Skip to main content
Tel - 07880 745752

Crete Road

Members Only

Before flying here ring the Channel Tunnel Police. Failure to do this will result in a visit from the Police. Login to get the phone number, or contact a committee member.

[widgetkit id="45" name="Crete Road Items"]

Direction: SSE - SW (165°-230°).

Map ref: OS TR 199 382

Coordinates: N 51° 06’ 05”; E 1° 08’ 21”

What3Words: pulses.shortens.bound

Nearest Post Code: CT18 7AD

Nearest phone: Opposite the Stone memorial outside the church in Newington

Pilot rating: PG Pilot HG Pilot. Lower rating ONLY [Club pilot + 10 hours] after check flight with D&F club coach, or under supervision by same.

Site description: The end of the North Downs just north of the Channel Tunnel Terminus.

Take Off Altitude: 140 m (460 ft)

TTB: 60 m (200 ft)

Access: From the A20, turn off at a sign for Peene and Newington. Drive slowly through the two villages then turn right at a junction half way up the hill. Follow the road to the next turning, then turn right. The site is on your right. Park in the lay by at either the South or South Westerly facing TO.

Parking: On the grass verge off the road, or in either lay-by near the respective TOs. Don’t block the passing places and remember to put out a windsock in the top landing area, if clear of crops. Don't forget that any cars parked behind the SW facing TO will worsen the rotor in the landing area, especially for HG.

Take Off: From the slope in front of the fence on either TO. When crowded in SW rig HG or PG at the front of the top landing area then lift over the two fences. PG should only rig when they wish to fly: ensure the footpath is kept clear. The South facing take-off is very steep and pilots should be prepared for unintentionally being lifted up and launched whilst still facing the hill! It is worth mentally rehearsing how to fly backwards away from the hill if it becomes necessary. If you are lifted as you launch the canopy then it is safest to fly away from the hill before trying to turn round.

Flying the site: In moderate southerly winds soaring flights between the crossroads to the left (East) of take off and the end of the ridge at Peene (the quarry) are possible. The area beyond the crossroads is still used by modellers and should be avoided. In SW winds only the part of the ridge between the two TOs works. As the wind goes more round to the West, the site becomes more turbulent.

XC potential: The potential of this site is limited by its coastal location and the likely sea-breeze associated with hot sunny days. The sea breeze increases the wind on to the hill and introduces cooler air that effectively breaks up thermals at low levels. This can result in very small and 'bitty' thermals that are hard to establish yourself in. The sea breeze will also affect the wind direction if you leave the hill and this can lead to some quite unexpected wind changes as you head towards Lydden or Canterbury. Air flowing inland from Dover and Folkestone (where the cliffs are low) can be very difficult to read and caution is needed when setting up to land out. The ambitious XC pilot needs to be familiar with the location of Manston airspace restrictions.

Landing: PGs may slope land anywhere on the main face with care. Top landing for HG and PG is behind the SW TO only, being very aware of rotors which exist particularly in SW winds. The bottom landing area is indicated on map. The wind in the bottom landing area will usually be from the west, but check before landing. Do not bottom land anywhere else AND NEVER on Channel Tunnel property.

Restrictions: NO OVERFLYING OF THE CHANNEL TUNNEL SITE OR MODELLERS BOWL. No top landing is allowed when the field is in crop.

Hazards: 132 kV Power station under the modellers’ bowl, and HT electricity throughout the Channel Tunnel area. Do not overfly either of these. Severe rotor exists everywhere except in the indicated top landing areas and most attempts to top land elsewhere or being caught low behind the ridge have led to accidents. Check for the presence of a particularly aggressive bull in the bottom landing field.

Other remarks: Before flying, members must ring the Channel Tunnel Police (number in DFHGC Members Dropbox). Tell them you are a DFHGC pilot and that you will not overfly the terminal. Failure to do this will result in a visit from the Police and could lose us the use of the site.