Help With A Route: KRAP to KJAC (Rapid City to Jackson,WY)

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Sinistar, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Does anyone have a good VFR route to go from the Rapid City area to Jackson? It would seem there would be a route or two to get through the mountains following roads, etc but nothing seems immediately obvious. This would be for a Cessna 182 and/or Archer 180. Neither have onboard O2 so trying to find a route that would be around 10K or lower. We can bring a pulse oximeter to monitor 02 and use cans of 02 if needed for short amounts if time or to divert to land. Looking to fly that way in September.
     
  2. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

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    It looks like you can fly to BOY then west toward KDUB and then go almost direct to KJAC. I haven't flown to KJAC but I got close, 46U Alpine. I had to go IFR there and the MEA was 12000 even going the long way (basically KRKS-KEMM-KAFO). I flew home VFR at a lower altitude along the same route. I think you can go fairly low from 46U to KJAC if you go in that way.
     
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  3. champ driver

    champ driver Line Up and Wait

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    Pretty hard to get in there without crossing at least some amount of mountains. The way I would look at it would be Casper, Rock Springs and Big Piney. V328 to near Bondurant and follow the road west and then north up the valley to JAC.
    I've never done it at that low of altitude though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
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  4. MountainDude

    MountainDude Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You can go up to 14,000 for 30 min without O2. I would go to Dubois, then straight west or follow the highway NW until you are comfortable going straight. Pretty easy for a 182.
     
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  5. 5QK

    5QK Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Its 12500 for 30. 14k for passengers, I believe.
     
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  6. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    @MountainDude is correct. It's 12500-14000 for 30 minutes without O2 on the pilot/crew. Passengers can go up to 15000.

    But that's secondary to the pilot's discretion. I personally am fine up that high but if the OP (or one of his passengers) isn't comfortable >10k, then he shouldn't go over 10k.
     
  7. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    I would probably follow the routes proposed in #1 & 3 posts above (essentially the same) provided you have civilization below you. Route #2 is about 50 miles south out of the way and more conservative away from mountains and with more civilization. Also a good suggestion depending on your comfort level.

    There really aren’t any other sensible routes.
     
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  8. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

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    Just to clarify a couple of things: The 12,500 (flight crew must use if above for more than 30 minutes), 14,000 (flight crew must use at all times above), and 15,000 (passengers must be supplied with, but need not use, at all times above) figures are all those you must do X if you are "above" them, meaning that you can fly indefinitely at a cabin pressure altitude of 12,500 without supplemental oxygen. That is, as mentioned, subject to the pilot's discretion, and I for one try to exercise my discretion so as not to feel fatigued and hung over when I am trying to land the plane.

    The second point to clarify: The relevant altitude is the cabin pressure altitude. If the altimeter setting is below 29.92, then your indicated altitude is below your pressure altitude and you need to account for that. If you have 29.82 in the box and indicate 12,500 MSL, your pressure altitude is actually closer to 12,600. That 100-foot difference is physiologically small but legally big.
     
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  9. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

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    I like that better than my route. I was going on memory of there being mountains east of Alpine, but didn't think to look for valleys in that direction.
     
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  10. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Ha. The BOY KDUB route is the exact route I had laid out for the trip when I read the OP yesterday evening. The amount of time near or over 10K would be minimal.

    Plot direct and then drag the magenta line around to see various routes is so easy. I love our new school tools.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  11. champ driver

    champ driver Line Up and Wait

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    I only looked at a route for about 5-10 minutes, so that's just a possibility. You could cut corners with self made waypoints, but you'd have to consider the remoteness of some areas.
    Looking at the sectional of that area, everything is colored brown but don't kid yourself. That area is heavily forested, pretty much down to the valley floor south of town.
    I saw part of that route on the airline ride from JAC to SLC out my window.
    Like I said, I've never been on any route that low in the area. I was there last month but we came in by DNW and RV to intercept the ILS inbound and they held us high around 15,000 until about the Snake River Valley.
     
