Canaan Valley Paragliding Liability Waiver

UPDATED : October 2016



Canaan Valley State Park and the U. S. Hotel and Resort Management Inc. grant permission to enter the Canaan Valley State Park for the purpose of paragliding only under the terms of this contract.


I,_________________________________the undersigned accept all responsibility for damages, accidents or harm (including bodily injury or death) to myself or other persons, or real and personal property damage on account of coming onto said property including but not limited to, connected with or growing out of any and all activities of any kind whatsoever, including but not limited to any activities associated with or related to Paragliding, the use of flight devices, including but not limited to launching, flying or landing of any flight device while in the Canaan Valley area or any property owned by landowners or any property owners or heirs upon which the pilot and/or flight device may land upon. This contract includes all of the time I am in the area. Once I enter the Canaan Valley area, I am responsible for myself and other people who are with me under the terms of this contract.


I also agree to waive my rights to legal action and to hold blameless the landowners and property owners upon which I may launch or land and their family members heirs, agents and employees from any and all claims (including legal costs) while I am in the Canaan Valley areas.


This contract is binding upon heirs, next of kin, executors and administrators of estate.


I also agree that while I am in the Canaan Valley area in that:


1.  I have in my possession a valid and current USHPA Membership Card, with a minimum of a P-3/H-3 rating. Individuals who are not current USHPA Members, may not fly from this site.

2.  I have read and understand the provisions within the Canaan Valley Risk Management Plan. (***MUST READ AND AGREE***)

3.  I will observe safety precautions necessary to keep the area safe for myself and others, including no public consumption of alcohol or use of any illegal drugs.

4.   I agree that the terms of this contract will continue throughout any and all entries to the area; additional changes or new terms may be required for future entry.

5.   I agree to fly with an EN approved reserve parachute and exhibit good and conservative judgment.

6.   I will carry a 2-way radio and monitor the designated frequency.

7.   This agreement is subject to the terms of West Virginia state law, which shall be the sole jurisdiction for its interpretation and enforcement.

8.   No modifications to the agreement may be made except by written agreement subscribed and witnessed by all parties involved.

9.   I have read and agree to the terms of this contract.

10. I agree that landowners reserve the right to terminate this contract at any time without cause or recourse or notice.



Name (printed)                                                                    Date                                  


Address_ _____________________________                   Signature                                


Phone #                                                                                Email                                       







1.    Pilots must be current USHGA member for legal liability and site preservation reasons.

2.    Pilots must have a current P-3 or higher USHGA rating.

3.    The use of helmets and EN approved reserve parachutes are mandatory.

4.    Pilots should clear traffic and yell, “launching” before taking off and entering the flight pattern.

5.    No use of motors from the launch site.

6.    Pilots must fly with a tree rescue line.

7.    Pilots must attend a site briefing from an approved site guide before being allowed to fly.






·          There are power lines in several of the fields used for landing. Maintain a clearance above landing field power lines. Maintain a minimum 150 ft clearance above the high voltage transmission lines adjacent to Rt 32.

·          Follow the rules of the ridge.

·          Clear your launches and turns all around, above and below you.

·          After landing, move your glider out of the middle of the field so others can safely land.






·          All pilots must have an operational radio. The official radio frequency will be designated at the ski lodge.

·          Regardless as to whether they choose to ride the lift, all pilots must purchase a ticket from the ski lodge in order to advise the park staff that you will be flying.

·          Pilots should check NOTAMs for the possible presence of military training flights through the valley.

·          Pilots should not fly when wind speed is greater than 15 mph at launch or when the wind direction crosses the launch at an angle greater than 45 degrees.

·          Pilots should carry a cell phone for emergencies.

·          We recommend that pilots carry and use an emergency locator device.

·          The site is for day use only. No overnight camping.

·          In case of an emergency, call 911.

·          DO NOT LITTER.

·          Pilots need to respect all landowners property.  Remember that we are able to fly only with the consent of the landowners. Please treat all landowners kindly.






·          Always clear your turns. See, Be Seen and Avoid.

