WVFC COVID-19 PAGE


COVID-19 Update November 2, 2020

We are excited to announce that on Monday, November 2nd, both the Palo Alto and San Carlos clubhouse facilities will reopen to the membership. Both locations will be open 7 days a week, 9AM to 5PM, attended by a Member Services Team Representative. Our new San Carlos facility is now at 795 Skyway Road, Suite C. 

There are a few simple guidelines that we ask you to follow:
1. Wear a face mask at all times while in the clubhouses
2. Social distance from staff and other people to the greatest extent possible
3. Maximum capacity at Palo Alto is 12, at San Carlos 6
4. Use closed briefing rooms for pre- and postflight sessions
5. Use of the common areas is discouraged
6. Avoid congregating in groups
7. Beverages, briefing computers, extra headsets, etc. will not be available
8. Keybooks will be kept in the clubhouses, except those planes reserved for after hours flights

We all need to operate safely in order for the facilities to remain open, so please do your part to assist us in every way possible.

COVID-19 Update October 2, 2020

We are excited to announce that on Monday November 2nd, our clubhouses will reopen!  This will include our new home in San Carlos at 795 Skyway Road, Suite C.  Both facilities will return to being staffed by the MST from 9AM to 5PM 7 days a week.  Stay tuned for further details concerning member/CFI capacity, use of masks, common areas, shared materials etc.



COVID-19 Update July 13, 2020


Starting on Monday July 13th, the club is operating under a new Santa Clara County Health Risk Reduction Order.  You will see new signs at the Palo Alto location to reflect this.  Except for simulator usage, the clubhouses remains closed.  You will also see new signage at the San Carlos facility to reflect the new Health Order from San Mateo County.


We have also started placing disinfectant "tags" on the tie-down ropes and chains at both locations.  When you come to a plane that has been disinfected, simply removing the rope or chain causes the tag to fall down and indicate the plane has been used.  


Due to the number of flights, the maintenance department does their best to keep up with post flight cleaning, but there are cases where they cannot hit 100%.  Should you come to a plane where the tag is still down, these are the options. 

 

1) If it is during operating hours, reach out to the maintenance department to see if they are available to help.

2) Switch to a different plane that has been disinfected.

3) Choose to fly or not fly the plane as is.




COVID-19 Update July 1, 2020


Stating on Monday July 6th, the club will start allowing flights with more than 2 people in the plane.  Initially, this will be on a request only basis (send the request to mst@wvfc.org and maintenance@wvfc.org).  If there are 3 or more people in the plane, they must be from the same household unit.  The request allows the club to know which planes will require cleaning in both the front and back of the plane.

Starting on Monday June 29th, we expanded the fuel service to 6PM to accommodate the increasing number of flights occurring later in the day.

Please continue to avoid back to back reservations in Schedule Master (allow at least an hour before and after each flight to allow for cleaning).

Except for simulator usage, the clubhouses remain closed.  Please use outside areas for briefings.  We added shade umbrellas in the patio area at Palo Alto to help with the summer heat.



COVID-19 Update June 5, 2020


We wanted to give you an operational update.  As you may already be aware, the Shelter in Place Orders for the Bay Area Counties have been updated again, and continue to move towards merging with the statewide phased re-opening. We are now authorizing dual flight instruction operations.

The plan:
1. We will now operate our fleet for both solo and dual instructional flights.
2. We will continue to have a limit of 2 people in the aircraft for any flight. This helps with only have to clean/disinfect the front of the plane.
3. The use of face coverings is mandatory for all dual instruction purposes. Plan to use face coverings from the start to finish of the lesson (not just inside the cockpit).
4. The clubhouses will remain closed except for access to the simulators. MST staff will continue to work from home. Ground instruction should be conducted in the outside patio/cafe areas. We are continuing to work a plan to gradually reopen the clubhouses over the next few weeks. 
5. There can be a maximum of 4 people in the Palo Alto clubhouse (maximum of two in each SIM room). There can be a maximum of 4 people in the San Carlos clubhouse (maximum of two in each SIM room). Use of face coverings is mandatory inside the clubhouses.
6. All common supplies like briefing computers, refreshment supplies, headsets, and office supplies will continue to be removed. 
7. There will be modified signage at all entrances explaining what has been done to protect the staff and anyone visiting the facilities. 
8. To the extent possible, hand sanitizing products have been made available in the clubhouses and hand washing supplies located near each sink. 
9. Planes/SIMs will be blocked out (for 60 minutes) before and after each flight to allow for cleaning. It will now be possible to operate a plane/SIM more than once per day. 
10. Instructors have expressed differing levels of readiness to resume dual operations. Expect to have a dialogue with your instructor about both of your comfort levels and preparation to resume instructional flights. 



