Disentis

Coordinates: 46°41’52″ N    8°50’32″ E    1224m ASL

Disentis landing field viewed from around 2km to the east

The landing field at Acla da Fontauna is around 65km from the Heimat takeoff and is usually a safe and convenient option. It is generally referred to as the “Disentis” landing field as it is located about 1½km south-west of the town centre. The most prevalent wind condition here, in the absence of any influence from the meteo flow or north/south pressure difference, is a laminar breeze along the main valley from the east. In southerly conditions, you may encounter a less smooth south wind blowing out of the Val Medel from the Lukmanier pass, and in a westerly regime, there may be a light west wind. When there is both a significant south overpressure, i.e. over 2 hPa, and a substantial meteo wind from the west or south-west, turbulence and/or convergence can set up here as the breezes from the Lukmanier and Oberalp passes fight for supremacy. The local club recommends landing at Segnas, about 1km to the west, if there is only moderate wind from the Val Medel, but if full-on föhn has set in, then Trun (10km to the east) would be a safer option.

Disentis landing field, viewed from the north-east

Disentis landing field, viewed from the east

All the pictures on this page, including the header image, were taken when the wind was coming from the usual direction, during a round of the PWC in August 2015, when a goal line had been set out and the grass in the designated landing zone had been mown, which obviously will not normally be the case. However, even if the grass in this field is relatively short, the farmer who owns the land here is very concerned that pilots should land and pack up in the approved area, by the Hotel Sax, and the local club is also keen for his wishes to be observed.

Disentis landing field, viewed from the west

Disentis landing field, viewed from the north-west

Once you have packed up, it’s just a short walk (via the roads, not across the grass!) to the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn station at Acla da Fontauna, which (as you can see from the header image above, the view from the north) consists of a single tiny building. Trains run every hour along the valley floor back to Fiesch, via Andermatt, taking around 2½ hours, the last one departing here at 18.17; be aware that you may need to press the button on the timetable board to request them to stop for you!