Pilot Information


In recent years the committee has agreed that what was originally issued to DSC members as a printed Site Guide should be be replaced by an online version – available to all. There are two parts, the first being a generic “Pilot Information” section that has largely been lifted from the old paper Site Guide, and contains general guidance for members. The second section contains site-specific guidance and is in the form of an interactive page where site-specific information can be accessed.

Some of the information contained in this document is somewhat outdated now and the page is clearly a “work in progress”. However, it contains useful (and often vital) info for members and is essential reading for everyone – if we are to understand our roles and responsibilities to our neighbours and each other.

The D.S.C. had its origins in the Sheffield Hang Gliding Club, which dates back to the early 1970s. The club has developed to become the largest in the country, with a proven record in cross country flying, and many successes in both national and international competitions. In addition to this club members hold or have held many significant national and international records.

D.S.C. sites are situated in the Northern Peak District of Derbyshire, cover practically all wind directions, and provide suitable conditions for all levels of pilot skill. All sites currently negotiated by the D.S.C. are listed in this guide, and authorised updates will be issued when necessary. Please replace and destroy old information as and when updates are issued.


The Conditions and Regulations for Membership of the Derbyshire Soaring Club are detailed in the Club Constitution. The main classifications of flying membership are summarised below:

1: FULL MEMBERSHIP Full membership is open to any current BHPA member, qualified to Club Pilot (Hill) level or above. Overseas pilots who are not BHPA members should contact the membership secretary for alternate entry procedures.

2: ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP Associate membership is open to any pilot who is a full member of another member club of the British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association.

3: TEMPORARY MEMBERSHIP Temporary membership is open to all suitably qualified pilots and lasts for 10 days from the date of issue. The cost of such temporary membership will be discounted on request when joining as a full or associate member of the DSC. Temporary membership is currently available via online payment on the club website.


Due to the requirements of the site landowners, generally the National Trust, all Derbyshire Soaring Club sites are for MEMBERS ONLY, or for guests invited by the D.S.C. Committee, e.g. for competitions. No reciprocal membership schemes currently exist. All our club sites are paid for by the club solely from member subscriptions. No training of any description, other than coaching of club members can take place on club sites without the prior consent of the DSC committee. Please remember that the negotiations to secure the use of these sites are conducted by the club’s officers for your benefit, and that this can be a very delicate and difficult process, requiring much time and effort. Every member, therefore, has a responsibility to maintain the credibility and good name of the DSC with landowners and local residents. Members must make every effort to abide by the norms of good behaviour in the countryside, and to obey any specific rules presented in this guide, they are there with good reason!


The land that we use for flying is all owned or rented by someone, and we use it for our sport by consent, not by right. While we use the land for pleasure, the farmer uses it to make his living. In the Peak District much of the land is marginal, as is the income a farmer can make from it. Naturally he will be concerned about anything that may disturb his crops or animals and affect his living. His work is essential, our activities are not, so we must all try to behave in a way that will not cost a farmer money, and make our sport unpopular.

In the spring, when the thermals are good and flying skills might be rusty, the farmer is starting his production for the year. Calves and lambs are being born, the crops are starting to grow. Upsetting pregnant animals can cause them to abort, or startling young animals can cause injuries, and the farmer will have lost a part of his income.

In early summer the farmer cuts grass to make hay and silage to feed his animals in the winter (grass is a crop too!) If you trample down long grass then it cannot be cut, and the farmer will lose essential winter feed.

In autumn some calves are also being born, and the rams are put in with the ewes, so disturbing sheep at this time might well mean fewer lambs next spring, and yet another loss to the farmer.

Remember that farmers are reasonable people, visiting the farmhouse to say hello, have a brief friendly chat, and to apologise if need be, can work wonders. Treated in a decent and courteous manner they can be friends, not enemies!

Always follow these simple guidelines:

Drive with consideration for other motorists and pedestrians, especially on narrow roads and lanes. Cars with gliders on the roof speeding through villages en route to a flying site are highly visible and are not good PR for our sport. Park in the recognised places and be careful not to obstruct gates or tracks. Do not obstruct public footpaths adjacent to take-off areas, and be careful not to endanger walkers on these paths.

