A Journal, with Pictures

Mountain Flying

by on Aug.15, 2011, under Flying

Tues­day morn­ing after the break­fast buf­fet at the resort, I attend­ed the Moun­tain Fly­ing course put on by Col­orado Pilots Asso­ci­a­tion. The two instruc­tors were sea­soned moun­tain pilots and one was a ATC con­troller from Den­ver Cen­ter. This was like drink­ing from the prover­bial fire hose. We went back to VFR flight plan­ning which most of us haven’t done for years. The course cov­ered high alti­tude per­for­mance, weath­er, lean­ing, oper­a­tions in the moun­tains, emer­gency pro­ce­dures, sur­vival and a whole lot more. We start­ed the plan­ning for our next days cross coun­try flight and fin­ished it that evening as home work. It was a very full day. The next day we got up to IFR weath­er when we were going on a VFR mis­sion. I met with my instruc­tor at sev­en A.M. and declined the oppor­tu­ni­ty to take off in 300 over­cast. At eight A.M. it was up to sev­en hun­dred and we took off IFR and can­celled on top then head­ed west into the moun­tains that were clear. We flew by pilotage and dead reck­on­ing over rugged ter­rain, through pass­es, land­ing at Krem­ming, Aspen and Leadville. Leadville is the high­est North Amer­i­can Air­port at 9927 feet. For­tu­nate­ly we refu­eled there then head­ed back to Col­orado Springs. We arrived and it was still IFR so we were num­ber 20 wait­ing to land and held for 45 min­utes before doing the ILS. Four hours of great fly­ing, sight see­ing and a lot of learn­ing and relearning.

Both evenings we met at the COPA Hangar for cock­tails and had din­ner with COPA friends. Its only Wednes­day and we feel like we have had three days of M9.

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