COVID-19 Update May 22, 2020


We wanted to give you an operational update.  As you may already be aware, the Shelter in Place Orders for the Bay Area Counties have been updated, and are moving towards merging with the statewide phased re-opening. We are now in the position to authorize dual flight instruction operations starting on Monday, May 25th. 

The plan:
1. We will now operate our fleet for both solo and dual instructional flights.
2. We will continue to have a limit of 2 people in the aircraft for any flight. 
3. The use of face coverings is mandatory for all dual instruction purposes. Plan to use face coverings from the start to finish of the lesson (not just inside the cockpit).
4. The clubhouses will remain closed except for access to the simulators. Access will only be allowed from 10AM to 5PM. MST staff will continue to work from home. Ground instruction should be conducted in the outside patio areas. We are working a plan to gradually reopen the clubhouses over the next few weeks. 
5. There can be a maximum of 4 people in the Palo Alto clubhouse (maximum of two in each SIM room). There can be a maximum of 4 people in the San Carlos clubhouse (maximum of two in each SIM room). Use of face coverings is mandatory inside the clubhouses.
6. All common supplies like briefing computers, refreshment supplies, headsets, and office supplies will continue to be removed. 
7. There will be modified signage at all entrances explaining what has been done to protect the staff and anyone visiting the facilities. 
8. To the extent possible, hand sanitizing products have been made available in the clubhouses and hand washing supplies located near each sink. 
9. Planes/SIMs will be blocked out (for 90 minutes) before and after each flight to allow for cleaning. It will now be possible to operate a plane/SIM more than once per day. 
10. Instructors have expressed differing levels of readiness to resume dual operations. Expect to have a dialogue with your instructor about both of your comfort levels and preparation to resume instructional flights. 
 



COVID-19 Update May 19, 2020


Both San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties have made announcements that ease Shelter in Place restrictions, and allow the club to legally and safely move towards a restart of dual flight instruction.  The Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday May 20th to discuss the ongoing situation and our plans to move forward.  We will be making an announcement after the board meeting with specific plans and timelines for the next phase of our restart.



COVID-19 Update May 14, 2020



The City of Palo has recently passed a measure requiring that all persons entering businesses must wear a face covering.  Effective immediately, we ask that all employees and members entering the clubhouse wear a suitable face covering.  The details of the ordinance can be found here.



COVID-19 Update May 4, 2020


We wanted to give you an operational update. As you may already be aware the Bay Area Counties Shelter in Place Orders were recently modified and extended. Currently, these new orders are set to expire on May 31st unless further extended. The new orders slightly loosen some restrictions on outside activities. The new order can be found here. Members will now be allowed to bring along one additional family member for essential flights. The family member must be from the same living unit. We ask that only the front seats are used to help with the cleaning process. 

In other news, the FAA recently issued Special Federal Aviation Regulations addressing extensions to flight reviews, medicals, IPCs, and knowledge tests. You can find the details here . If you can, or need to, take advantage of these extensions, please contact the Safety Office to help facilitate recording the extensions. This will be a manual process and cannot be automated in Schedule Master. 

Starting Monday, May 4th, the Palo Alto tower will reduce operational hours from 8AM to 4PM. The field will be pilot controlled at all other times. The airport has published a procedures document for operations when the tower is closed. You can find the details here

Our near-term operations will be as follows:

1. We will continue with solo operations and allow one extra family member from the same living unit to join the flight provided only the front seats are used. For any other exceptions, please contact the Safety Office

2. There will continue to be only one flight per plane (or SIM) per day to allow for cleaning by the maintenance department.

3. The clubhouses remain closed except for access to the simulators. There can only be a maximum of 2 people in the Palo Alto clubhouse (one in each SIM room at a time). There can only be a maximum of 1 person in the San Carlos clubhouse (in the SIM room). To use the clubhouses, you are required to wear a suitable mask. 

4. New signage will be placed at all entrances explaining what has been done to protect the staff and anyone visiting the facility. 

5. Hand sanitizing products have been made available at the clubhouses and hand-washing supplies provided near each sink. 

6. You are encouraged to wear disposable gloves while operating a plane or SIM. 



COVID-19 Update May 1, 2020


New County Shelter in Place orders have been issued and will become effective on May 4th.  There are also Special Federal Aviation Regulations becoming effective on May 4th.  We are currently analyzing both documents and will update this page when we have made determinations on how to best proceed. 



COVID-19 Update April 13, 2020


There are no changes to ongoing club policies regarding flight operations during the current version of the local shelter in place policies.  Please see the April 3, 2020 note below for specific details of ongoing club operations.


The Palo Alto Airport Association is compiling a list of pilots willing to donate their time and aircraft for transport of time-critical materials, to support the Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services.  Click here for more details.





