Have you ever wanted to venture into the mountains with your airplane, but worried that you may not be ready for the challenge? If you want to fly in the mountains, the best idea is to get some mountain flight instruction from a qualified flight instruction that specializes in mountain flying. The team of instructors at Alpine Flight Instruction can provide just that training.
Central Colorado offers incredible natural beauty, from desert mesas to snow-capped 14,000 ft peaks. This landscape also presents a wide variety of challenges for all pilot experience levels. Narrow and sloping runways, one-way airports, density altitudes in excess of 10,000 ft and difficult-to-predict mountain wave will test your decision-making abilities and skills as a pilot.
Safe and enjoyable flying in the mountains requires the right perspective, solid understanding of aircraft performance, the operating environment and most importantly, your abilities as a pilot. The proficient mountain pilot will carefully assess each of these factors when planning a mountain flight.
Our course is taught by Loren French, our instructor with over 2500 hours of mountain flying time. He has ATP rating in single engine airplanes and is a commercial pilot in multi-engine land airplanes, single engine sea airplanes, and gliders.
2 Day Mountain Flying Courses
$749 (your own aircraft) / $1499 (Diamond DA-20)
The two day course includes two full days of instruction, approximately 8-9 hours of flight and 4-5 hours of ground training. Come and visit Colorado and fly into some of the most majestic mountain areas.
The Course Lecture
Our Mountain Flying Course consists of 4-5 hours of ground training spread over two days where you will learn the basics of how to fly in the mountainous terrain. You will learn the fundamentals of performance considerations, mountain weather, navigation, strategies for terrain flying, and perspectives to help you develop a good Go-No-Go Judgment. We’ll also cover aspects of mountain flight planning and instrument considerations for mountain flying.
The Course Flight
Each student will then fly two separate routes, one route on each day. The first day, we’ll depart Eagle, fly to Steamboat Springs, then to Meeker, Glenwood Springs (depending upon aircraft landing capabilities), and finally Aspen before returning to Eagle. The second day, we will depart Eagle, fly to Leadville, the highest airport in North America, then to Gunnison, North Fork Valley before returning to Eagle. There will also be an option for visiting Telluride along this route.
1 Day Mountain Flying Courses
$399 (your own aircraft) / $799 (Diamond DA-20)
The one day course includes a full day of instruction, approximately 3.5 hours of flight and 4.5 hours of ground training. Come and visit Colorado and fly into some of the most majestic mountain areas, you’ll visit four of the most diverse mountain airports that Colorado has to offer in this condensed one day course.
The Course Lecture
Our Mountain Flying Course consists of 4 hours of ground training where you will learn the basics of how to fly in the mountainous terrain. You will learn the fundamentals of performance considerations, mountain weather, navigation, strategies for terrain flying, and perspectives to help you develop a good Go-No-Go Judgment. We’ll also cover aspects of mountain flight planning and instrument considerations for mountain flying.
The Course Flight
Each student will then fly a route starting from Eagle flying Tennessee Pass to Leadville, the highest airport in North America, then crossing Hagarman Pass to Aspen, and finally Glenwood Springs before returning to Eagle over Cottonwood Pass. This route crosses the Collegiate mountain range, some of the highest in Colorado between Leadville and Aspen.
Mountain Training Plans
Call and talk to the instructors at Alpine Flight Training. We will build a training plan ideally suited to any pilot’s skill level and experience. Our instructors can provide mountain training in our rental aircraft or in your own aircraft. Additionally, we can arrange to meet you at an airport east or west of the Rockies on the way from where you are coming from.
Instinct and Intuition – A Recipe for Disaster
In the course of going through the most basic pilot training many of us learn that control inputs based on instinct or intuition are often wrong. Some examples of this are the graveyard spiral or recovery from a spin. In the case of each, the natural thing to do is not the correct thing to do. Mountain Flying is very similar, in that the natural and intuitive strategy does not always equate to a good strategy.
The goal of our mountain flight training is to help you develop a different perspective with regards to navigating your aircraft through the mountains. This new perspective will help you develop conditioned responses to keep your aircraft safe as you navigate the mountains. The basic premise is simple….(1) stay in a position to turn to lowering terrain and (2) never fly past the point of no return. While these rules seem simple enough, it takes some practice to develop them into conditioned responses. This conditioning takes time and effort, that is, practice with an experienced mountain pilot. It is not something you go out and do once or twice and figure you have “it.” But it is something you can be aware of so that you condition yourself. Keep repeating the rules to yourself, “Stay in a position to turn to lower terrain,” while constantly evaluating the flight situation.
Redefining Aircraft Performance and Weather
The second really large area we focus our time on when teaching mountain flying is related to the areas of aircraft performance and weather. With regards to the topics of aircraft performance and weather the goal is to thoroughly review the knowledge areas, and focus specifically on how they apply to mountain flying. Additionally, we’ll show you some techniques you can use to improve your flying specifically related to aircraft performance and weather.
Mountain Flying Syllabus
Our mountain flying training is custom tailored to each pilot. Every pilot is different is terms of what they plan to do, and the sort of aircraft they are using, as a result every mountain flying training session is a little different. For this reason we don’t have a set training syllabus, however the training syllabus below will provide an overview of many of the topics we cover during mountain flight training. The goal of this course is to provide the pilot with the basic tools of knowledge, skill and judgment to fly safely in mountainous terrain, while having a challenging and rewarding experience.
Mountain Flying Strategy
- Flight Planning
- Navigation Strategies
Takeoff & Landing
- Determining Density Altitude
- Takoff and & Landing Performance
- Climb Performance
- Takeoff Startegy…Ground Effect? Flaps?
- Engine Cooling Issues
- Cross Wind Review
- Runway Gradient & Effect on TO/Land
- Constricted Approches
- Determining Wind Direction and Intensity
- Proper Techniques for Leaning
Flying through Rugged Terrain
- Box Canyons
- Canyon/Valley Turns
- Evaluating and Crossing Ridges & Plateaus
- Weather Factors
- Circulation & Pressure Patterns
- Orographic / Solar Effects
- Winds and Mountain Wave
- Diurnal Effect
- Precautionary and Forced Landings
- Surveying Landing Sites
- Survival Planning
Practice at Mountain Airports
- Leadville, Aspen, Telluride, Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs, Meeker, Grandby, Gunnison, Salida, and others depending upon student’s interest.
Alpine Flight Training offers private pilot ground and flight training as well as instrument training at the Eagle County Regional Airport located in Eagle Colorado. Our training features a Diamond DA-20 Eclipse, one of the safest training aircraft in the industry, The DA-20 is the primary choice of flight schools through the nation as well as the training airplane for the US Air Force initial flight screening program. We are conveniently located within a short driving distance from Eagle, Gypsum, Glenwood Springs, Avon, Minturn, Vail, Beaver Creek, and Edwards.