Australian National Site Guide - Blue Mountains

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New South Wales - Blue Mountains - 4 sites

Map of Blue Mountains sites
Name Location Type Conditions Rating Height
Mount Ovens North of Great Western Highway, Approx 10km East of Bathurst. West; HG < 15 knots, PG < 10 knots HG Restricted: Conditions: 5 - 10 knots with strict SO supervision - Ideal conditions only. VHFOPS rating.
HG Intermediate: Conditions: 5 - 15 knots with SO supervision. VHFOPS rating.
HG Advanced: Conditions: < 15 knots. VHFOPS rating.
PG2 & PG3: Conditions: 2 - 10 knots with strict SO supervision - Ideal conditions only. VHFOPS rating.
PG4: Conditions: 0 - 10 knots with SO supervision. VHFOPS rating.
PG5: Conditions: < 10 knots. VHFOPS rating.
Mount Rankin Off Howards Drive, Mount Rankin. Approx 15km by road from Bathurst. West, Strength: HG < 15 knots, PG < 15 knots HG Restricted: Conditions: 5 - 10 knots with strict SO supervision. VHFOPS rating.
HG Intermediate: Conditions: 5 - 15 knots with duty pilot supervision. VHFOPS rating.
HG Advanced: Conditions: < 15 knots. VHFOPS rating.
PG2 & PG3: Conditions: 0 - 10 knots with SO supervision. VHFOPS rating.
PG4: Conditions: 0 - 10 knots with duty pilot supervision. VHFOPS rating.
PG5: Conditions: < 15 knots. VHFOPS rating.
Mt Blackheath Mount Blackheath, at the end of Mount Blackheath Road. Approx 7km from Blackheath by road. Inland Mountain Main launch: WSW - WNW, HG < 15 knots, PG < 15 knots. North ramp: N-NE, HG < 10 knots, PG < 10 knots. Main launch: HG Restricted: Conditions: 5 - 10 knots with strict SO supervision
HG Intermediate: Conditions: 5 - 15 knots with SO supervision
HG Advanced: Conditions: < 15 knots
PG2 & PG3: Conditions: 2 - 10 knots with strict SO supervision
PG4: Conditions: 0 - 10 knots with SO supervision
PG5: Conditions: < 15 knots.
North ramp: See launch details below.
1040m asl, 300m agl
Sofala On Razorback Road, Approx 10km East of Sofala. South (under review), HG & PG < 15 knots (under review) HG Restricted: Conditions: < 10 knots with SO supervision.
HG Intermediate: Conditions: < 10 knots with duty pilot supervision.
HG Advanced: Conditions: < 15 knots.
PG2 & PG3: Conditions: 0 - 10 knots with SO supervision.
PG4: Conditions: 0 - 10 knots with duty pilot supervision.
PG5: Conditions: < 15 knots.
New South Wales - Blue Mountains

Mount Ovens

All pilots must be current SAFA members. Visiting pilots welcome. A site briefing must be obtained from a BMHGC safety officer before flying.

Takeoff

Earth ramp through tree slot. Hazards: Turbulence in strong and/or crossed winds.

Landing

Primary: Directly in front of launch (long glide). Alternate: Along ridge 3km to left, next to Great Western Highway. Top: N/A.

Flight

X-C: Good potential to West open farm lands, and East after crossing forest.

Hazards/Comments

  • Land owner of launch must be contacted 24h before flying. Contact via club member for visitors.
  • Be aware of turbulence if wind is crossed or strong.
  • LZ is sloping and contains numerous rocks.
  • Do not leave glide to landing paddock late, especially on low performance gliders.
  • Allow at least 2000ft above launch before heading cross country to the East. Large forested area.
  • Keep an eye out for sailplanes operating out of Bathurst that often soar Mount Ovens.
  • VHF radio is required for flying at Mount Ovens. Close proximity to Bathurst regional airport. Directly in front of launch 11Km.

Emergency Services: Call 000. Bathurst Hospital (02) 6330 5311, Lithgow Hospital (02) 6350 2300

New South Wales - Blue Mountains

Mount Rankin

All pilots must be current SAFA members. Visiting pilots welcome. A site briefing must be obtained from a BMHGC safety officer before flying.

