Windy Knoll & Rowter Farm Landing Fields
Being in close proximity to Mam Tor, Lord's Seat, Rushup Edge, Treak Cliff and Longcliff, Rowter Farm has a relevance to all these sites.
The landing field at Rowter is the large triangular field to the West of the farm complex. It is bounded on its East side by the driveway from the main road.
It is sometimes used as an "over the back" option when Lord's Seat is flyable (that's planned, as opposed to running away if blown back). It can be used from Rushup if you can keep height and push into wind.
It's also a landing option from Mam Tor, Treak Cliff and Longcliff. If trying to avoid going to the bottom landing field, it may be a better option than Windy Knoll, because...
Windy Knoll is often seen as a benign place, and when landing there from good soaring on Rushup Edge, it most usually is.
Using Windy Knoll as an option for landing from Mam Tor in an Easterly - there is a high chance of rotor behind the spine that bounds the landslip face. This should only be attempted by experienced pilots fully aware of \ briefed on the risks (and how to avoid them) and prevailing conditions.
Using Windy Knoll as an option for landing from Treak Cliff in an Easterly - there is severe rotor behind Treak Cliff - you need plenty of height (site guide suggests the height of Mam Tor) to get over this rotor to reach Windy Knoll.
For all the above sites, the more Northerly component the wind has, the more the risk increases that the whole of Mam Tor and Rushup Edge will generate rotor directly on to Windy Knoll. These conditions are extremely dangerous, and you should not try to land at Windy Knoll - go to Rowter Farm (if height allows) or the bottom instead.
(Note that the Castleton valley may effectively funnel the wind, giving the impression that it is more Easterly than it actually is.)
The attached pictures are of the areas mentioned above - to give a general idea.
Caveat - it's doubtful anyone really knows exactly how far areas of rotor stretch back from that which generates them, or how high they reach. The pictures are just an aid to understanding the words. It's a complex area and there are risks - risks that change according to the conditions at any given time. There are far too many variables for simple pictures & words to convey & cover fully.
You, as the pilot in charge, make the decisions regarding your flight plan \ conditions \ risks \ your ability. You should gather as much information as you can, from a range of sources, to enable you to make informed choices.
There are no definitive "this is what to do every time and you'll always be safe" rules. There can be rotor off that spine. There can be rotor out the back of Treak. Windy Knoll can be very dangerous.
Thanks for the post. Hopefully this will prompt pilots to consider safe landing options and the effects of rotor at our sites. Is Bradwell bottom landing field safe in strong winds? What about flying at Bradwell when the wind is WSW? What areas on Eyam are subject to rotor? Rotor and associated pilot error is a significant cause of accidents.
Lord Seat. Join the club Join the fun. https://youtu.be/3NbOOv4LQMM
Windy Knoll & Rowter farm Landing Field, see attached file. Personally after my friend Neil died in the field on the left side at the top of the Winnets pass Road. I think approaching Rowter from Long Cliff or the South end of Treak over Winnets pass Could be doggy.
Facebook post by Gordon Rigg
Reposted from Facebook (always good to post here stuff gets lost on FB)
I should add, obstacles unwind shed vortices that spill off and travel down wind. They vary in size and frequency and occasionally there is a bigger more violent one.... they diminish and smooth out and eventually die away. What this means is if you are a bit close to the thing that makes it rough, you might well have a nice smooth landing. But it's a game of chance, and it might eventually hit you with a big one. So you must play safe and make your judgement. If you think it would be iffy in one landing place, but you see someone have a nice landing there, they might have been lucky, you landing there in the past might have been lucky.It is worth walking these places and feeling the wind there. You can feel.the gustiness and the sudden calms,.or even wind reversals when the rotor comes. Go and have a walk about when it's a bit too windy and you are waiting for it to drop.
Agree, great postGordon
. It seems some pilots are pushing the limits of the top speed of their wings and conditions they launch in and history is repeating itself with paragliding. Twice the wind speed (10 to 20) four times the possible turbulence (in the air or while landing) worth remembering.