Slope Soaring Sites in New Zealand

New Zealand Slope Flying Sites
Thanks to Aaron for the following info.

Being a country of mountains, valleys and volcano’s there are absolute tonnes of slope soaring sites. the most popular however are:


Mt Wellinton: An old volcano, this can be flown on in any wind direction. Most popular are S/W, S, E, NE, N. You will find fliers here most days from 3pm till dusk.
It is also an excellent site for DS in SE, E, NE wind directions. Best of all is that in N and NE winds you can launch straight from the car.
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JR XP-8103 Radio Control Transmitter

JR XP-8103
JR XP-8103


The 8103 is JR’s successor to the 388. It offers several new features – most importantly a new large size screen for easier programming. A graphical interface makes it quicker to program than its predecessors. The 8103 maintains all of the features you would like to see in a full-house computer radio. It has eight channels, 10 model memory, PCM and FM, and all of the traditional features including sailplane programming and six types of programmable mixing.

There are 2 models of the JR 8103. The main difference is that newer versions have digital trim.

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Hawaii – Maluhia slope soaring site

Maluhia is a great place for big planes, for F3Bs, F3Js and expensive glass-slippers that need a lot of room to land. The lift is great, but far out so small planes get hard to see. The landing area is huge and almost anything will fly here.

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

Maluhia, the Fly-What-You-Like Site

Thanks to Duane Asami for permission to use this info.

Maluhia, named for the Boy Scout Camp which leases the land, is north of Wailuku Town and about a mile north of Kapuna Point (Waihe’e). The lift is great when the trade winds blow and you can fly nearly any kind of aircraft you want. I have seen a hand-launched Gentle Lady and an Olympic II sharing the sky with a Modi (F3B), also hand-launched. It’s a great place to picnic while flying and couples often go there to just lay on a blanket and enjoy the view. The site is scenic, the lift is awesome and the landing area has been described as, “A two-acre foam pad”.
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Hawaii – Pauwela slope soaring

Pauwela is the spot for hot-planes and hot-pilots. Small, fast and maneuverable are the watch words on this coastal slope. Timid flyers and newbies need not apply. Come back when you feel the need to take it to the limit.

In-Your-Face Sloping at Pauwela Lighthouse

Thanks to Duane Asami for permission to use this info.

Pauwela Lighthouse is for the very skilled aileron pilot only and is strictly the dominion of the small, high-speed, highly-maneuverable hotrods. Bring lots of lead, you’ll be needing to increase your wing loading to enjoy this site. Pauwela is flyable anytime the weather forecast calls for trade-winds, the stronger, the better. One M.I.S.O. member, flew a scratch-built U-2 here when his Kestral digital-wind-meter read fifty-four miles-per-hour.

You’ll want to fly something small here. Spans of 36″ to 48″ are great although the 60″ racers can also tear-up the sky. Don’t bother bringing a full-house two-meter or F3B ship here, you won’t want to throw it out. You’ll be flying in a “box” only about thirty-feet deep, thirty-feet high and a hundred feet wide. You’ll be flying at very high speeds with your plane less than 10′ from you as you move from right-to-left. Try something like a Mini-1 or a Blazer.

Pauwela Lighthouse is on the northern coastline of east-Maui. Follow Hana Highway (36) east out of Kahului towards the extreme east- end of the island. Look for a small community called Paia about seven-miles out of Kahului. After passing Paia, watch the milepost markers, you’ll want to go .8 mile past MP-11. You should see a pineapple field on the left (ocean side) of the highway and the Haiku Community Center on the right. Take the left onto the dirt road which runs along the edge of the pineapple field and follow it to the ocean. Beware, if it’s raining or the road is muddy, don’t go down there, you will get stuck; there are no phones and cellular phones won’t work out there. When you get to the bottom of the field, you’ll see a small lighthouse (actually, it looks like a small platform on a tall utility pole). Turn right and drive through the broken fence, across the grass to the cliff. If the wind is blowing in your face from the sea, you’ve found the spot.

Flying Pauwela is aerobic exercise at it’s best… You don’t get sore muscles, but your heart rate goes through the roof. Fly small “rockers” back-and-forth across the face of the cliff and don’t get too far out. The lift goes away and you’ll be in the ocean in a hurry. Also, don’t get too far to the left, it gets squirrelly there and planes have been known to disappear behind the lighthouse, never to be seen again. Landings here are actually not as traumatic as Waihe’e and much simpler once you get the hang of it. Fly from right to left and stay close in to the cliff. On the left, turn out and try to keep the nose a little high to keep from penetrating and building up speed. Let the wind push the plane backwards as you hover about five-to-ten feet off the ground. As it backs over the land, the lift will die and the plane will settle down like a helicopter.

Slope Soaring in Arkansas

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

Nick Trubov sent in this info about slope soaring sites within a half hour drive of Fort Smith, AR. There are several spots.

Lake Alma: which has a dam facing due North

There is a South/Southeast facing cut along I-540 just West of Ft. Smith that works great those two days a year when the wind blow from the SouthEAST!

The landfill has a slope that faces Northwest.

There is a slope on a private farm about thirty minutes north of my house that I would take people to, but not tell ’em about since it is private land.

Also in Fort Smith there is a levee on the north side of the Arkansas river which faces  Northeast and has lots of places to soar from. The levee is only twenty feet high but the wind comes in over really flat open farmland in most places. Take highway 59 east from I-540 just after crossing the Arkansas river if you are going North. (Hey, get off on this exit  just BEFORE you cross the river if you are going South, ok?) Start looking at the levee after driving about two or three miles to the East. Eventually you will cross another bridge that takes you back to  the other side of the Arkansas river and into Barling, AR.