·          Do not pin other pilots against the ridge. Leave enough room to turn out from the ridge.

·          In ridge soaring conditions, pass on the right.

·          Watch other pilot’s head and eyes for clues as to the next move.

·          First pilot to enter a thermal establishes turning direction. The lower pilot has the right of way.

·          In ridge soaring conditions, the faster glider overtaking another glider, passes on the inside (ridge side).

·          Please stay in a counter clockwise rotation when ridge soaring. The glider on the right has the right of way.

·          Thermaling should be done outside the ridge soaring pattern.



Canaan Valley Risk Management Plan. (***MUST READ AND AGREE***)






Canaan Valley State Park is a park owned by the State of West Virginia. It has been a paragliding site since 1994. Although the site has been flown accident and incident free for the past eighteen years, the site attracts relatively small number of paragliding pilots mainly because of the necessity for the pilot to hike the 1000 vertical feet to the launch.


Usage of the existing site may further strained due to the pending construction of a snow tube park and a wobble ball shooting range adjacent to the existing landing zone.


As a replacement for the existing facility, the Mountaineer Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association requested the State of West Virginia to consider the construction of an alternative launching area in the Canaan Valley State Park.


The proposed launch would be located on an existing slope facing southwest approximately 300 feet to the South of the top of the exit for Ski Lift A.  A landing zone for the proposed launch will be located at the Miller farm along east Laneville Road (the Millers have provided permission to make use of their field as a landing zone). Another proposed landing zone is the State Park visitor’s center.


In eighteen years of flying Canaan Valley, there has never been a paragliding injury or incident involving neither the pilot nor the public. However, the adoption of a site-specific risk management rules and measures can help continue that safety record.





Proposal 1: We will erect a sign providing information about the flying activities. The sign will warn the spectators to maintain a safe distance from gliders when they are launching or when they are sitting on the ground.


Proposal 2: We encourage adaptation of the USHPA Risk Management Plan, that all photographers must sign a waiver and all spectators must remain 30 degrees away from a centerline beginning at a pilot’s launch point and extending into the launch path.



  1. Pilot Skills:


USHPA maintains a five tiered pilot training and proficiency program that extends from P1 through P5. A description of the program consists of the following:

P1 is a beginning pilot,

P2 is a novice pilot,

P3 is an intermediate pilot,

P4 is an advanced pilot, and

P5 is a master pilot.

In this multi-tiered system, each pilot must attend formal training and pass a proficiency examination to attain these different levels.


    1. All pilots flying Canaan Valley must be a current USHPA member and must sign a waiver of liability and assumption of risk covering the takeoff and landing landowners. A copy of the signed waivers will be kept at the Canaan Valley State Park headquarters.


    1. Canaan Valley is only open for flying only for Intermediate (P3) or above rated pilots.


  1. Pilot Requirements:


All pilots flying at Canaan Valley must attend a takeoff and landing briefing before flying the site. An acknowledged USHPA safety observer that has a signed waiver at the Canaan Valley State Park headquarters must be the person to conduct the site briefing.


All pilots are restricted to take off when winds are more than 45 degrees cross at the available launch points, or when the wind is less than 15 mph when measured at the launch point.


All pilots must maintain a minimum 150ft clearance above or around any roadways or power lines along the flight path.


All pilots must wear a helmet when flying the site.


All pilots must carry DHV certified reserve parachute.


All pilots must fly with a VHF-FM radio.


All pilots must carry a “tree kit” containing a minimum of 50 feet of rescue cord in case of an unplanned landing in a tree where an extraction may be necessitated.


  1. Flight Requirement Enforcement:


Any pilot wishing to fly the site must register at the State Park headquarters at Canaan Valley.


Any pilot wishing to fly the site must have a waiver in file at the State Park headquarters. The waiver will include a notice that a site briefing has taken place. The waiver will also include emergency contact information.


Any pilot that attempts to fly without providing the signed waiver or without filing the required paperwork with the State Park will be trespassing on the Park property and will lose flying privileges for the site.






The above Risk Management Plan shall be either reviewed on an annual basis or as requested by the Park Superintendent.