Inwoods

Location: 14km south of Belgrove township.

Elevation: 3450 feet AMSL (1051 metres)

GPS co-ordinates for launch: 41°57’23.43″S, 172°93’69.03″E

GPS co-ordinates for landing: 41°59’73.55″S, 172°90’26.32″E

Airspace: From take off until reaching the Motueka River (including Gordon’s Knob) altitude must remain below 6500 ft. This increases after crossing the Motueka River to 7,500 ft and after reaching Beebys Range it increases to 8,500. By the final peak of Beebys Range towards St Arnaud, uncontrolled airspace and maximum allowable altitude of 9,500 is entered.

Rating:

  • Paragliding: PG2
  • Hang gliding: INT

Launchable wind directions: SW-WSW, N-NNE

Access Requirements: Public access is via a forestry road off the Nelson-St Arnaud road, which branches off State Highway 6. Turn left just south of Belgrove and proceed up the Wai-iti Valley, after 5 – 8 km the valley turns to the right and narrows (at junction with 88 Valley Rd). Within 2 km and just before starting to incline the forestry road accessing Inwoods Lookout is on the left. Though the access is open to the public, Nelson Forests Limited normally requires that road users maintain a speed less than 40 kph, drive with headlights on, and carry a shovel and fire extinguisher. This track can usually be traversed by 2WD vehicles with adequate ground clearance but can be rutted and rough on tyres.

Landing Zone: Inwoods Lookout is primarily an XC site. There are landing options on logging sites within reach of launch and the authorised landing site on the farm buildings adjacent to the Motueka River accessed via Flannigans Rd is usually within reach by PG when the assisting sea breeze is present. In a SW wind, landing in the Wai-iti river farmlands may be necessary for both HG and PG pilots. As there is no formalised landing arrangement for this, care must be taken to select a safe landing area that does not create problems for farmers/landowners.

Dangers: Area is subject to high fire risk and is closed at such times. There are high tension power lines and other power lines at various landing options near farm buildings.

The sea breeze which aids XC flying towards or beyond St Arnaud usually arrives by midday and progresses SE towards St Arnaud. It often builds in strength, particularly in valleys and exposed faces, becoming almost impenetrable for PG, and also turbulent. In these conditions pushing upwind to a safe landing may not be possible. There are many places where landing options are scarce and challenging, with large glides required, to reach safe landings.

Referencing a line from Gordons Knob to Blue Glen Spur, PG pilots should be careful not to fly behind/up valley of such a line. HG and PG pilots have flown into the Upper Motueka River Gorge and, facing strong sink and headwinds, made forced landings amongst trees. This has so far not caused serious injury but is very isolated and difficult terrain to traverse, communicate by phone or radio from, and be rescued from. Pilots have sustained injury while attempting to land at the base of the Blue Glen Spur / Upper Motueka River Flats in the sea breeze, due to turbulence and strong winds.

General Flying Guide: As well as the two take off areas adjacent to the Lookout, there is a WSW take off for PG after approximately 30 minutes climb up the ridge towards Gordons Knob. This places the pilot within easier reach of soaring faces on Gordons Knob, but may at times be less suitable as the sea breeze advances.

Landowners: Access land and take off belong to Nelson Forests Limited (NFL). Owners of the authorised landing area are the Baigent Family (2 generations) with the son/farm manager in the house closest to the main road.

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