Takeoff

Grassed open area in wide tree slot. Hazards: Powerline to North of launch.

Landing

Primary: Directly below launch. Alternate: Paddock across the road. Top: Yes behind launch, wide open area.

Flight

X-C: Good potential to West.

Hazards/Comments

  • Beware of powerline to North of launch that runs from top of ridge out to road, strung high above ground
  • Pilots must speak to Kurt before going up the hill, he is getting older, son lives next door and also friendly to us.
  • VHF radio required
  • Beware of sailplanes operating from nearby Bathurst Soaring Club. It is advised to call and make them aware of HG & PG operations at Mount Rankin. Ph: 0438 464 076
  • See map below for VHF radio frequencies (click to enlarge)

Emergency Services: Call 000. Bathurst Hospital (02) 6330 5311, Lithgow Hospital (02) 6350 2300

New South Wales - Blue Mountains

Mt Blackheath

Mt Blackheath is the main flying site for the BMHGC. This is both a spectacular and intimidating site which is difficult to understand without a lot of local experience. The site has a lot to offer, with everything from smooth evening soaring to massive powerful thermals to push you on your way to excellent XC flying.

All pilots must be current SAFA members. Visiting pilots welcome. A site briefing must be obtained from a BMHGC safety officer before flying.

Takeoff

Main launch
(WSW - WNW; HG < 15 knots, PG < 15 knots)

Astro turf PG launch & metal HG ramp.

  • Landing is not visible from launch although it is easily attainable from launch height.
  • Turbulence in NW wind.
  • Wind can increase in strength and or change direction without warning.
  • HG Restricted, HG Intermediate, PG2, PG3, PG4 do not fly to South of launch if below launch height.
North ramp
(N-NE; HG < 10 knots, PG < 10 knots)

Tree slot with wooden ramp.

This is an alternative launch for pre-approved experienced pilots only. Hazards: Cliff launch, turbulence, overhanging trees.

HG Restricted and Intermediate: Not permitted. HG Advanced: Conditions: < 10 knots with SO supervision.

PG2, PG3, PG4: Not permitted. PG5: < 10 knots with SO supervision & on approved pilots list.

  • This launch is for very skilled HG Advanced and PG5 rated pilots with inland experience.
  • Pilots must be accompanied by an BMHGC SO or be a BMHGC SO themselves.
  • Extremely dangerous cliff launch.
  • Affected by turbulence and sensitive to wind direction and strength.
  • PG Beware of overhanging trees.
  • Pilots must be on an approval list, managed by club SOs (like tandems on Mystic). Unapproved pilots will be cautioned.

Landing

Primary: Kanimbla Valley. S 33.63226, E 150.25574. This is a large square paddock. Private property. Horses and cattle sometimes present.

Alternate: Emergency only to North of Potters Cottage. Land away from horses and riders.

Top: Yes, on astro turf only for PG. No for HG.

X-C: Good potential to West and North

Hazards/Comments

  • Wind can go katabatic in landing area in late afternoon.
  • Do not land in any of the paddocks surrounding the green shed to North West of launch.
  • Beware of seabreeze and convergence conditions in Spring, Summer and Autumn.
  • Do not land near horses.
  • Powerlines to north of landing.
  • Turbulence in LZ in strong wind.

Emergency services: Call 000. Katoomba Hospital (02) 4784 6500, Lithgow Hospital (02) 6350 2300, Call 000.

Map information

map
New South Wales - Blue Mountains

Sofala

All pilots must be current SAFA members. Visiting pilots welcome. A site briefing must be obtained from a BMHGC safety officer before flying.

Takeoff

Grassy slope with scattered trees.

Landing

Primary: Directly below launch, next to Turon River. Alternate: N/A. Top: N/A. Hazards: Numerous rocks and thistles in LZ.

Flight

X-C: Good potential to North.

Hazards/Comments

  • Wind direction in LZ is usually 90° to launch direction, from either direction.
  • There are minimal landing options in the valley to west until town of Sofala.
  • Site is rarely flown and may have changed since this site guide was prepared.
  • Currently under review due to new fences in launch area.

Emergency Services: Call 000. Bathurst Hospital (02) 6330 5311, Lithgow Hospital (02) 6350 2300