saddle and Coopers in Lumby, and Valle de Bravo in Mexico, I can say that we have an awesome flying site here in Terrace. The launch is south facing and at 3,025' asl. The wind direction is very consistent, coming right in most of the time. There is a windsock as well as secondary wind indicators and an online weather station.
The landing zone is 400' asl and runs from North to South. It’s located south of the launch, about 3.1km in a straight line, so roughly a 3.8 glide ratio. It can be wet. Pneumatic wheels are strongly recommended. It is located on privately-owned land. Strict rules are in force. It is imperative to contact FlyTerrace for rules and waiver. HPAC membership required.
As for the airport, we just need to call the control tower before we launch and after we land. They issue a NOTAM and during that time no aircraft is allowed to enter our flying space. Aircraft radio, GPS, radio license not required. A standard radio in good working order is necessary so we can communicate between us.
I would be happy to accompany any visiting PG and HG pilot. Please feel free to communicate with me, Yanick Boisclair, for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org.