Castrisch

Coordinates:  46°46’41″ N    9°14’04″ E    707m ASL

Around 95km from Fiesch, Castrisch is one of my favourite landing options in the Surselva. I am unaware of any formal arrangement for us to land at this small village, which is a couple of km east of the town of Ilanz, but I prefer it to the official field there. One can land right by the train station, rather than a ten minute walk away, and the valley is slightly wider at this point, so the breeze is no stronger. The area is flat, without significant obstructions, and I have never encountered anything other than a steady breeze from the east here, free of any significant turbulence. Finally, a couple of small trees by the station car park provide some shade whilst packing up.

Castrisch and Ilanz from the north-east

Castrisch and Ilanz LZs viewed from the north-east

The easterly valley breeze near Chur is often quite strong on flyable days, so returning from there to the Flims landing field, where this will be much weaker, is a much safer option.  However, especially if you reach Flims with plenty of height, you may be able to bypass the tedious bus trip down to the valley (where you can catch a train) by flying there instead, assisted by this wind.  The picture above shows the view from this direction and includes the Ilanz landing field.

Castrisch and Ilanz viewed from the north

Castrisch and Ilanz LZs viewed from the north

The landing area is on the eastern edge of the village, very close to the train station, which is very easy to identify from the air.  The Ilanz landing field, shown in the image above, is just over 1km to the west.

Castrisch viewed from the west

Castrisch LZ viewed from the west

When approaching directly, from the west, you are likely to find a headwind to take into account.  Should this turn out to be stronger than expected as you get lower, the Ilanz landing field is available as a backup option.

Castrisch viewed from the east

Castrisch LZ viewed from the east

If, like me, you like to achieve a substantial upwind margin of safety just in case the valley breeze strengthens significantly as you descend, the image above shows the view on your downwind leg towards the landing field. I hope that streamers on a pole a few metres high at the corner of the field within the red circle, which I use to determine the wind direction at ground level, will still be attached if you choose to land here.

You can see how close you are to the station, from which trains run every hour along the valley floor back to Fiesch, via Andermatt, taking around 3½ hours, the last one departing here at 17.27; be aware that you may need to press the button on the timetable board to request them to stop for you!