This site is located on the coastal edge of Takapuna Grammar School grounds, accessed from Winscombe Road, Belmont.
Take off is behind a fence, and requires a bit of skill. Wind may be flowing either from left or right.
For PG, glider needs to be laid out perpendicular to the fence, and when pulled up turned into wind. A quick run towards the fence with a tug on the brakes to generate lift should get you over and flying.
Since this site also takes an easterly wind, Maungauika/Fort Takapuna are easier launches.
Takapuna Grammar launch is quite difficult these days due to the growth of trees on the edge, so its not as user friendly as it used to be. Launching the glider into clean air is challenging and the rotor generated by the compression and disturbance from the front is very close to the narrow zone where a successful launch can be achieved, right next to the 1.3m fence that you need to get over while trying to control the glider in the messy airflow. You need excellent ground handling skills as its easy to get picked up and dumped if you misjudge your launch. There’s a rocky outcrop below the launch even at low tide so you need to make it around the point and onto St. Leonards beach if you don't get above the ridge after launch, which can be difficult if there's any N in the wind direction.
Its one of those sites where all the factors have to line up to make it enjoyable but when that happens its a lot of fun.
Landing options below the cliff are restricted and virtually nil at high tide.
Best landing option (short of Takapuna beach) is at the bottom of the cliff 200 m to the north of launch, or on Narrow Neck Beach, if the wind is at all from the north east.
Takapuna Grammar Takeoff
Weather and Wind Direction
No flying is to take place during school hours.
Site Radio Channel
Channel 20 - 476.900MHz.
PG2 + 60 hours
Top landings at this site should be treated with caution owing to presence of sometimes severe rotor. Even the locals are cautious of this one.
Launching over the post and rail fence along the cliff top requires care on the part of paraglider pilots. Ensure that you have sufficient lift to clear the rail or abort the takeoff.
Don't hang around talking to the naked guys if you land on the beach, just pack and run. The stairs are to the south of launch.
Several gliders have been in the tide here including a tandem. One pilot (let's just call him Matt) has even flown backwards down the cliff, ending up in a heap at the bottom. Fortunately he walked away from it.
This site is located within VFR common frequency zone, CFZ 120.4 with height ceiling of 2,500 ft ASL
It is also on the edge of the Auckland City Mandatory Broadcast Zone. Height limit within this MBZ is 1500ft ASL. This means you cannot fly inland of cliffs/beach unless you are operating with an airband radio.
800m north of this site is VFR Transit Lane T159 Whangaparaoa with a height restriction of 1200ft ASL.
No flying is to take place on this site during school hours.
Jeff Ripley Mob 027 288 8818
An easy run to Takapuna beach to the north.
To the south Cheltenham Beach has been reached once. Who can make the link to North Head?
Update 02.04.2017...Yes he did it again, Jeff Ripley flew from Takapuna Grammar, and landed on North Head.