Local Pilots

I can almost ALWAYS be convinced to go slope soaring. I used to live in Albuquerque, NM, where they have REAL slopes. It looks as if I am going to have to hire myself a D9 and buy some land and MAKE my OWN SW facing slope. That is the direction of the prevailing wind in the summer and so there are no slopes facing that particular direction.

The Mongo Transmitter Mitt

Gloves don’t give you the feel you need and bare hands get numb. If you fly in the cold, this mitt can be the difference between a good time and crashed plane! I have used mine on the slope down to about 10 degrees with a 20mph wind and my hands have been warm.

The Mongo Transmitter Mitt

This is really simple. If you fly in the cold you gotta get one of these.
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Several Slope Soaring Spots in Connecticut

Dennis sent in this information on sloping in Connecticut

New Haven, CT
Thanks to Dennis Phalen


Winter is here, I transitioned from autumn to the coldest season on the slope in New Haven harbor. Lighthouse Point Park has a rocky shore just North of the boat launch ramp. The pathway is about 10 ft above sea level and a hill rises behind it. Sloping from this tree dotted path is good when the wind is out of the NW at 15-20. Today it was out of the NNW but still OK.

This is a really poor slope, but it’s only nine miles from my home. Of course there’s water only 20-30 ft away and the shore is as solid rock as the rest of the area here. Be prepared to get a plane out of a tree if you go there, wingtips brush the branches all the time and sometimes stay in contact until you free them. I have a longish pole made from downed saplings lying at the base of the tallest tree on the slope if you need it.

As its not a great slope I wouldn’t expect a DAW warbird to fly well there, but then no one around here has one of those either! I have flown heavy HLG and Wings there. Having the hill behind opens the lift area beyond what the lower slope provides, you can get a plane right overhead or even behind the path. Once up you’ll see that you can put the plane pretty far to the north end of the slope but you can still see it thru the trees!

We’ll probably have more of these NW winds. When you go there, pull into the first parking lot on the right. As you go towards the ramp you’ll see a path going around to the right, or you can just take the short walk through the woods/brush over the small hill. The slope next to the ramp will work with a W wind, go father for a NW. Pick a spot that lets you launch and fly, depending on the wind direction. You’ll be alone, turning a lot but sloping! There’s lots of brush to hit for landings but the path will work too. Have fun, call me before you go[email for number]! 11421&Z=18&W=1

Colebrook, CT
There is also a group that flies at a dam in Colebrook, CT. A group of power fliers uses a N/S facing dam that is 200 ft on the dry side, 200 ft on the water side. One member has tried DS’ing there with some reward using a JW. 1453&Z=18&W=1

Willimantic, CT
A couple of weeks ago I was at a dam next to Windham airport near Willimantic. A Zig zag of dams more than a mile long and maybe 30-45 ft high has multiple wind opportunities. The airport, with paved runway is RIGHT next door, there is no tower and not much activity but it could get dicey[I didn’t send you]. 5781&Z=18&W=1


Garland Hanson’s Arizona Slope Flying List

We have several VERY GOOD slopes in Arizona. Here are some of the most notable.

Green’s Peak
Located Near Springerville, the Sunrise Ski Resort, and the Hondah Casino. This is a 10,000ft peak with georgeous scenery. Elk, deer, and antelope are often in sight of the slope. It is grass covered and all models can be flown there. Most side of the peak can be flown. Access is unlimited and you can drive to the top and fly.

Green’s Peak will be the sight of the first Southwest Slopefest to be held this fall featuring one-design and unlimited slope racing (sound familiar?).

Brown Road Hill
Located in Mesa, AZ on the NW corner of the intersection of Ellsworth and Brown Road. This is a rugged site! i.e. foamies or sacraficial lambs ONLY! If the gate is open you may drive up otherwise its a 20 walk to the top over a winding road. Lots of vertical drop from the top and flyable from NW-W-SW-S-SE-E. One of the best sites in the Phoenix area.

P.S. The “no-trespassing” signs have been taken down.

Morman Lake Overlook
This site is actually the scenic overlook at Morman Lake located just southeast of Flagstaff. Drive up and fly right from the roadway. Georgous scenery and overlook of a mostly dry lake. Look for the 100+ elk herd that calls the middle of the lake home. Flyable in westerly wind ONLY. Good vertical face. Land down in the grass 200ft below if necessary. Nice site but not always flyable due to wind direction.

Sheba Crater
An actual volcanic cinder cone located east of Flagstaff. NO VEGETATION IN SIGHT!!! The top is accessible by 4WD ONLY! (DON’T EVEN TRY IT!!!) Landing is on very fine rock. Top is smooth and easy to land on (watch your car). Flyable on many directions. Owned by a hang-glider pilot. EXTREME sloping is to be had here.

‘A’ Mountain (Sentinel Peak) is 1 mile west of downtown Tuscon.

Brisk 20-25mph winds at Atwater Beach put the Barracuda in its element

I had the ‘cuda out in 20-25 mph winds today and it was really in its element. I just love flying this plane. The lift at Atwater Beach was awesome and Mirko and I both agreed that it was the best day of the year and we have already had a bunch of good ones. I thought the ‘cuda was fast the last time I was here but today it was a whole new level of speed. Halfpiping this bad boy is the most fun I’ve had sloping in a while. It has a scary fast roll rate and loves to come tearing down from several hundred feet and show off its speed. I would say screaming but the plane is very quiet. All internal linkage, a thin wing and a relatively small size don’t disrupt much air. I can’t wait to fly it again.

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