Butser West

NOTE: Pilots must be members of the Sky Surfing Club or one of the clubs the SSC has a Reciprocal Agreement with. Visitors and guests are not permitted.

Summary
A small west facing slope with a Northwest facing bowl at the southern end. Not a very good thermal or ridge lift slope and difficult to soar in light winds. Any thermal day can be overcome by sea-breezes in early afternoon. Unusable if the wind backs south of west.

Butser WestButser west explained 2

Butser west explained

Grid Ref SU 712 203 Sheet 197
Height ASL 250m (820ft) Top to Bottom 300ft
Wind Direction North 270 – 320 deg Best 290 deg
Pilot Grade Hang Gliding CP Paragliding CP
Contact Park Centre 023 92595040
Bottom landing Mr M.Atkinson, South Farm
Nearest Phone Hogs Lodge (pub)
ACCESS From duty car park carry over the stiles to the west slope.
RIGGING Hang gliders (H.G.) rig at top of the slope immediately to right of the top stile.
Paragliders rig slightly down the slope – you will see the patch we use as it is well trodden.
TAKE OFF Requires a good solid run immediately down slope from the rigging area, over the fence and footpath.H.G. and paragliders (P.G.) share the same take-off run and so it is essential to be aware of each others activities
LANDING Top landing, particularly for H.G., is for experienced pilots only and will always be hazardous in fine weather due to the inevitable overcrowding of the site by the various users.Front face landings for H.G. need just the right height and approach from the southern end. Hill top (behind the fence line ) landings suffer a particular hazard from kite flyers, and H.G. require a minimum of 200 ft. setting up the approach from the southern end over the kiosk, beware of rotor in the last 30 ft. from the tree line and Rake Bottom (stay well over to the crest).
NEVER FLY INTO RAKE BOTTOM, turbulence is extreme.
Main bottom landing fields are immediately below take off in the bottom of the bowl and all are quite demanding for H.G. Field B1 slopes up towards the southern fence approach from the north and avoid running on into the valley. Field B2 falls away to the west. Retrieval, from field B1 is by car down Harvesting Lane. An “escape” landing B2 area is for paragliders only.Retrieval from here is over the fence at the climbing bar in the northeast corner then up the path and back to takeoff over the stile.
HAZARDS Include walkers on designated footpaths, aircraft modellers generally grouped to the northern edge of the slope and their models overshooting kite flyers and parked cars in the top area, paragliders in circuit on the slope and gliders lining up to launch.Horse riders on the track below take-off may be hidden from view. Pilots in the air should fly away from the riders and shout to warn those pilots waiting at take off.Turbulence, from Rake Bottom can be extreme in all conditions and also from the tree line to the south of take-off when conditions are strong and the wind swings slightly to the south. If winds are south of west treat the southern bowl with great caution as you will be in rotor!
RULES
  1. Daily the first person on site gets permission from South Farm for use of landing fields
  2. Cars are NOT to be taken into the bottom landing fields.
CONSIDER This is an extremely small and congested slope. Avoid mixing paragliders and hang gliders in the air at the same time. Try to alternate usage, if necessary by use of the half hour rule. Aeromodellers favour the north of the slope, avoid overflying or inflating canopies in front of them.

Cross countries from Butser West

Butser West

Butser West is harder to get away from, but is our best XC site in terms of downwind distance.

Leaving the hill

You have to be very committed to get away from Butser West. There are very few opportunities to get high before making the decision to go back over the hill. The typical climb-out starts not much above take-off where you hook into a thermal, which then you have to stay with as you climb out up and over the back of the hill. Typically you will find yourself north or south of the mast depending on which one of the house thermals you hooked into. If the wind is a bit off to the north, you will normally be climbing out from above the bowl to the south of take-off. If more west, you could be to the north of the mast. One really interesting technique that has been used here if the wind is due west, is to get a few hundred feet climbing over Grandfathers Bottom, then once clear of the hill you can glide out over the valley, where thermals can be picked up above Buriton.

IMPORTANT NOTE: the modellers use the north part of the slope and if they are flying that is basically off limits to us.  This makes the northern most thermal less useful.

 

xc butser west thermals

First XC’s

You are very unlikely to be doing your first XC’s from here, but if you do head down the ridge and follow the wind. You will hit airspace just before Harting but it is quite high at 4500ft. The other big consideration is Goodwood ATZ if the wind is off to the North a bit. Neither of these should pose a problem for the inexperienced XC pilot.

xc butser airspace

For the more adventurous

The trick to a long flight is to keep south of airspace and head for Devils Dyke and Brighton. Once there you can head more Northerly up into Kent and may be able to utilise the sea breeze front.

Site record

Hugh Millar Butser West record