Flight conditions: the site is useable from 8am through to early afternoon.
There are two take off areas:
South take off : five mins walk up from the gondola.
North Easterly take off : seven mins walk up from the gondola, below and to the north eastern side of the Restaurant 2000.
Once the Southerly take off becomes possible (usually from around 10h30) it is best to launch here as the thermals oout from the N.E. launch can be turbulent as the valley breeze develops.
Dangers / Difficulties:
Please see the noticeboard at the take off for specific rules concerning the take off area & also the restricted flight zones in the Chamonix valley.
Planpraz take off can be very busy with tandem operations, mainly between ten past the hour until half past the hour but often compartivley peaceful from H+30 to H+10 , thus it is more relaxing to take off during the quieter period if possible.
• Be aware that with West or North prevailing winds in excess of 20 kph at 2000 m you are flying in lee side conditions & can expect strong, turbulent conditions. If the wind at take off become gusty & with big changes of direction, it usually indicates that the prevailling wind has become strong & usually indicates that conditions are deteriorating .
• To the left out from take off there are the Brevent cable car cables. Keep to the right & pass under the
cables with a good margin.
• Once the conditions have become thermic, good pilot skill is required.
• For XC flights towards the Flegere, beware of horizontal cables for the Brevent – Flegere cable car in the Combe Lachenal at approx 1 700 m ASL.
Ability: supervised beginner to XC pilot.
• It is very unusal that local pilots , particularly tandem pilots are not flying if conditions are suitable. The Foehn wind is a major problem for flying in Chamonix & whilst the wind at take off can appear perfectly suitable it is usually lower down where severe turbukence can be experienced. If no locals are flying, try to find out why before comitting yourself to fly.
Landing field: Bois du Bouchet. The landing field is not visible from launch. Be sure to visit the landing before taking the gondola.
An alternative landing field is available at Clos du Savoy (turbulent with strong valley winds & thermic conditions). This field can be very busy with tandem flights & requires precise piloting.
• Top landing is forbidden (Summer & Winter) on the whole of the Planpraz area.
• Special rules apply in the veent of the presence of Mountain rescue helicopters.
• The Bois du Bouchet & Clos du Savoy fields are forbidden when there is snow on them (they become ski & XC ski pistes). Due to this the only available landing is the hang glider (Delta) field at Bois du Bouchet (enclosed & turbulent) see the notice boards or local pilots for the exact dates of the restriction.
• Above the highest ridge to the right (W / NW) of launch, overflying at less than 300 m above ground level is forbidden. (Aiguilles Rouges nature reserve).
Check with paragliding schools or at the Club chalet (Bois du Bouchet landing field) for any special rules affecting the landing fields as they may occasionally be used for civic functions .
Mini wings are currently forbidden from landing at Clos du Savoy by Mayoral order.
The main change is that we can uasually fly all day in smooth conditions whilst the snow covers the whole of the valley. Once the snow melts of fthe South facing slopes, we can have good thermic activity (powerful activity in late Spring).
The North Easterly take off area is used for skiing & therby forbidden but we can use the N.E. facing slope just beneath the Restaurant 2000 - identifiable by the presence of a windsock. This take off is forbidden for "Mini" wings due to the risk to skiers below.
A good forward launch technique is neccessary for the winter.
During the winter, landing is tolerated at the the unofficial 'Anatole filed" situated to the South West of the upper level of the car park close to the bottom of the lift.
Planpraz launch site
• GPS : N 45° 56’ 08” E 006° 51’ 18”
• Direction : South & North East
• Altitude : 2 000 m
• Vertical drop : 1 000 m
• Access : Planpraz gondola. (reduced day rates available in the summer for pilots).
• Site details/ equipment : Club info board & Windsock.
• Remote FFVL weather station, summit of Le Brevent 500 m above launch.
• Registered FFVL site
• Balise météo FFVL au Brévent, sommet 500m au dessus du décollage. BaliseFFVLBrévent
• Balise météo Pioupiou à Planpraz: www.pioupiou.fr/333