Mountain Flying Checkout

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Anil Sahai, May 7, 2018.

  1. Anil Sahai

    Anil Sahai Filing Flight Plan

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    I am finding it difficult to get mountain flying checkout here in the bay area - CFIs at local clubs are all booked up months in advance. I fly Cessna 172s and 150/152.

    Any advice here?

    May be a CFI who can help me in her/his plane, or I can rent one from my club!

    :-(
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  2. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Does your club bylaws allow non-club instructors to instruct in club aircraft?
     
  3. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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  4. Peter Anderson

    Peter Anderson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Byron airport has glider ops. It’s near Brentwood.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  5. Anil Sahai

    Anil Sahai Filing Flight Plan

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    I think they will allow but may need a CFI checkout! I will find out.
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Frankly, unless you have significant previous experience in mountain flying, proper mountain flying instruction is more than just a "checkout."
     
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  7. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    Come up to Reno for a weekend (or two). We have two schools on the field and I think they both do mountain flying courses. If you've never taken a 172 up to 11,000', you're in for a bit of a shock/surprise. It'll be excellent training. No schools have 150s/152s here - much too high density altitude to make them practical.

    Great Basin Aviation:
    https://www.greatbasinaviation.com

    Advanced Aviation Reno
    https://advancedaviationreno.com/flight-school
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I learned to fly in 152's in the Colorado front range. A 152 at gross will outclimb a 172 at gross. This is an important lesson to learn if you do your high DA work in 172 with just the instructor and then you rent it with three of your friends later on (my wife's instructor makes all the students in 172 do a couple of flights with human ballast in the rear seat just so they know. Alas, I was playing such ballast when a student decided to try to demonstrate a departure stall on takeoff).
     
  9. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    My instructor in a 172 weighed 270 pounds. It's interesting that they have 152s in the front range. I've never seen a 152 at any airport in Northern Nevada other than my hangar neighbor who has a taildragger conversion. He even flew it to the Bahamas from Reno.
     
  10. tinerj

    tinerj Cleared for Takeoff

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    I read Sparky Imeson's books and other sources, but no mountain flying training, and had no problems in a C150. I felt if I knew what to do and what to avoid, I had the skills and caution to do some very careful mountain flying.

    Of course, Sparky managed to crash while mountain flying, and then a year later have a fatal crash. So ... education and training is no guarantee . . .
     
  11. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    152s are not commonly used for instruction at all along the Front Range these days. One school had a 150/150 on the line for awhile. It didn’t have a max gross increase STC so fuel had to be managed closely.
     
  12. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    There's a difference between mountain flying as offered at McCall's in Idaho (and similar) to what New Mexico & Colorado Pilots Associations offer, which is more correctly titled "High Altitude Paved Airports". Yes, it's in the mountains but emphasizes density altitude, geography & weather, dealing with passes vs over the top, routes to take, routes to avoid, and routes to never even consider.
     
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  13. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    OP, why do you need a cfi? Take a friend with mountain flying experience on an airport tour through the Maxwell MOA. Hit Dinsmore, Ruth, and gravelly valley. You’ll figure out the mountain flying stuff quick. Go to south lake on a warm day if you want to experience density altitude.
     
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  14. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You'd be better advised to use an instructor who has a comprehensive curriculum. This sort of "training" is what ends up getting people prepared enough to venture into the mountains and get killed. Lost a few friends that way.
     
  15. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Reminds me of the inventor of Segway that died by falling off a cliff...on a Segway...
     
  16. 172andyou

    172andyou Line Up and Wait

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    That would have been a better story!

    It was the investor who bought the company from the inventor that managed to kill himself on one. The inventor is still alive and kicking.
     
  17. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    “I passed a mountain course” can create a false sense of ability. Time is better spent with an experienced guy pointing out all the places his buddies crashed, and telling you how he’s still here.
     
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  18. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Being a good instructir doesn't mean they're a good mountain flying instructor. Choose carefully.
     
