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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