Be polite and considerate to anyone you may meet, on site, (they may own it!) and they may have just as much right to be there as you have.

Do not leave any litter on sites, take it home.

Dogs accompanying pilots and their friends must be on leads on all DSC sites.


The National Trust and the Peak Park have asked pilots to think in environmental terms, and to try to minimise the damage to land caused by our activities. Paraglider pilots should try to avoid unnecessary slope landings and walking straight back up the hill.

If you see someone breaking site rules, for the sake of the club and the site tell them firmly, so as to avoid a recurrence and loss of this site.

Do not climb over dry stone walls, instead, walk to the nearest gate or stile, and close gates after use, so that animals cannot wander. Damage caused to a wall by climbing is very expensive to repair.


If you have to land out, select and approach your landing field with great care, whenever possible avoiding power lines, buildings and trees and look for fields crossed by footpaths. Try to avoid livestock so that you don’t cause them to stampede or disrupt their grazing, and avoid crops or long grass (which is itself a crop), instead choose a field where the grass has already been cut.

If you are forced to land in a field with long grass or crops, do not de-rig where you are. Walk in the shortest straight line to the edge of the field, and then round the edge to a gate, so as to do the minimum of damage.

If, despite all your care, you do cause some damage, don’t just make your escape. Report what has happened to the farmer, or if he is out leave your name and address and contact him later. You are, after all, insured for any damage you may cause, so it will only cost you a few minutes of your time and may prevent an unpleasant situation for the next pilot who lands there.

If you land near the farm, it’s a good idea to call in and apologise for landing without permission, and you never know he might offer you a lift back!


OS Touring Map

Scale: 1:100 000 (1 cm to 1 km or 1 inch to 1.6 miles)

Peak District and Derbyshire ISBN 0319 251047 (All DSC sites)

OS Landranger Maps

Scale: 1:50 000 (2 cm to 1 km or 11⁄4 inches to 1 mile)

Sheffield and Huddersfield – 110 ISBN 0319 228460 (All sites except Eyam, Curbar and Cats)

Buxton and Matlock – 119 ISBN 0319 228401 (Eyam, Curbar and Cats)

OS Explorer Maps

Scale: 1:25 000 (4 cm to 1 km or 21⁄2 inches to 1 mile)

Peak District – Dark Peak Area ISBN 031923777X (All sites except Eyam, Curbar and Cats)

(covers Glossop/Kinder/Stockport/Sheffield)

Peak District – White Peak Area ISBN 031923729X (Eyam, Curbar and Cats)

(covers Buxton/Leek/Matlock/Chesterfield)


All our sites are situated below controlled airspace and are between one of the busiest airports in Europe, Manchester International, and the new Sheffield regional airport (RHADS). It is absolutely vital that all members always understand and comply with airspace rules, whether ridge soaring or during an XC flight. Serious violations of airlaw threaten not only our local flying freedoms but the entire future of free flying in the UK! Please make sure that your airspace maps are kept up to date, and that you are aware of any changes.

If you plan to fly XC in a northeast to easterly direction please ensure you attend an RHADS briefing session so you do not infringe the new airspace and also to enable your flight to be entered in the XC League.


The Airspace Maps relevant to the club’s sites are:

1:500000 ( ‘half million’) Aeronautical Chart Sheet, Northern England and Northern Ireland and Southern England and Wales

1:250000 (‘quarter million’) Topographical Air Chart 11, North Midlands and Yorkshire.


Please note that the map above is approximate and must not be used for navigation!


Airspace starting from 6000′ AMSL upwards begins at specified flight levels. These limits move up and down with changing air pressure, i.e. on a high pressure day FL60 may be close to 6500ft. amsl. In low pressure the flight levels descend and a minimum altitude (amsl) is specified on the chart. The use of an altimeter with standard pressure setting (QNE or 1013Mb ) is vital for safe operation.

Airspace with a starting height below 6000′ AMSL will be designated as a fixed height AMSL sometimes shown as ALT, and in this case the altimeter should be set to the appropriate QNH.