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  19. LoneAspen

    LoneAspen Line Up and Wait

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    When it comes time for me to do some kind of mountain flying instruction here in Colorado, I think I want to combine what my current instructor knows and then back it up with some grizzled old dude (or lady!) who's been doing it for decades.

    Will probably look to the good people here for some referrals when I get to that point!
     
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  20. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Colorado Pilots Assoc has a full-day ground, you arrange with one of the mountain specialists for the actual flying. Two classes, next one is June 23.
    http://coloradopilots.org/mtnfly_class.asp?menuID=72~72

    Aspen Flying Club has a half-day ground then you arrange for a mountain specialist, next class is mid-May.
    https://www.aspenflyingclub.com/flight-training/specialty-training/mountain-flight-training/

    Front Range Flight Training has similar. (No endorsement or anything but I really recommend Tim Sale)
    https://frontrangeflightschool.com/learn-to-fly/flight-training/
     
  21. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    Any educational details? Ty
     
  22. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    When we can't get into the actual mountain strips, reduced power OPs are a great start, on long runways. Note your various RWY distance markers and have your CFI limit your takeoff RPM at various weights and simulated obstacle clearance heights. We do a similar thing in Helis, limiting Manifold Pressure, flying in somewhat like an airplane and skidding onto the runway instead of hovering, because the ship won't hover at that simulated high DA power. Same thing for a skidding take off, until forward motion provides enough ETL to gradually lift off.
     
  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You're going to learn about:
    Mountain weather conditions (not just high DA but wind conditions, etc...)
    Route planning for the mountains you are crossing (be it the Colorado Rockies or the Sierras)
    How to cross ridges and what to expect from the weather.
    How to safely navigate valleys
    High DA aircraft performance
    High alitutde aproaches/landings/takeoffs/departure.
     
  24. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Mountain flying isn't always associated with high DA. Alaska's coastal mountains aren't all that high but the weather can sure suck, or change from good to bad very quickly. Bucking through a pass with 50mph winds while riding low under a dropping ceiling isn't wise for an unprepared pilot. Knowing how to manage the conditions that you're likely to encounter is what you need to train for. Alaska experience has little to do with Colorado conditions and vice-versa. Train local for local knowledge of local conditions.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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  25. LoneAspen

    LoneAspen Line Up and Wait

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    @murphey Thanks so much for the info and links! I will definitely refer to all this and check it out after I get my license and get ready to learn about mountain flying!
     
  26. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    a couple different kinds of mtn flying. One like most of Colorado is how to get across the high stuff safely then land at another paved runway. Lots of weather and airplane performance. Then there is back country like Idaho and Montana. McCall used to have a good course.
     
  27. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Back in October I came in and the wind at the peaks was blowing about 30 knots as I was descending down on the ILS. When I departed 2 hours later it was up over 100....that was an interesting ride.
     
  28. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Just because you have CFI after your cert and you made some power points doesn't mean you actually can handle your stuff mountain flying, or have enough experience doing it to have survived and learned from the lessons only time actually doing real mountain flying can teach

    This is just like the retired airline guys who start aerobatic or mountain flying courses and use their 35,000hrs in the flight levels in a wide body to boast their experience.

    Frankly unless you're trying to combine this with a BFR or need more dual hours, you don't NEED a CFI, just look for someone, CFI or not, who flys in real mountains (not waaaay over them), I'd take a Alaska freight dog, or a guy flying a super cub through the cascades, or even better go do some ridge flying glider guy, over many of these "mountain courses"

    Actually I'd probably go with CC (right next to CA actually) over most of those mountain courses, dude has been around real backcountry flying and has a master from the school of hard knocks.
    http://bush-air.com/school.htm
     
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  29. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    That's true only to a very limited extent because weather can change quickly ANYWHERE, it just typically does so more routinely in AK because of its high latitude. Bucking 50 knot venturi effect winds in CO under a restrictive ceiling will typically be substantially more demanding of aircraft and pilots because that 50 knot venturi is COMBINED with detrimental high DA.
     
