SITE OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS

Following the extremely busy day at Golden Ball in May, the TVHGC committee closed GB temporarily with a view to preserving its use in the long term. The site is open again subject to strict conditions: 


The rules:

  • Advanced Pilot and Pilot rated with 100 flying hours

  • Maximum of 6 pilots on the site

  • XC flights only, no ridge soaring

  • TVHGC members only

As with any site, leave no litter and be aware of horses and livestock. If you see a horse, please land immediately.


These rules were put in place many years ago as a condition of our permission to fly there. Over time less attention has been paid to them and following the Covid lockdown, a multitude of pilots descended on Golden Ball, leading to problems. 

Golden Ball is an exceptional cross-country site and is very close to Milk Hill White Horse (MHWH) so if you find it busy either wait or go to the other site. 


Unless you are sure that you will go cross country please don't go to Golden Ball. If you do and there are 6 pilots in the air, remain on the bridleway that crosses the top of the slope with wings tucked up but don’t obstruct the right of way. Only move forward and lay out your wing when ready to launch. This may be frustrating and particularly tough on a great flying day but we rely on everyone to abide by the rules.

Golden Ball - paragliding only

 

Status

Available all year round but this site may be closed due to farm activities so please check before you fly.  Use the Telegram Planning group to ask if there are any horse events that might restrict flying. 

Only take off in the designated area and NOT beyond the fence to the left of takeoff, if you see anyone doing so, please have a 'quiet word'.

Restricted to 'Pilot rated' Hill pilots with 100hrs and only if intending to going XC 'over the back':

Wind Direction / Details

SE-S.
South facing escarpment.

Restrictions (pilot or advanced rated pilots only)

In summer this site is only to be flown with the intention of going XC (cross country), in order to minimise impact on the hill and to comply with the landowner’s wishes. However the site can be flown all year round for soaring but typically there are fewer pilots so less of an issue.

Sensitivity

This is a very sensitive site – The agreement can be revoked at any time.
There are lots of horses in this area, often ridden by inexpert riders.  As horses are easily spooked by low flying gliders. Never fly low over horses. 
It always helps to take time to stop and talk to other people using the tracks, preventing problems developing.. 

 

Location

OS Grid Ref SU 127638, Landranger 173, Pathfinder 1185.

What3Words: ///quits.chosen.dolls (https://what3words.com/quits.chosen.dolls)

 

Directions

Take the A4 out of Marlborough towards Chippenham/Devizes. 
After approx 3 miles turn left to Lockeridge and follow the road for about 3.5 miles. 
Turn left into carpark .

 

Parking

In the Golden Ball / Knap hill public car park.
Be aware that car thieves have operated in this area.

 

Access

No vehicular access beyond the public car park. Walk to take off using the footpaths and access points provided

 

Take Off

Approximate elevation 260m/765’ AMSL
Setup and take-off area limited to Golden Ball - the first field beyond the access gate at Knapp Hill

 

Landing

There is no designated top landing area.
There is no designated slope landing area
There is no Bottom landing.

Do not land beyond the fence which is a little further east from launch. If you have to land there in an emergency, bunch up and walk back to the take-off position. Do NOT take-off from beyond the fence!

Hazards

There may be paragliders tow launching from the field behind this site.

 

XC

Please study your Air-map carefully; you are close to Lyneham airspace but from August 2011 the class D airspace and ATZ has been deactivated and the ATZ temporarily. Check NOTAMs for Lyneham to check if any aspect of the airspace or ATZ have been reactivated. Previously as a rough guide when the airspace was in operation a common route is to fly towards Marlborough; the hills just north of the town are the best bet. At its eastern end the CTR conveniently runs right along the A346 Marlborough to Swindon road, and its southern extremity meets the road about halfway between two obvious villages, Ogbourne St George and Badbury. Stay on the right hand side of this road as you go north and you are clear of airspace. After this, climbs can be found at the golf course north of Marlborough and east of the main road, Whitefields, Liddington or the continuation of Sugar north of the M4.

Uffington Castle has proved to mark a reliable thermal source. The crux is getting back up after the long glide from cloudbase over the chalk ridges near Uffington into the low ground in the Vale of the White Horse.  After that the Thames pretty much marks the Brize Norton airspace - stay south of the Thames, and the airspace becomes much easier after Oxford.

It is now possible to take more of a northerly route and fly past Avebury but note you have RAF Fariford and Brize Norton airspace to contend with.

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