There is a Military Low Flying Avoidance Area of 1nm. radius and height (QFE) 1000ft. above ground level which is centred on grid reference SK 121 839, and covers Mam Tor, Lords Seat, Rushup Edge, and Treak Cliff as far east as the Cavern, as well as the bottom landing fields for Rushup, Mam Tor NW, and Lords Seat. Military aircraft will try to avoid overflying this area when planning sorties, but be aware that that it is likely that military and civil aircraft will still be encountered and that ‘see and be seen’ is the basis for collision avoidance.


The map reproduced here serves to illustrate how complex the surrounding airspace is. Cross country flights must never be attempted without reference to the relevant air charts and a thorough understanding of airlaw. Please contact experienced club members for advice before attempting to navigate XC.

It is, of course, the responsibility of the pilot to be aware of all the controlled or restricted airspace on or close to his intended track, and the rules relating to entry, crossing, or otherwise, in such areas You are again reminded that failure to comply with civil and military airspace rules, or to observe and obey air law, in a legal and professional manner could have serious national consequences for our sport. Some areas fairly close to the Peak District are listed below, but this list may not include all of them, and there may be changes.

TO THE NORTH – Several MATZ, part of Manchester TMA/CTA, Leeds-Bradford SRA & SRZ, Umpteen MATZ in the Vale of York, and many more.

TO THE EAST: Robin Hood Sheffield and Doncaster Airport (RHADS), which incorporates Netherthorpe and Gamston ATZs, several other MATZ and ATZ, the Scampton restricted area (R313), in the Lincolnshire AIAA, plus a scattering of Weapons Range Danger Areas along the coast.

TO THE SOUTH: Daventry CTA, East Midlands SRA and CTR/SRZ, Birmingham SRA and CTR/SRZ, and another load of MATZ. TO THE WEST: Daventry CTA, Manchester TMA and CTR


It is your responsibility to be aware of any restrictions of flying as notified by the AIS NOTAM service. An easy way to access this information is by calling the recorded message service on 0500354802 which will give you a list of any temporary restrictions of flying for the day.

You can also register on the AIS website at www.ais.org.uk and view the NOTAMs there, or use one of the many web portals such as www.skydemonlight.com or www.notamplot.com etc.


This service for midweek flying allows you to notify the RAF of your operations. This notification DOES NOT mean that the site will be avoided by low flying jets, but they will have been warned to keep a special lookout in that area. Even if the site has Avoidance Area status this is worth doing. Give as much notice as possible, preferably the evening before, as it takes time to get the message out to the airfields. To use this service dial 0800 515544, and say that you wish to make a Hang Gliding or Paragliding Notification. Give them your name, address, and contact telephone number, the site code if you have it, or if not the Grid Reference of the site (2 letters, 6 figures) and the distance and direction of the nearest town.

Give the date and time of your flying, the number of gliders expected and your likely maximum height. You will be given a reference number for your notification, so have a pencil and paper ready. Use the service whenever you are flying midweek, it is provided for your safety and that of the RAF’s pilots. If, after you have given a notification the weather turns bad, you can always cancel, so if in doubt use the service.

FREEPHONE 0800 515544 and give the relevant site code or Grid Reference


Cats Tor: 8.051

Curbar Edge: 8.010

Stanage Edge: 8.009

Lords Seat & Mam Tor: 8.002

Dale Head, Eyam Edge, Treak Cliff, Long Cliff, Broadlee Bank do not have codes

For information on the location of Red Arrows displays call 0500 354802


An agreement has been reached with the major landowner, the National Trust, and representatives of aero modelling clubs, to limit the potentially dangerous conflict between DSC pilots and model aircraft operators. Modellers are not fly within 1k of any National Trust site being used by the DSC for hang gliding or paragliding. In practice this means that models will have to move to a different site when we operate. The agreed alternatives for model aircraft pilots are;

Easterlies – Dale Head to be used instead of Mam Tor east face.

Southerlies – Mam Tor south face to be used instead of Rushup Edge.

Northerlies – The north side of the Mam Tor- Hollins Cross ridge instead of Lord’s Seat.

