Local Flying :: Lachens
In the past, Lachens was probably one of France’s most famous flying sites. It still hosts various competitions, and is home of the National Free Flight Centre. It can take almost any wind direction (except an easterly), and the south summit take-off is top-landable. This site has good XC potential, but the south launch is prone to blowing-out in the heat of a thermic day.
:: Safety Note
At the top of the hill (east of the main site) is a military base. Do not accidentally drive up into this, or overfly it at low level.
Take the RN85 from Grasse or Castellane; the D21 from Draguignan or the D625 from Bargemon.
To get to take-off, follow the signs to Mont Lachens on the D21 at the Col de Clavel.
- IGN Serie Vert 1:100 000 map 61, “Nice Barcelonnette”
- Michelin Carte Routière et Touristique, 1 :200 000 map 245, ” Provence Cote d’Azur “.
- IGN ” Top 25 ” (1 :25 000) map 3542 ET.
:: Take-offs and Landings
|Name / Orientation
||Altitude (m AMSL)
|D1. Le Col de Lachens. (S)
||UTM 32T 0311329 4846160 43°44′32″N - 06°39′51″E
||Use landing A1. (700m top-to-bottom).It is strongly advised that you do not launch from here in a strong Westerly.
|D2. School take-off. (S)
||43°44′32″N - 06°39′33″E
||Use landing A3. (430m top-to-bottom).It is strongly advised that you do not launch from here in a strong Westerly.
||UTM 32T 0311039 4846247 43°44′38″N - 06°39′25″E
||Use landing A2. (660m top-to-bottom)
||UTM 32T 0310035 4845626 43°44′38″N - 06°38′49″E
||Use landing A4 (388m top-to-bottom).Can be dangerous in a cross-wind.
||43°44′01″N - 06°38′49″E
||Use landing A4 (338m top-to-bottom) Can be dangerous in a cross-wind.
||Altitude (m AMSL)
|A1. La Roque Esclapon (for S take-off)
||43°43′14″N - 06°37′28″E
||Landing here can be turbulent in a strong easterly wind (more than about 25 kph)
|A2. Le Plan de Fennier (for N take-off)
||UTM 32T 0309995 4848254 43°45′23″N - 06°39′25″E
||Landing field is at the edge of the D21. Cars can be left by the side of the road and lifts to take-off shared, for an easy retrieve afterwards. Hitching back up is not easy!
|A3. Varins - south training slope. South through to west.
||43°44′07″N - 06°39′37″E
||Access to the training slope is from a sign-posted road and then a rough track, from the village of La Roque Esclapon.
|A4. Clairière (Emergency landing for S & W take-offs)
||43°44′47″N - 06°38′17″E
||Situated to the west of the quarry, this landing space is a very visible clearing, but it is small and can be turbulent. It should only be used in emergencies.
|A5. S summit (top-landing for S take-off)
||UTM 32T 0311300 4846297
||In good conditions, it is possible to top-land on the summit of Lachens. Fly over the ridge with at least 100m altitude.Do not attempt this if the wind is anything other than a southerly.
:: Useful Numbers
||Tel / Radio frequency
||Website / Email
|Lachens Vol Libre (AACNVL), A. Badino, Quartier Plarion, 83840, La Roque Esclapon.
||04 94 76 81 91 or 04 94 76 83 34
|Docteur Soriano, based in Comps Artuby
||04 94 76 90 02
|04 94 76 90 17
04 93 60 30 01
||04 94 76 90 18
|Local weather forecast
||08 92 68 02 83 or 08 92 68 02 06.
:: Other Activities
Gorges du Verdon, Europe’s largest gorge is close to Lachens and well worth a visit, and is a famous area for climbing with many hard routes.
Mountain biking, walking etc.