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Taylor's Mistake



When schools are operating during weekends, public holidays, and after 5pm on weekdays:


  •  A loud call of "Launching" required from all pilots when about to take off . 

  •  2 lanes for takeoff - Left lane (looking out from hill) for schools, Right lane for club pilots.

  •  School pilots will set up in Left lane.  Schools will alternate takeoffs from Left lane among themselves.

  •  Only club pilots about to launch to be located in Right (club) lane. 

  •  Club pilots to set up outside the R lane preferably on upper 10 - 20m below fence. Spectators/parawaiters and unused gear to locate here also.

  • The area between the R (club) lane and the top landing area to be kept clear when tandem pilots are operating.

Bottom Landing area

  • Once landed move quickly off to the L side of the bottom landing area to pack your glider

  • No ground handling in the bottom landing area.

  • Schools to practice launches on the R side of the bottom landing area.

GPS Coordinates: -43.585, 172.766

Wind Direction: ENE


Minimum Pilot Rating: PG2 / HG Advanced


Access: From Evans pass, travelling towards Godley Head on the Summit road, there is a cattle stop and obvious layby.


Take-off: The main take-off (TO1) is the large, grassed and gently sloping area right next to the carpark.


Taylor’s Mistake saddle (the gut) take-off (TO2) is located 1 km down the hill and above Summit Road. This is used when there is not enough wind to soar from TO1.


Landing: Top Landing is fairly straight forward for PG’s at TO1 & TO2. For HG’s it is still possible but more technical due to the sloping ground. Some HG’s land above the road behind TO1.


The main bottom landing is LZ1 and located in the grassy paddocks behind the beach carpark. You can also land on the beach (PG’s only) away from the crowds. Sumner beach LZ3 is reached by first soaring Scarborough cliffs.


Flying: Taylor’s mistake is the club’s most heavily used site. It is generally flyable year round in the NE sea breeze. In the summer, thermic air mixes with the sea breeze and causes some turbulence that you would not normally expect at a coastal site.


At first appearances, the site looks small but with the use of the gut and Scarborough cliffs it can accommodate many gliders. If the winds are light you can head to the gut for a better chance of staying up.


Be very careful to avoid the telephone wires and poles that run adjacent to the Summit Road (especially the side wires that support the poles). As TM is the club’s most used site, there is a high potential to incidents happening.


It is highly recommended to fly with radio tuned in to channel 40 (477.400MHz). So that pilots can communicate in case of emergency or be given advice from more experienced pilots around if “trapped” in the air. If the wind is off to the north, you can expect turbulence behind the small spurs (especially just before the quarry).


If the wind is more from the east you should notice much better lift and you can also get wave. Avoid flying too far into the gut if the wind is off to the east.


The main hazard for Taylor’s is the wind speed. There is a wind station giving live wind readings which is best accessed via the Holfuy app. There is also a Holfuy station at Allandale. The ocean is also a great indicator. Wind lines and anchored boats on the sea will give you a good idea about the true wind direction and speed.


You will learn through experience that you can fly when there are some white caps on the sea (but not too many).


If you feel the winds are very strong whilst flying, it is still better to land at the main top landing (LZ2=TO1). Avoid the compression in the gut and the bottom landing LZ1 as it will be even stronger and more turbulent there. In stronger winds you will find the biggest challenge of top landing is getting down. Competent use of descent techniques is required

Please take care when it is NW in Canterbury.  This is an unpredictable wind, and while it may show as NE at Taylors Mistake we have had serious accidents at this site with people being caught out by rapid changes to wind speed and direction.  Please refer to the weather briefing site for further information about the NW.


Live Weather Station

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