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  12. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    flying at 12.5 from KDUB looks like the flight can be made keeping the rocks at about 3000 feet below the plane. follow the blue line?

    upload_2019-8-5_14-6-15.png
     
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  13. MtnMarcus

    MtnMarcus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Flown this exact route (blue line) in a 182 many times both ways.....no problem. Obviously can get pretty western mid day in the summer.
     
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  14. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks everyone!

    When I first looked I was thinking along those lines. But then I started thinking I should follow 26 (road) all the way or something way more southern.

    Thanks @MtnMarcus for confirming the route!!! Generally what are ceilings and winds like in September...hopefully this hop across to the Jackson hole isn't topped with clouds from September to May?

    I'll have another pilot with so we'll try out some climbs to 12,500 and pulse oximeter / 02 cans before we actually fly it. I can't match the DA there back here but I've been practicing leaned takeoffs and landings anytime our DA nears 4000 (highest so far has been DA3800).
     
  15. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

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    I took off out of Rock Springs in my Arrow 180 with full fuel tanks and my CFII when the DA was roughly 10,000 and the main runway was under construction so we had to use the "short" one (5228 feet long). Leaning was not a big deal although I recall pulling the mixture back a bit during the runup or the takeoff roll for peak power. The main thing is to watch your indicated airspeed when taking off and landing, and not react to the fact that your ground speed seems strangely fast (although not insanely fast--in my case when I was at Vr, my TAS was just 10mph or so faster than my IAS at that DA).
     
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  16. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Cleared for Takeoff

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    Damn. - you're worried about blood oxygen levels at 10,000?

    Do you have pulmonary issues in your family?
     
  17. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    No, just never fly that high. I have driven as high up as Beartooth pass and no problems. Just being cautious.
     
  18. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    From what I hear his copilot is an absolute moron and to deal with him he needs to have his O2 at 100%
     
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  19. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ummmm. Okay - there's cautious and then there's....

    well... okay.
     
  20. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Flew into KJAC from the southeast and then out to KRAP June 2018 before going on to MN.

    I have to agree that the route over KDUB and then DNW is likely the most conservative without going far out of the way to southwest.

    I had planned that originally but ended up taking more scenic, mountainous, and higher altitude routes. Sneaking out under clouds VFR through Sylvan pass was an experience. It would be easy to be stuck at KJAC in weather as the minimum MEAs out of there to the SE or E are 13500.
     
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  21. MtnMarcus

    MtnMarcus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't even want to speculate as to weather in September. September is a transition month from summer into fall, and we can experience anything from snow to an extension of summer with minimal change. Nights as well as mornings/evenings will be significantly cooler though. You'll obviously want to keep an eye on windspeed at mountain top level. That route is pretty straightforward though and you shouldn't have any issues. I live a few hrs west of KJAC in Idaho at 5'500 feet so have a bit of experience with mountain weather. Shoot me a PM if you want to chat more. I have found this weather outlook link pretty accurate and use it a lot for planning: https://weather.com/maps/planner
     
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  22. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    dumb Q but I have often wondered how do we get the actual wind data on top of ridges? is there a forecasting station sitting on some of the ridges reporting what the actual wind speed is? go by wind aloft? if one has to make a call on whether to cross the ridge or not based on wind speed over there, from where do we get that data?
     
  23. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Good point. The proposed trip is definitely mountain flying. All the usual caveats about training and preparation for same apply.
     
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  24. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

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    I'm planning to learn more from others' answers, but I know one source: ASOS/AWOS. For example, on or near the OP's route, look at the BOY VOR. Just east of it, there is an AWOS station on top of the mountain ridge. There is an ASOS at MLP in Montana, as well. I'm sure there are many other mountaintop or mountain pass weather stations like these. I know that Alaska has tons of weather information online including webcams so you can actually look and see how bad of an idea it is to fly that day.
     
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  25. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    interesting. didn't see that. thanks. I see its not reporting winds, not right now anyway. that particular WX station is located at 7556, still doesn't help with winds at ridge level at 9.5, but close enough, but from what I read, winds and WX changes fairly rapidly between various places around big rocks.

    for example: KJAC is reporting 4 kts from 280, KDUB is reporting 12G17 from 350, KRIW is reporting 8 kts from 110, KDIJ near JKAC is reporting variable …. well how the heck do I know the winds at ridge level and take a go/no-go decision?
     
