Paragliding and hang gliding are expressions of freedom, including our freedom to choose our own life and take our own risks. At the same time, to sustain a flying club in the US we have to stay aware of the context in which we fly. Here at Brace our launches are on N.Y. Taconic State Park land, and our privilege to launch there is revocable. Lawsuits of many kinds are always possible. We also have the usual potential for issues with the local landowners who are our neighbors.
Please, then, be respectful of the rules, of the rangers, and of all the people that you meet, in order that we may all be able to fly here for many years to come. You are an ambassador of our sport and of our Club! Thanks, and see you in the air.
All Pilots (P2/H2, P3/H3, P4/, P5/H5) flying Brace are required to have an Approved Brace Pilot Helmet Sticker. These are available from Club Officers in the LZ when you come to sign into the daily Pilot book before going up to Launch.
The Pilot’s Checklist
To come out and fly you need the following:
- Current USHPA membership *
- Current Mt. Brace Outdoor Club membership, with a current signed waiver*
- USHPA P3/H3 rating or higher. P2/H2s can fly too but for safety reasons it’s a little more complicated – Click here
- A helmet and protective footwear
- A radio that can receive and transmit on the USHPA frequencies. Due to various activities we often adjust radio frequencies. Please check at the LZ what the Club radio frequency is for the day. Some regularly used frequencies include 151.505 and 144.440 MHz
- Sign in the Pilot book in the Mt Brace LZ before heading up to launch
- Call the ranger if you are the first pilot signing in or if you have any doubt whether the ranger has been called. It’s easy. Call (518) 329-3993 and say, “I’m calling from the Brace Club. I just wanted to let you know we will be flying today.”
If you are new here, you are welcome! Please read all of the rules before you come and arrange for a site intro before you fly for the first time. To make an assessment about weather conditions, check forecasts for Millerton, NY 12546.
Your membership dues to Mt. Brace Outdoor Club go towards paying the LZ rent, maintenance, insurance, cutting the grass, garbage disposal, utilities, parking, and donations to area volunteer fire department/SAR.
In addition to The Pilot’s Checklist mentioned above:
- You must be a member of the Mt. Brace Outdoor Club to fly from Brace Mountain. Please carry your proof of membership with you, as well as your USHPA card.
- While the N.Y. Taconic State Park is public land, their policy limits flying activity to Mt. Brace Outdoor Club members only. This means that if you fly without joining first, a ranger can issue you an expensive citation. You also risk losing your future flying privileges if you ignore the site rules.
- All pilots must sign a Club waiver once per calendar year. Please take responsibility for getting this done.
- Waivers are so important that we have to say this: In the event that you launch without having signed a waiver, be aware that: Regardless of anything else, your act of launching your aircraft signifies your full and complete acceptance of the waivers of both the Mt. Brace Outdoor Club and the US Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA). If you don’t accept the waivers, don’t fly.
- Brace launch requires a USHPA intermediate rating P3/H3 or higher to fly unobserved.
- The main Mt. Brace launch is narrow, with uneven terrain, and even some very good pilots have been in the bushes. Good ground handling skills are essential to launching safely.
- In the air, please be attentive to pilots on launch and keep clear when someone is set up and ready to take off.
- To practice in the Mt Brace LZ you must be a member of USHPA and be a Mt Brace Outdoor Club member with a signed waiver. To leave the ground on the training hills you must have a P1 rating or be under instructor supervision.
- No motorized flying.*
- No acrobatics or stunt maneuvers in flight.*
- No flying when winds exceed 26 MPH. No radical speed wings, or intentional proximity flying.*
- No flying alone.*
- Camping is permitted in N.Y. Taconic State Park only at Rudd Pond and Copake Falls.
- Dogs are permitted if they are controlled. If there is a chance that your dog will chase pilots who are landing (or who are launching, if you hike your dog to launch) please keep your dog on a leash. Dogs are distracting and have caused crashes.
- Please know that you are financially liable for any damage that you, your guests, your children, or your pets cause to the Club, landowner property, or the N.Y. Taconic State Park. Even the USHPA insurance comes with a deductible, for which the involved pilot is responsible.
- Rides to launch • Basic etiquette: If another pilot (or their partner!) gives you a ride, or picks you up from where you land, consider pitching in for gas money. And never ever start drinking beer or leave to go home while your buddy’s car still needs to be retrieved.
• Backside trailhead: Please organize rides to the backside trailhead to minimize the number of vehicles parked there.
• Front side trailhead: If you leave your car at the front side trailhead, it’s important not to land there. Land in the main LZ and catch a ride or walk to your car. Note that the front side trail is steeper and longer than the backside, covering about 1500 vertical feet.
- Always pack out your trash.
Thanks for reading our rules. We wish you high flights and soft landings!
* These rules are in the N.Y. Taconic State Park Permit.
REV DATE 01/01/2023