COVID-19 Update April 3, 2020

 

We wanted to give you an operational update.  As you may already be aware the Bay Area Counties Shelter in Place Orders were extended and expanded. Currently, these orders are set to expire on May 3rd unless further extended. The new orders have additional rules and guidelines with a special focus on social distancing, health, and hygiene.  These apply to both staff and members accessing the facilities.  Therefore, our near-term operations will be as follows:

 

1)    We will continue with solo-only (solo is defined as pilot only, no passengers).  The newer and highly restrictive social distancing guidelines do not allow for practical dual instruction.  We will continue to monitor the situation and allow dual instruction as soon as we think it is compatible with the orders and our operational abilities.

2)    The clubhouses will be closed except for access to the simulators.  There can only be a maximum of 2 people in the Palo Alto clubhouse (one in each SIM room at a time).  There can only be a maximum of 1 person in the San Carlos clubhouse (in the SIM room)

3)    All common supplies like briefing computers, refreshment supplies, and office supplies will be removed.

4)    There will be signage at all entrances explaining what has been done to protect the staff and anyone visiting the facility.

5)    To the extent possible, hand sanitizing products have been made available in the clubhouses and handwashing supplies supplied near each sink.

 

The following procedures will remain the same:

 

1)    There will be only one flight per plane/SIM per day.  The plane/SIM will be blocked off after each use.

2)    Each plane and SIM will be cleaned after each use.

3)    You are encouraged to wear disposable gloves while operating a plane or SIM.



COVID-19 Update March 29, 2020

 

We wanted to give you an operational update.  As you know, on Monday March 23rd, we partially re-opened the club to allow solo-only operations for flights that meet the essential requirements of the Santa Clara and San Mateo County Shelter in Place Orders.  This first week has seen a handful of flights each day at both locations.  We have managed to operate with a skeleton crew of three staff, one in maintenance, one in fuel, and one in member services.

 

We have decided to defer the decision to allow dual instruction for another week. Therefore, we will continue with solo-only  (solo is defined as pilot only, no passengers) operations for the week of March 30th through Sunday April 5th. We will revisit the decision again in time for the week of April 6th.  This extra week will allow the club to further improve our operations on a skeleton crew.

 

Additionally, we are awaiting the decision from the counties to either extend their Shelter in Place Orders, or allow them to lapse and defer to the CA state Shelter in Place Order.  The CA order is much more explicit about what is and isn’t considered an essential service.  For example, general aviation and, specifically flight schools, are deemed essential.  Additionally, we have surveyed our flight instructor corps.  While most have chosen to delay giving flight instruction (even if legally allowed), there are some who have expressed a willingness and we will consider that in our next decision. 

 

We’ve seen and heard of some inspirational stories about the use of GA to support essential operations during the COVID-19 crisis.  If you have a WVFC story you could share, then please email it to us and we’ll post it on our COVID-19 web page for others to see and be inspired by.

  

 

Regards,

Steve Blonstein, GM








COVID-19 Update March 22, 2020


The WVFC Board of Directors has made the decision to re-open the club at 9AM on Monday March 23rd.  Based on the critical infrastructure sectors defined in this document, we can legally operate while the State’s Shelter in Place Order is in effect. However, there’s a lot more than just the legality of a re-opening.  If you do plan to fly, please read this entire document where we lay out the criteria and restrictions for continued operations.

 

1)    The Staff.  It is of the utmost importance to protect the staff and their health, as well as yours.  At the re-open, we will have a skeleton crew of 3 people.  There will be one MST, one maintenance, and one fuel person.  They will largely operate out of sight and behind the scenes.  Please minimize interaction with them and, if you do interact then maintain the established social distancing guidelines.

 

2)    Allowable operations. For the first week, only solo operations will be allowed.  Solo is defined as pilot only, no passengers.  Dual instruction will be re-introduced the following Monday, March 30th.  This date may be adjusted based on how the first week of solo-only operations go.  If you do fly somewhere, be sure to check that services and fuel are available.

 

3)    Cleaning of planes.  To help with cleaning the planes, we will only permit one flight per plane per day.  After each flight ends, the plane will be “blocked out” to allow the plane to air out until the next day. Where and when possible, we will wipe down the plane interior with manufacturer approved products. Avionics, especially glass cockpits, and interiors can be severely damaged by alcohol or ammonia based wipes and similar products.  Please do not attempt to use any of these types of products.  We strongly recommend you wear gloves from the start to finish of your flight.

 

4)    Facilities.  Both club houses will only be open from 9AM to 5PM.  Please do not enter them before or after these hours.  This will allow staff to access the facilities, cleaners to clean, all the while creating separation between the membership and the staff/cleaners.  The SIMs can be used, solo only for the first week and dual starting March 30th.

 

This has been a difficult and challenging process for everyone.  We want to thank each member for your patience both waiting for this re-opening, and for moving forward carefully and thoughtfully.  We will continue to monitor all the usual email and phone channels and look forward to hearing from you.


Steve Blonstein, GM

West Valley Flying Club

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Steve Blonstein,
Apr 13, 2020, 10:55 AM
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