Chinnor Hill

The site is owned by the BBONT (Bucks, Beds & Oxon Nature Trust). Local people are friendly and generally supportive of our flying activities. Partly due to voluntary work carried out by our members we also have a very good relationship with the BBONT warden. Please immediately report any incident that could endanger this relationship to the DHPC site officer.


OVERVIEW:

Wind Direction: West-Northwest to North-Northwest (300˚-340˚)
Best in a straight Northwest. (320˚)

Height Top to Bottom: 410ft

Height Above Sea Level: Trig Point 790ft AMSL (QNH)

OS Grid Reference Sheet: Sheet 165, OS Grid Ref: SP 767 006

Parking: Use the Hill Top Lane car park only. DO NOT leave anything valuable in your car as this car park is often targeted by thieves.


Directions to the site
Chinnor is situated equidistant between Thame and High Wycombe, 3 miles Northeast of junction 6 on the M40, on the B4009. From Dunstable, take the B489 Tring Road and follow the signs to Wendover. Drive through the town on the B4010 to Little Kimble. Turn right at the road junction then turn left under the railway bridge onto the B4009 to Chinnor.

When in Chinnor village turn left and then straight over the roundabout and up the hill. Halfway up turn sharp left to Bledlow Ridge, and at the brow on a bend turn left into Hill Top Lane, the car park is at the end of this lane. A footpath heading north through the trees leads eventually to a clearing which is the launch point.


SITE RULES

  • STRICTLY NO VISITORS. The site is for Dunstable members only.
  • BHPA Pilot Rating: Pilot (P)
  • Due to the difficult launch and top landing, this site is not recommended for the inexperienced, it is for this reason Chinnor is Pilot (P) Rated.
  • You should speak to a Club Coach/experienced Chinnor pilot before you fly, if you haven’t flown here before.
  • The site has a height limit is 4500ft QNH because of LTMA. 1/2 mile NE the height limit decreases to 3500ft QNH.
  • Watch out for Sailplanes on the ridge.

LAUNCH AREA

Launch area — is completely surrounded by trees, therefore caution is advised when assessing the wind strength and direction at launch. The true wind speed is extremely hard to judge. Often the wind at launch seems very light yet its perfectly soarable. If the wind on the ground is 10 – 12mph the true wind could be 25mph. Watch the trees behind takeoff to try to assist in assessing the wind speed.

Hang glider pilots must treat this take off as a nil wind launch and maintain plenty of speed. A committed take off is essential, as the slope is shallow, in order to counter  the turbulence near the trees. A windsock placed halfway down the hill is strongly recommended to indicate the state of the air you will encounter during the most vulnerable part of your launch.
Paraglider pilots must maintain good airspeed and fly actively being mindful and prepared for turbulence off of the trees to the north. Always asses the wind carefully and avoid being blown back. There are no safe landing options behind launch.


BOTTOM LANDING  (Not Official)
At present we do not have an Official Landing Field as the hill is not flown on a regular basis. The unofficial bottom landing sites are the Sports field next to the road (marked in Blue) for paragliders only, and the footpath in front of the hill. The Sports field can be very tricky as its fairly small so new pilots are advised to check out the field before flying to assess its suitability. If you are forced to land out in the farmers’ field, pick up your glider immediately and walk it along a tram line to the edge and pack it up there. Please do not fold up your glider out in the field even if the field appears to be unplanted.

Our old landing field at Wainhill Farm must NOT be used anymore, as the owners have horses and new fencing, which makes it totally unsuitable as a landing field.

TOP LANDING  (Not Official)
It is possible to top land back on the Launch area when conditions are favourable, BUT… this should only be attempted after you have gained the experience by flying the site many times.
It is totally AT YOUR OWN RISK that you attempt to top land back on the main launch point! Beware of Rotor from the trees in front.

It is for these reasons that the DHPC do NOT recommend top landing this site. You have been warned!


Flying
If the wind is off to the north the bowl to the right of launch can work well. When flying south west along the ridge, don’t cross the road up the hill from Chinnor without plenty of height as the air can be rough low down over Oakley Hill due to the quarry works. Have plenty of height if attempting to fly further south west across the quarry. In thermic conditions, in strong sink you could end up going down fast. If you are forced to land in the turbulence of the quarry, or worse still the deep cold water at the bottom, your landing is likely to be fatal.

X/C Flights downwind are limited due to the proximity to London LTMA which quickly reduces from 4,500ft over the site, down to 2,500ft at High Wycombe, as well the proximity of Wycombe Airpark/Booker ATZ. Far more enjoyable is staying on the ridge and exploring it as far as the M40.


The Ordnance Survey maps showing the site

Take off ridge which joins the map below.


Nearest Hospital
Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Mandeville Road, Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
HP21 8AL

Tel: 01296 315000

Freeflight on Dunstable Downs