If you encounter model pilots on the hill, politely inform them that the agreement is in force and has the full backing of the landowner, and that to continue to fly would create a risk of collision with potentially serious consequences. If you cannot resolve the situation, consider calling the National Trust warden on 01433-670368.


Use of radio by hang gliders and paragliders is restricted to a limited number of channels on airband (AM sets). The following conditions apply for legal operation.

1: The radio equipment used must be CAA type approved.

2: The radio installation must be licensed. Details of licensing may be obtained from Aeronautical Licensing, Department of Trade and Industry.

3: It must not be possible to change the frequency of the radio in flight to a channel for which you are not licensed unless you hold a Pilots RT Rating.

When using radio you are sharing the channel with many others who have an equal right to good communication. Remember that you might be heard more than one hundred miles away, so always listen before transmitting to make sure that you do not interfere with someone else’s message. Do not transmit unnecessarily, ask yourself if your message really needs to be sent, and use good radio procedure. Speak slowly and clearly, using the transmit button properly so that the start and end of words are not cut off, and when necessary use the recognised phonetic alphabet to ensure clarity. One of the best, readily available, guides is the CAA publication P4l3, Radiotelephony Procedure. Radio can be a valuable aid, but when you find yourself switching off because of someone else prattling you will appreciate how important it is to use it responsibly.

The legal hang gliding and paragliding frequency is 118.675 MHz and the shared backup is 129.9 Mhz

The DSC frequency is 143.95Mhz


Accidents on Hang Gliding and Paragliding sites are an unfortunate part of the sport. Summarised below is some guidance in case you should encounter one.

Your first priority at the scene of an accident is to carefully assess the situation. Exactly what has happened? Where is the casualty? What injuries have occurred? Is outside assistance required? If you cannot be sure (if, for example, you are flying when you see a glider crash on a remote moor) it is safer to be pessimistic. A false alarm is better than leaving a casualty lying for hours in the open. Accidents are often highly stressful environments, and in such situations it is very easy to miscommunicate information, forget vital details and devote your emotional energy in unhelpful directions. So make every effort to assess the situation carefully, act calmly and communicate slowly and clearly.

If someone is injured you have two priorities, to protect the casualty so that their condition does not worsen, and to alert the emergency services to ensure prompt transfer to proper medical care.


The best way to do this is to dial 999, when asked what service you reqiure say “Police”, and tell the Police you need Mountain Rescue. In the majority of our flying accidents Mountain rescue are by far the most effective service. They are familiar with the terrain, have a knowledge of our sport and the type of injuries we’re likely to sustain and have the skills and capability to safely extract casualties from remote areas.  They are also very well equipped for our kind of accidents.

When you call make sure that you know the location of the casualty , and give enough information for the rescue services to find them. Most accidents happen in remote areas far from roads or towns, so having an OS Grid Reference to hand is ideal and the primary navigational system used by Mountain Rescue teams. Apart from dedicated GPS devices, number of smartphone apps (like OS Locate and Viewranger) now provide instant OS grid references. The club also provides safety cards which list grid references for popular DSC take-offs and landing fields.

When speaking to the Police report the nature of injuries and the casualty’s condition. It is usually helpful to describe the cause, such as “a fall from height” – which often adequately describes the type of accident. Emergency services will approach by road, so it is extremely useful to nominate people to go to the nearest road so they can direct rescuers to the scene.

If you see an accident from the air, land and use a mobile phone. Otherwise fly to the nearest farm or telephone box, or if you have radio, pass a message to someone on the ground, get them to read it back as a check. On the hills Peak Park or National Trust Wardens can make an emergency call by radio, or if you are alone use your whistle (you SHOULD ALWAYS fly with one) to send the mountain distress signal – this is six blasts in one minute, then wait one minute and repeat.


You can help the Mountain Rescue or Ambulance Service by sending someone to meet them at the roadhead or car park and guide them to the scene. Stay where you said you would be until the Ambulance or Mountain Rescue arrive and DO NOT start to try to evacuate the casualty yourself. It may be necessary to stay in a location away from the casualty to maintain mobile phone contact as the rescue controller may wish to call you back to discuss the situation.

