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A superb coastal site - glorious views - magnificent takeoff - easy access and a 24k out and return.
S-SSW ( Best S), ALT 360ft , TTB 360ft
In Beer follow signs through town to Beer Head. Park in the public pay & display car park below the Caravan Park. Please note this is the ONLY parking for this site. DO NOT park anywhere in the lane in front the houses or over the cattle grid in the field. Turn left out of the car park walk up the hill. Go left at the fork in the lane and over the cattle grid into the field. Walk diagonally across the field to T/O. HG pilots only (not PG pilots) can drive out to drop their gliders on T/O, but may not linger and must park in the car park. Be sensible and load up one car if you are in a group and use the track to drive out. Stay on the track if the field is soft. DO NOT drive out just to assess conditions.
Please note that the campsite owners do not own the take off.
Assess the true wind direction because of the bowl effect from the cliffs. Once in the air, gain height before going round the stack to the west. Clear the area in front of take-off as quickly as possible and resist the temptation to posture or showboat in front of takeoff. Move onto the main cliff for your manoeuvres.
IMPORTANT - If you are below cliff height do not scratch in too close to the irregular shaped cliffs. Gliders must fly out around on the sea side of the chalk stack to the right of t/o. DO NOT FLY ANYWHERE BEHIND THE STACK, this includes the fields behind the cliff face. The photo below shows the reason for the warning.
Rigging is to be done at the top of the slope on the flat area and after top landing all PGs are to be bunched and returned to the top. Both HG and PG pilots should communicate to ensure that there is no clash of disciplines. There is to be no ground-handling or kiting on the slope in front of take-off. All such activity is to take place off to the side. It is the responsibility of all pilots to be aware of other pilots taking off and landing. Please use common sense.
PG Easy - Carry forward to take-off. Make sure there are no walkers on the footpath in front.
HG Cliff take off, but without the option of taking off at the edge due to the fence. Beware of low level rotor, particularly in strong winds. Although there is no hard and fast rule, it is recommended that the take-off run should commence high on the slope and not near the fence. This should result in the minimum contact with the rotor. Complete commitment is essential - use an experienced nose man in strong conditions. Keep wings level on launch: more than one pilot has been turned back into the hill. If in doubt, don't fly.
PG directly below on beach at the bottom of the cliff path back to take-off.
HG at Branscombe Mouth for retrieve access. Do not land on the grass in front of the café, when it is open, as you may be approached for money!
PG Side-Slope Landing
In the large T/O field. Do not fly behind the stack to the right of T/O at any height due to rotor. Assess the wind direction when landing as it extends a long way back. Do not land too far back, you may startle animals on the fields close to the farm.
Long coastal runs available to Sidmouth and back.
Accidents have probably been caused by pilots attempting to soar too close to and below the cliff edge.
The Stack - assess the conditions carefully.
Wind whistles round Beer Head, when strong. Be careful, especially if it is off to the west.
Animals - You may need to clear cattle carefully from T/O. Do so slowly and they will tend to wander off. The farmer may be watching!
Be careful not to startle horses or riders on the coastal path.