Australian Capital Territory - Canberra and NSW surrounds
Lake George (South Launch)
|2400ft / 730m ASL, 180ft / 56m AGL
|PG2 / HG Supervised
Landowners - ?
Lake George is an excellent inland soaring site.
The primary site used is known as the South Launch. It is just to the south of Geary's Gap where the Federal Highway meets the shores of the lake.
Pilots can top land on the escarpment, but there are currently very limited options for landing at the base of the slope due to the high level of the lake. A cross wind landing can be made within a small area directly beneath the main launch.
Weather station: http://www.freeflightwx.com/acthpa/
Article: Flying Canberra
Access is from Weereewa Lookout carpark. The launch is a small hike up the hill from the eastern side of the carpark near the fence. The path leads through a small gate (please keep it closed) and onto the ridge/escarpment (see the diagram below). A second launch for strong winds can be found around 200m to the South and down the slope slightly.
The South Launch takeoff is on private property and the ACTHPA maintains an agreement with the landowner. Vehicle access to the property is to be minimised and only used for ferrying HG wings to launch. Under no circumstances are vehicles to be parked on the property while flying unless prior approval has been sought from the ACTHPA committee.
The escarpment at take off makes a great place to practise top landings.
Land anywhere on the lake that is dry. However, currently (2023) the lake is full and hence landing is confined to the flat, dry area shown in the image below. Do not fly the site if you are not confident in landing in a small space cross wind at the bottom of the slope. If you cross Geary’s Gap across the highway and head north there are also very limited landing options if the wind strength decreases and you can’t return to top land. There are currently no safe landing options south of the first rest stop.
Hazards / Comments
Before flying this site, please find an experienced local pilot, safety officer or contact the ACTHPA to obtain a site briefing.
Wedgetail eagles can be active to the north and south of the launch site. Recently (2021 onwards), there have been multiple instances of eagles tearing HG and PGs. A local experienced pilot will be able to provide further information about the behaviour of eagles and whether they are aggressive or not depending on the time of the year.
Thermic activity can be expected from 9am onwards, increasing in strength in the middle of the day. Separation from the ridge should be significantly increased if flying the site when it is thermic. It is generally not advised for PG to fly in the afternoon in summer due to the unpredictable and strong sea breeze which can arrive with little warning. An easterly meteo wind at the site can behave differently from the sea breeze, often being more variable.
If it's busy when ridge soaring, pilots should be mindful of newer pilots and give them space and try to fly predictably and check they are clear before making turns.
When crossing the Federal Highway pilots should be aware of any bias in the wind direction (either from the north or south) and factor this in when deciding if they have enough height to make the crossing.
Pilots must keep at least 30 meters from the house on the north side of the Federal Highway and, if possible, stay well clear of the property boundary.
For an expanded site guide with PPG specific and additional general information and advice, please click here.