If a helicopter has been summoned it is vital that everyone LANDS IMMEDIATELY. Failure to do so puts the casualty and aircrew’s life at risk (as well as your own) and is completely unacceptable behaviour. Be alert for radio messages, vehicle lights or horns, crossed glider bags or flares/smoke as ground signals indicating that you are required to LAND – not fly away to the other end of the ridge.


In this guide we cannot teach First Aid, but PLEASE consider taking one of the excellent courses, such as those provided by the British Red Cross Society or St. John’s Ambulance. From time to time DSC run first aid courses, ask a committee member if you are interested.

The knowledge and confidence this will give you may be very valuable, and you are far more likely to encounter an accident at home, at work, or on the roads than on a flying site. Your employer may support your training as they have an obligation to provide trained First Aiders. However, even without this training there is much you can do.

DO NOT take risks with your own safety; you will help no one by becoming a casualty yourself. This is of particular importance with regard to power lines, water and crags.

DO NOT move a casualty unless they are in a life threatening situation (e.g. lying in water or have no airway). Always remember the possibility of spinal injury, which can be made much worse by incautious movement.

DO NOT give a casualty anything to eat or drink or you may delay medical treatment.

DO protect a casualty from the elements, and help them to keep warm by improvising a shelter – gliders and glider bags are useful in this respect. Support and immobilise any injured limbs and try to control any major bleeding, but do not attempt to improvise splinting or use a tourniquet.

DO speak to the casualty in a calming and reassuring way, tell them that they are in good hands, and that help is on its way. Even if they appear to be unconscious they may still be able to hear all that is said around them.

DO try to keep bystanders and spectators away from the scene, they may distress the casualty, or be distressed themselves. You might use some responsible people to keep them away, but also ask if there is anyone with medical skill if needed (although they will normally volunteer).

DO BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS if there is no obvious injury. Look for the possibility of head injury (bruising, cuts, damaged helmet etc.). If you have the slightest suspicion that someone may have suffered any head injury, or if they have any loss of memory or have been unconscious, even for a second, they MUST be taken to a hospital for checks (do not rely on them promising to go) DO call for Mountain Rescue assistance (999, ask for Police, Mountain Rescue) if the casualty is located anywhere except a roadside – a call for an ambulance alone is generally insufficient .


If a casualty, or any part of their aircraft are in contact with power lines, or if cables are touching the ground, DO NOT APPROACH CLOSER THAN 20 YARDS until you are assured by someone from the Electricity Board that the power has been cut off. Automatic circuit breakers may attempt to reconnect the power several times without warning. In wet conditions stay even further away. To be blunt it would be distressing to watch someone die, but stupid to double the death toll by attempting a misguided rescue.


It is perhaps best if next of kin of a casualty can be informed sensitively by someone well known to them, but if this is not possible it should be left to the police, who are trained to handle this sometimes difficult job. You should also try to make sure that they do not find out accidentally, which might cause great distress, see the next bit…


If you are approached by a representative of the media be cautious about what you say. It is best to refer them to a senior member of the club committee who can make a considered statement later, but if you do speak to them, confine yourself to an eye-witness account describing ONLY what you saw, DO NOT speculate about events or causes, and DEFINITELY DO NOT identify the casualty.


In a serious accident you have an extra responsibility, which is to help any future investigation. Ensure that wreckage is not moved or disturbed until it has been examined, unless you must move something to aid the victim. If possible photographs of the accident scene may be useful, and if you have photos, video, etc. which show the accident, you should offer these to the investigation – this can be done through the local police.


Complete a BHPA incident report form (IRF) as soon as possible and remember to record full details of any witnesses before they depart. Send it to the BHPA office as soon as possible. IRFs can be downloaded from www.bhpa.co.uk/members/forms/index.php.

If you witness a serious but non fatal accident or incident, you must report it immediately to the BHPA on 0116 261 1322. If you are in any doubt as to whether an accident or incident has been reported, do it anyway. Don’t assume someone else has already done it- make sure, or do it yourself.

If you witness any serious accident or incident, please fill in an Incident report form and report the accident to the committee via the club safety officer as soon as possible.