  30. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    I've never seen a mountain course without experienced instructors, some better than others obviously. And I've gotten great instruction from all kinds of flyers that didn't have the CFI rating as well.
     
  31. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    In addition to the above, most of what is called mountain, or bush flying, is covered in the private pilot rating, pilots just don't apply it, or forget what they learned.
     
  32. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    Thanks. I was more interested in the departure stall story details if you'd care to.
     
  33. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Just off the cuff, reading Colorado site CFI bios, more than a couple of those CFIs mentioned working in the airlines, but not many mention any real work experience flying in piston planes down low in the mountains or backcountry, give me a ex missionary pilot from South America, or a sled driver in AK, or a porter pilot in indo, just being retiring from a airline or a master CFI, or having your PPL since in 60s doesn't make one qualified on mountain or backcountry flying, now to be fair a couple were CFI-Gs so if they are guys playing on the ridges that for sure counts and would be someone you'd want to learn from.


    Some very broad concepts are very lightly touched on, but often never demonstrated, the vast amount of PPLs never fully experience and experiment with ridge lift, actually do off field work or contact style flying, site surveys, cover the speeds a plane can waterski based on tire pressure and a few other things and what use it has, cover the types of sand to land on and the where you'll likely flip, the dynamic non linear use of flaps, confined area take offs and landings, turning takeoff and landings, canyon turns, heck how about even just full stall training under the dumbed down ACS, etc etc
     
  34. Katamarino

    Katamarino Cleared for Takeoff

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    I tend to see these as more of a "teach the guy to understand what he doesn't know" checkouts. They should be focused on teaching someone to know their limits and stay out of trouble, recognising the risks of mountains that otherwise might not be apparent, and not so much about trying to add extra competence or skills. Like you said, that takes more.
     
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  35. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    Guess Capt Jepps books were better way back when... The pilot still needs to properly apply the aeronautical academics that haven't changed. One of the best bush pilots I've flown with just happened to be an airline pilot (I didn't hold it against him) which paid for his bush habit. Of course a primo SuperCub or similar on huge bush tires has always gone a LONG ways towards making a good "Bush Pilot" or "Mountain Pilot" but then, that's academic too...
     
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  36. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    True, just easier to cull the CFI heard by sorting by who's put food on their table by doing XYZ type of flying.

    As for the cub, it's also much like having a 4x4 and not knowing anything about off roading, for a while you'll do better than the guy with 2 wheel drive, but when your lack of experience catches up with you, you're going to get waaaay more stuck.
     
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  37. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    That would be that bit AFTER a long ways towards...
     
  38. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    Life long accomplished Alaskan bush pilot Bill Quirk III's two books on "The Bush Pilot Way" have a huge amount of excellent material, if you can get past him calling bush pilots the elite, which although true, it seems on every page of the second book.
     
  39. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My wife's instructor was doing a stage check for another instructor. The club only has 172's so he figures it's time this guy sees what a 172 at gross weight feels like. Margy and I are in the back seat. The student seems to be doing well up until he rotates. We leave the ground and the pitch just keeps going up and up. I grab my wife for fear that we are going to not make it.

    It was about this time that I heard the "CFI death scream" (which is the instructions given to a student when the CFI fears his life is in jeopardy). The instructor is pushing hard against the student and the words were something like "GET THE NOSE DOWN. IF YOU DROP THIS THING ON ITS TAIL WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE."

    Fortunately we got a more sane AOA and the rest of the flight was uneventful.
     
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  40. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    Yeow! Reminds me of a commercial pilot that did the same thing at full gross in a SkyHawk on a Sunday afternoon while I was trying to get a nap. Just before leaving ground effect entirely to enter the stall (even at sea level) i jammed the yoke forward without saying anything so as not to overly shame him in front of two pax. Think his thumb got sprained. We resurfaced briefly then took off. Pax didn't really catch anything amiss. Powerful good times, he won't forget again. (?).