Charmouth

Condors Members only, no reciprocals

A difficult site and not always easy to fly unless conditions are ideal. The cliff and take-offs change frequently owing to the constant erosion. Decision making needs to be good and be careful to take local advice.

Members only

There is a written agreement with Charmouth parish council, who have insisted that only members fly. We have to provide a list of car number to the Beach Superintendent. This site is closed all the School Summer Holidays mid-July to the end of August.

Directions

South coast site between Axminster and Bridport. Drive into Charmouth from the A38; turn off to the beach as signed. Park in the first car park on the left. Walk across wooden footbridge, you are in the landing area. Be careful to check car park closing times as the gates get locked.

Owners

Charmouth Council

Guidelines

Not really suitable for the inexperienced or if your ground handling is a little rusty. Over the years HG pilots have dominated flying here but the fact that there is no longer a take-off into wind has resulted in Charmouth being confined to paragliding.

Takeoff

The main difficulty. The further the wind is off to the west, the easier it is to leave the ground, but the greater the difficulty of picking up lift on a fast downwind glide. You need to inflate your glider where possible and this can mean on the beach or bottom landing. Assess the wind direction with the glider inflated and ground handle across or up the slope until it is possible to take off. Direction and wind speed change the most favourable spot.

There is a spot for a take-off higher up the hill, which does not work well if the wind is off to the south. This launch is accessed via the coast path, which has recently slipped away and is now diverted through the fields inland. Takeoff is on the small spur three quarters of the way up the cliff. There is only room for one glider. In order to avoid rotor it is usually necessary to lay out across the footpath, keep an eye out for walkers and exercise common sense when launching.

Bottom Landing

The beach may be used for landing with caution, also the grass area at the base of the slope. This is bounded by the river. Landing has a footpath across the middle, exercise common sense, if there are members of the public in the landing area, wait until it is clear or land on the beach. Kites and models are flown on the green and the low cliffs. Be aware that the wind funnels into the landing area and that the river bends behind the landing area.

PG Side-Slope Landing

None.

Top Landing

None

XC Potential

Good ridge runs to the east and have been done to the west by HG pilots.

Ridge Run

The attraction of flying this site is the scenic ridge run to Golden Cap and back in the right conditions. Hazards encountered are the long transition east over low cliffs to Golden Cap, once there gain height to come back. There is only one path up from the beach between Charmouth and Golden Cap and that is via the steps at St Gabriel's Mouth. Landing out makes for a very long walk back!

Hazards

Use caution in strengthening wind conditions. The cliff is spine backed and a number of pilots have been sucked over the back.Keep well out in strong winds and do not fly directly onto the back cliffs at Stonebarrow (high cliff at the back of the main slip, where the coast path runs at the back of Cains Folly). Local pilots advise gaining height on the cliffs in front and attempting to cross onto the back from the eastern end. There is rotor from the cliffs in front and a dead zone if you get low trying to cross the main slip. A number of pilots have been dumped into the trees, usually needing ropes or a helicopter for extraction. Study the area well from the air before attempting any crossing of the slip and take note of where the locals are flying.

Grid Ref: 
SY370930
Owners: 

Charmouth Council

Takeoff Height: 
45ft
Landing Height: 
0ft
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