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  26. Cici

    Cici Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Theres something in the AIM not to fly if winds aloft will be greater than 25 knots. So winds aloft is one way to guess it. I also look for high or low pressure over the area. Also in the summer in the rockies, not flying past noon is my general rule for the monsoon season. You can check awos/asos stations. All the ones in Colorado have phone numbers you can call. But knowing local weather patterns helps.
     
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  27. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    So I get the sense you are saying that a pilot who's about to fly above 10k, actually above 12k and possibly a bit higher and has decided to bring a $30 pulse oximeter and 2 $6 cans of O2 is being what....foolish.

    Please clarify.
     
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  28. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    I wouldn’t worry about it. Living in Salt Lake I routinely fly (and hike/ski) at those altitudes so I’m acclimated. You aren’t so it’s a legit precaution. Stay hydrated though as that helps a lot with altitude effects.
     
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  29. MtnMarcus

    MtnMarcus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I use winds aloft on foreflight for the areas i will be flying and the highest mountain elevation in the area along the route. Ideally you'll have a few different airports along your route to compare the winds aloft. Weather stations on mountain tops that others mention would be ideal. 25 kts at mountain top height is around the max wind speed i'll fly in in the mountains if I am 2-3K agl. That seems to be the typical rule of thumb for mtn flyers.
     
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  30. Par129

    Par129 Filing Flight Plan

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    If the weather and your time schedule allow I recommend going around the north side of the bighorns, direct to KCOD, through the sylvan pass, and hang a left. The Bighorn Canyon area is beautiful and you get to see some of Yellowstone. I've done that route a few times in our 182 and always enjoyed it.
     
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  31. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks for the suggestion. If wx, timing and things in general are going well maybe we'll take that route on the way back out! Definitely sounds scenic. I have driven east of out Yellowstone that way and the scenery is indeed awesome. We even once drove across the Bighorns going there so it will be interesting to see those from the air. Plus it would be nice to get in landing at Cody vs Casper possibly twice.
     
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  32. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    If you can fly the more northern route through Yellowstone and out through Sylvan Pass, the Grand Prismatic Spring looks like it is quite the sight be air. I wanted to see that, but then the clouds came in.
     
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  33. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You're going to need supplemental oxygen one way or another - You may not need it in the air, but you're definitely going to want it for the moment the FBO at KJAC hands you your bill. :hairraise:
     
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  34. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    That's why I am bringing @WannFly. Strangest thing, he just happened to going to KJAC too ;) So its pro-rata time baby! We're gonna pro-rata the hell out of that $6.04 100LL. And if ramp, handling and tiedown's aren't part of pro-rata he said he'd cover all of those :)

    So we're looking at $20 handling fee, minimum 10gal of fuel which might negate something other than my Delta card, $15 overnight ramp fee and the big ouch is $140 for hangar (hopefully not in September).

    Then again there's probably only like a 22% chance wx will be good enough to make it on our days off.
     
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  35. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Some of the passes and mountain tops in Colorado have AWOS. You can check Colorado aeronautics website for a map, frequencies and phone numbers. New Mexico Pilots Assoc has a similar list. Don’t know about other states.
     
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  36. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Say again please :p
     
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  37. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was there for a week. They charged me $150 for staying two minutes past closing time (I got there 15-20 min before they closed), which I later was able to get waived after posting a lot of nasty reviews online. Overnight fee$, a "handling" fee that they'll charge for every landing if you give other people rides, plus the airport landing fee, and my total tab was close to $400... For a piston single. And that didn't include any fuel at all!

    It didn't make any sense to get any fuel, because there's fuel nearby that's a good $2-$3 cheaper. Since I usually take on about 80 gallons, that's a way bigger difference than the fee.
     
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  38. a572mike

    a572mike Pre-Flight

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    Wyoming has several Mountain AWOS's now too, several of which will be useful for the OP's trip.

    http://www.dot.state.wy.us/home/aeronautics/awos-frequencies.html
     
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  39. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Wow! Maybe we should fly around to Driggs instead.