Mountain flying

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Drifter001, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. Drifter001

    Drifter001 Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey all. Ive just recently got my PPL. I m currently working on getting all my endorsements as well as started my IFR. Im beginning my search to buy an airplane. My home airport is at 3200 in Montana so id want something that can potentially get higher as well as cruise at a decent speed for cross countries with good fuel efficiency. Ive been looking at a turbo arrow but the little research I've done hasnt produced good results for those turbo continentals. I would love some input as well as other suggestions for an aircraft. TIA
     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Nothing particularly wrong with the turbocharged Continentals. You have to handle them correctly. Putting a Merlyn automatic wastegate helps. We had one in our club for a long time. Nice plane. You'll have the same engine in the Mooney 231 and a couple of the other Pipers. General consensus is that the issues have settled down some over the years.

    Your other options would be to go up to a turbocharged version of a Bonanza or 182. The Bo has a larger Continental (different service history) and the 182 has various turbocharged Lycomings.
     
  3. Drifter001

    Drifter001 Filing Flight Plan

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    So from a maintenance standpoint, would either the 231 Mooney or turbo arrow be the best choice?
     
  4. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I have only a little Arrow time and one flight in a 231. I would avoid that early type turbo engine. Get a normal as Mooney after the 201 or if you must have turbo, get a T 182 or better yet a B 36 T. The 182 will do the job but not much excitement.
     
  5. Skates97

    Skates97 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Are you certain you have to have the turbo? It would be nice, especially in the hot summer months, but possible is not a "necessity," especially if you are looking for lower maintenance costs. We've flown our Mooney with an O-360 in it all over the place in the southwest (CA/AZ/UT/ID) and cross-country to the East Coast. Highest DA we've taken off was in Delta, UT in the summer and it was reported at 9,100'. Long runway and an anemic climb rate but doable. If you're wanting to go up and over the rocks you're going to want that turbo but with planning you can take a NA plane a lot of places.
     
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  6. Magnus P.IFR

    Magnus P.IFR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I live in Montana as well, and the 182 has been my preferred aircraft. I’ve taken it to backcountry strips in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Flown to the west coast and through the heat of the southwest. The standard continental O-470 has been a great engine. Even when fully loaded at elevation it’s able to get in the air on fairly high density altitude days.
    FWIW
     
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  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I should point out I learned to fly at 6000' in an Cessna 152. My Navion with the IO-550 does reasonably well at those field elevations. I've had her up to 17,000 once, a turbo would have been nice but not essential.
     
  8. MountainDude

    MountainDude Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Cessna 182 with a PPonk and you are set.
     
  9. Drifter001

    Drifter001 Filing Flight Plan

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    turbo isn’t a requirement. Currently flying an arrow II that I rent out from my flight school so def open to other suggestions
     
  10. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    What kind of flying do you intend to do?

    Are your cross country plans a few hundred miles, or half way across the country and back?

    If you want to experience the Incredible back country where you are get a good little taildragger.

    I fly out of a 4000 ASL airport and none of the six airplanes I've owned was/is turbocharged. Fly it light and you'll be fine. If you need to carry a fair bit buy a plane with a good useful load and a constant speed prop, such as a Piper Dakota or 182, and still fly it light.
     
  11. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I have a fixed gear 182P Turbo. Max gross at high density alt is no issue. Turbo-normalized is amazing great to have in mountain territory. Also fling 5,000AGL over the peaks is glorious. No mountain waves and smoother flight.
     
  12. Drifter001

    Drifter001 Filing Flight Plan

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    mostly it’d be like Montana to Seattle or salt lake etc. some local flights would also be in the mix as well as maybe a bit of back country. I don’t see myself doing the long x-countries very often but my other half does have family in the Seattle area.
     
  13. Drifter001

    Drifter001 Filing Flight Plan

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    the 182 has come up a few times on here so I’ll have to look into one or try and find someone with one that’ll take me up in it
     
  14. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    That's a nice flight in the warm weather months, as long as Seattle isn't socked in and pouring rain. But in the winter the Cascades are a giant icemaker. So you'll need to pick your times carefully, no matter what small airplane you own.
     
  15. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    From 3200 ft, you don’t need a turbo.
     
  16. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    My first long term airplane I owned was a "77 Money M20J , "201". It was and is a really good airplane for the money, you can get a nice one for under $100 K. I flew it for 10 years maybe a thousand hours all over the U S. I will climb well even at our 7800 ft airport and has a service ceiling of 17,800 ft and it will go there. The engine is simple and reliable, Lyc IO-360. So I have a good experience with a normally aspirated plane, and I used to be partial to them.
    But I live in the middle of the mountains in the middle of Colorado, a state with 52 peaks over 14,000 ft. For 15 years I have owned an '88 Be 36 TC Bonanza with factory turbo engine TSIO 520 UB. I like the plane and the turbo. I have had a number of occasions to climb over clouds as high as 19,000 ft and the plane will do it. I don't like that extra expense and fragile exhaust valves in the Cont engine.

    If I lived in Florida, I might have a non turbo, but up here I need and use it. By the way I don't go up to the flight levels and file IFR flight plans. Many of my flights especially in good weather are at 13,500 or 14,500. And I do use O2 a lot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  17. Snowmass

    Snowmass Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Maybe an earlier C-210. My non-turbo 1964 has a full gross ceiling of 21,000' and I went to 23,000' at medium load to top ice. A lot of airplane for under $60k. And, before you ask, the gear has NOT been a problem.
     
