Tops of Fichell, Glen Clova

An easy accessible site that offers it all, soaring through to XC and triangles for the adventurous.

Please ensure you are fully aware of the AHPC’s agreement with Rottal Estate before travelling to fly anywhere on or over the estate.

See the Site Sensitivities/Restriction section below.

Also Known As

Fichell.

Wind direction(s)

South-west through north-west.

The site works best between west-south-west and west-north-west.

Applicable disciplines

Paragliding, hang-gliding.

Launch coordinates

NO 382 684 / 56.803697, -3.013365 / 550m

Landing/bomb-out coordinates

NO 367 682 / 56.80168, -3.03753 / 220m

Landing is possible anywhere in the glen without crop or livestock, however the above field is commonly used.

Parking coordinates

NJ 480 284 / 57.343175, -2.864994 / 270m

The glen can be busy, the above coordinates are for Gella Bridge, a good place to leave cars and take as few as required to the landing area.

Directions to site

Leave the A90 at Finavon, head for Tannadice then Kirriemuir looking for signs for Cortachy Glen Clova before getting to Kirriemuir, postcode DD8 4QU.

Access to launch

From the suggested landing area, take the gate to the south of the plantation and head up the track. At the top of the trees, just head for the top of the hill.

Site sensitivities/restrictions

Fichell lies within Rottal Estate. As of August 2020, the AHPC has agreed that its members will notify the estate of their intention to fly over the estate. Failure to do so may result in a deterioration of otherwise good relations with the estate.

  • The gamekeeper, Mark Palmer, must be notified of an intention to fly over the estate, this can either be via SMS or Whatsapp to 07495 573423, or via email to markpalmer35@hotmail.co.uk copying in louise.small@rottalestates.com.

One of the team may then respond with advice on areas to avoid on the estate if there are credible reasons to do so.

  • Avoid flying over the estate on the following days, unless it has been agreed with the gamekeeper that it is OK to do so:
    • The day of and day prior to grouse shooting.
    • The day of a deer stalk.

Scott Mather will continue to advise the club, primarily via Whatsapp, when such dates are imminent.

  • Continue to avoid the Loch Wharral and Ben Tirran areas during nesting season (mid April through early July)

The above areas are home to peregrine and eagle nests. If other nests are established, the estate will notify the club as appropriate.

Check the seasonal site restrictions before flying.

Risk assessment/hazards

There are numerous electrified fences at the top of the hill.

Launch advice

Launch anywhere along the ridge, between the peak at 578m, to the 500m end to the south-west. It’s a very straightforward site.

Landing areas

The suggested landing area is a flat field on the floor of the glen, next to the road. Any field not in crop and away from obvious game pens may be considered for landing.

Top- and slope-landings are straightforward, and indeed this is as good as site as any for practising these skills.

Flying advice

The sweet spot in terms of flying here is 10+ mph on the hill top. At 17mph it will be pretty strong and a wary eye on ground speed will be required. As with any hill the thermal triggers are dictated by the wind to some degree, but the area for catching them works just to the NE of the plantation to the west of TO; keep an eye on the buzzards that frequent the area. Fly 3km upto the North and 3km to the south for wee ridge flights. Push out into glen for flat triangles and if you can push onto shoulders in North of Glen for triangles proper.  It can be tricky to get back from the North sometimes as 3 glenheads congregate to the NE of launch and it can build and pull air into that area, locally changing the wind direction.

If you go over the back the next glen is fairly shallow and easy to land in. If you go east or north-east, landings could be a little more demanding. The Glen often gets wave in the autumn until spring, which can be lovely in west and south-west but more challenging and unpleasant from the north-west. Please be very cautious if flying in wave.

Airspace considerations

Glen Clova is directly below the Aberdeen-Edinburgh flight corridor, with a floor of FL85 (8500ft / ~2590m) above Tops of Fichell. 15km to the north-east, the corridor floor drops to FL55, and at 23km from launch the floor drops to 3000feet AMSL.

Site Map

Notable flights/site records

AHPC site contact

Scott Mather

Related sites

Ben Tirran, Glen Clova

Craig Lethnot

Photos