Fatal accident Protocol

If you witness a fatal accident, you must report it immediately to the Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) on 01252 512299.


You can get your Met information from TV, Radio, or the newspapers, but useful sources for more detail about the club’s area are:

Wendy Windblows automated weather stations provide live local met information. Call 0800 358 0405 or visit www.wendywindblows.com for more information.

Forecasts for the Kinder area at 2000 ft. altitude are available at National Park information offices in Castleton and Edale.

If you have an airband receiver a report from Manchester Airport is broadcast on 128.175 MHz. This is updated about half-hourly, and reports wind, cloud (levels and amount), visibility, temperature and dew-point. A code letter after the call sign changes when the report is updated (i.e. Manchester Information Quebec is followed by Manchester Information Romeo). Times used in the report are GMT.

For a more general weather picture you can listen to VOLMET Main on 135.375 MHz. (VOLMET North on 126.6 MHz. does not seem to be easily received in the Peak District.)

Weather websites

UK WindMap




BBC Weather – www.bbc.co.uk/weather

Camphill Forecast



See the Contacts page of Skywings for up to date information or visit www.bhpa.co.uk/bhpa/clubs


Pilots, whether of hang gliders or paragliders, with less than ten hours experience are strongly urged to fly with Red Streamers to indicate their inexperience to other pilots. It is nothing to be embarrassed about, everyone else has passed through this stage. All novice pilots are strongly advised to take full advantage of the Coaching Schemes the club offers, and should actively seek advice from more experienced pilots on the hill. A list of current club coaches can be found on the Coaches page on the club website.

Experienced pilots are urged to show tolerance and consideration to less experienced flyers, and to make their experience and knowledge freely available when asked, or if assistance appears to be needed.


The DSC landing sites are often busy and are used by both paragliders and hang gliders. Hang gliders in particular require more space to land, and land faster and with less margin for last-minute course corrections. All pilots should move to the edge of the field after landing, and before packing up. This ensures that the landing area is left clear. Paragliders ground-handling in stronger winds should remember that whilst it may be blown-out for them, that hang gliders may still be flying, and also landing. Therefore paragliders must ensure that they do not ground-handle in areas which could cause any obstruction to hang gliders landing.


Contact the Chief Coach for details of the coaching system and how to get in touch with coaches. Coaches are not necessarily ‘Sky Gods’ but are those who wish to put something back into their sport, have the right attitude and have been commended for the role. It is not just newly qualified pilots who benefit from coaching – those with lower airtime, or perhaps returning after a long lay off or accident would certainly find it useful to get in touch with a club coach to ease them back into the air. Alternatively, you may be a more experienced pilot who wants to develop a particular aspect of your flying technique or correct a potentially dangerous bad habit before it catches you out! There are coaches available for all skill levels and disciplines.

If you are a careful and experienced pilot (CP + 10 hours minimum) with a bit of patience and an ability to communicate, why not consider volunteering as a coach? It can be very personally rewarding, and coaching is an extremely vital aspect of pilot development within the club. If you’re interested, contact the DSC chief coach (or any other member of the committee) for info on what coaching entails.


Please note that the number of thefts from vehicles in the Peak National Park is very high. These thefts are occurring even in very popular and well used car parks (especially Mam Nick and Stanage car parks ) but be cautious in remote places also.

Do not leave valuables in your car and use one of the ‘Forget It’ badges provided by the Police and Peak Park staff to mark your car as a waste of time to potential thieves. Also if, as a result of flying a very long way, you have to leave your car in a car park overnight, inform the local Police. In the past searches have started in the hills when cars have been left like this.

Pay and Display sites are operated by the Peak Park at Curbar and Mam Nick. Please pay for your parking, the proceeds of which go towards the upkeep of the Peak Park. A concessionary permit is available from Aldern House, Bakewell which covers all parking on such sites and may cut your costs.


Power Line Accidents: The E.ON emergency number is 0800 056 8090 for our area.

Buxton Police: 01298 72100 (B division, covers all DSC sites)

Chapel en le Frith Police: 01298 814456