  18. Drifter001

    Drifter001 Filing Flight Plan

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    That’s the thing I’d want. Be able to get up and above if needed but obviously not necessary. Most of the peaks around here are 10k but you could easily navigate around them
     
  19. Drifter001

    Drifter001 Filing Flight Plan

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    never even thought about the 210. I’ll have to look into it
     
  20. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Have a look at maybe the best Flying Chops video series on Mountain Flying with a 182T in the Sierras.

    Flying to Sierras:


    Mountain take-off:



    F
    lying ridges and passes:


    Gives a good idea how a standard 182 performs. 182 turbo, forget about it amazing performance.
     
  21. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Arturo, Really? 23,000 in a normally aspirated C 210? That's awfully high, and that was before weed was legal. I looked up the 210 service ceiling and I found 17,200 which seems more in line with other planes. Your figure of 21,000 "at full gross" is quite something, but I'd sure like to see the part of your flight manual or where you get that figure from. Thanks

    By the way the last photo in the series above shows some very hostile terrain from which you are unlikely to survive in case of a forced landing. Often times you can detour a little from the direct route and have a lot better terrain under you.
     
  22. a572mike

    a572mike Pre-Flight

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    Displaced Montanan now living in Nevadifornia here. My '58 182 worked well in Montana and it works well in Western Nevada.
     
  23. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Turbo Viking if you have a hangar to store it.
     
  24. Snowmass

    Snowmass Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here is a copy of the appropriate page of my 210 manual. I hope it is readable. The 23K was after a solo departure from KGWS with partial fuel. I needed to clear clouds topping ridges near KTEX. Ice is not nice. BTW we met last August at KASE. I was with Momo and family from Los Alamos.
     

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  25. Drifter001

    Drifter001 Filing Flight Plan

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    Good to know. I’ll def consider a 182 as well
     
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  26. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    Yeah, standard 182 should be fine at most strips in the US. I don't do any Vy climbs at altitude, but mine will hold a 500-700 fpm cruise climb up to about 8500 with the prop pulled back in the green and about 20 mph above Vy. Vy at max available power should get you a decent climb rate at all but the highest strips in the states. I've never actually tested the service ceiling in my airplane, but I know it still has climb in it at 11,000.

    Here's the book. As I said, I haven't tested beyond 11K, but mine happens to run really close to the book in just about every other way I've tested so far.
    [​IMG]
     
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  27. bluerooster

    bluerooster Pattern Altitude

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    Dads '56 182 lived at nearly 8000' field elevation in CO. No power mods. It performed very well.
     
  28. Drifter001

    Drifter001 Filing Flight Plan

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    Good to know
     
  29. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's really more a question of what else you want in the airplane. If you want complex, you are not going to be interested in a 182 or 172 HawXP, both excellent mountain airplanes (one of my favorite stories is taking off from KAEJ - 8,000 msl - on a 90+ degree July 4th in an XP). Without going to turbocharging, in the complex category, I'd put the 182RG and just about any HP complex so long as the weight-to power ratio is good.
     
  30. Scott@KTYR

    Scott@KTYR Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Congrats on your PPL.
    Consider your useful load when looking at a plane. 4 people and luggage will effect how much fuel you can carry and distance you can travel between refueling stops. Not to mention getting off the ground on a high altitude airport.
     
  31. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    I have had my C150 up to 12,600 and it had plenty more to go. Book value is only 12,500.
     
  32. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    The 182 I rented for several lengthy cross country trips two summers ago really impressed me with its altitude performance. It is a 2011 G1000 equipped 182T (to be clear, non-turbo) with the Lycoming engine. On one mid-August flight I had it at 17,000 ASL eastbound over the Continental Divide, dodging Tcu. It was light, with just two of us and camping gear on board, and a lower fuel load as we were in the last hour of the trip home.

    Regardless, I think the 182 wing is much better for altitude work than any of the 5 Piper's I have owned.

    If only it was a low wing it would be perfect. :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  33. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    I question that, unless you were half-full tanks, flying solo, naked and in cold weather.

    I flew a 150 out of Bryce Canyon a couple months ago. It’s at 7600 feet. I was solo, full tanks and some camping gear. Took about 10 miles to get near 500 agl. A 150 is not a realistic mountain flying plane. Fun to fly, but not in the mountains.
     
  34. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    519C41CC-EB39-45C3-A433-B8EDE6579973.png It was cold and not at gross, but full fuel. It was a test to take the plane up to the oxygen levels to use my new O2 tank. I just pulled up the analysis from FlyQ and I went from 400 to 12,600 in 34 minutes for an average climb rate of 358 ft/min and it did not slope off that much at the end.
     
  35. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    See, now that's exciting. C210. Pfft!
     
  36. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    I was probably loaded bit more than you. Plus I’m fat :p

    I think I did get her up around 11500 but didn’t push it further.
     
  37. Drifter001

    Drifter001 Filing Flight Plan

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    Definitely looking at something with higher useful load. For the longer cross countries it’ll usually be three adults including myself along with luggage