Crovie

 

At the east end of Gamrie Bay, the cliffs overlooking the small fishing village of Crovie offer picturesque soaring in northerly breezes coming from the Moray Firth.

Wind direction(s)

North through North-West

Applicable disciplines

Paragliding

Launch coordinates

NJ 806 651 / 57.350572, -2.858283 / 45m

Landing/bomb-out coordinates

Primary landing is the launch. Bomb-out is the beach directly below.

NJ 805 652 / 57.676685, -2.326675 / 0m

Parking coordinates

NJ 806 651 / 57.350572, -2.858283 / 45m

Directions to site

From Banff, take the A98 towards Fraserburgh then turn left on to the B9031 – signed for Rosehearty and Gardenstown – shortly after leaving Macduff. Continue past the Gardenstown (B9123) turn-off for 1 km, then turn left on the road signed for Gardenstown and Crovie. In 1 km, shortly after passing a school on the right, take the road to the right, signed for Crovie. In 1 km, the car park is on the left, just before a set of sheds.

Do not take vehicles beyond the car park, down to the village.

Access to launch

Launch is the grass viewpoint and picnic area in front of the car park.

Site sensitivities/restrictions

Respect the privacy of residents of Crovie by not flying directly over the village.

Risk assessment/hazards

The launch is a relatively tight area and not recommended for unsupervised beginners or pilots who are not good at ground handling.

Cars are parked immediately downwind of the launch.

Further downwind, across the road, there are power lines.

Launching requires clearing a fence, which is possible due to the launch sloping towards Crovie.

Beware of rotor when attempting to top-land. If in any doubt, land at the beach. It’s only a 5 minute walk.

Beware of rotor or unpleasant flying conditions if the wind is too crossed from either direction. If the wind is east of north, consider launching from Gardenstown instead.

Frequently monitor the sea for signs of stronger wind approaching.

Launch advice

Set up near the top of the grassy area for the cleanest air, however ensure that you have enough space to move towards the wing during inflation, and to keep your wing clear of the fences.

Launch towards the fence near the viewpoint for the best clearance. If you are not easily clearing the fence it may be that the wind is not strong enough to soar.

Landing areas

It is possible to land back on the grassy launch area, it’s certainly the most attractive area for packing a wing up. The field immediately to the west of the car park is a much larger space to land in, if it is not in use for crop or livestock. Beware of rotor when setting up to top-land.

If in any doubt about conditions or your ability to land, there is no doubt: land at the beach. Bear in mind that your final approach will be cross-wind, and likely your landing will be too. If in doubt, do some soaring beats to determine if your ground speed is slower in one direction than the other.

Flying advice

The ridge between launch and the high point 500m to the west is a good section to get established on, gain height, and assess what the air is doing. It is then common to explore around the corner to the west, pushing initially as far as the east edge of Gardenstown. With the right wind strength, direction, and established height, it can be possible to cross over Gardenstown to the ridge above the beach at the west end of Gamrie Bay. In ideal conditions, it is then possible to push on to Mhor Head/More Head and fly back to Crovie.

See the Gardenstown site guide for more information on flying the west end of Gamrie Bay.

Airspace considerations 

Airspace associated with Aberdeen airport lies approximately 8km to the south of Crovie.

Lossiemouth and Kinloss airspace lies approximately 50km to the west of launch.

Site Map

Notable flights/site records

AHPC site contact

AHPC Sites Officer – Get In Touch.

Related sites

Gardenstown

Photos

Looking east to Crovie and Troup Head from west of launch.
Left to right in shot are Chris, David and Adrian.
Looking north-east along the length of Crovie’s Bay, the east end of Gamrie Bay.
In shot, Chris Lawton soars out front. The car park and launch are visible to the right of the shot.
Gamrie Bay as viewed from its west end. Crovie is tucked in to the corner at the far end of the bay. Crovie launch is situated above the shingle beach to the right of Crovie as viewed in this shot.
The shot is taken while paragliding over 400m above Gamrie bay in NE conditions on 21 April 2014 with Roddy Milne. The incredible dynamic climb is attributed to being in the lee of Troup Head at the far end of the bay, setting up wave lift in the bay. In these conditions, landing at the beach (out of sight bottom-right of shot) was rough.