November 1, 2004
By Ian J. Twombly
Mountain flying can be some of the most rewarding and beautiful flying a pilot will ever experience. Unfortunately, it also can be one of the most dangerous.Like many Florida pilots, I never learned proper mountain techniques during initial training. After all, when the tallest point in the state is often joked to be Epcot, knowledge of mountain flying is not particularly necessary or useful — as long as you don't leave the flatlands. In fact, most pilots only learn one important mountain-flying principle in their initial training — density altitude.
Although density altitude is a key concept in mountain flying, there are many other considerations a pilot must take to remain safe, not the least of which is wind. This point became evident to me on a recent trip flying around Denali in Alaska where my instructor was able to keep us safe from downdrafts, simply by coaching me on which side of a pass to fly through. In addition to weather and density altitude, all pilots should consider the following before venturing into mountainous areas.
(For more stories on mountain flying in this issue, see " Safety Pilot: Going to Jackson," page 48, " Hard Knocks," page 97, and " On Display: Steering Clear," page 147.)
Answers to frequently asked questions about your AOPA membership
Q. I enjoy receiving AOPA ePilot, but would like to read more articles about my specific aviation interests — is that possible?
A. Yes, just tell us your aviation interests, and we'll build a custom ePilot newsletter for you, delivered to your inbox each Friday. You can request content based on the type of flying that you do, aircraft you normally fly, whether you own or rent an aircraft, or even your geographic location. Log onto AOPA Online and in the left column go to AOPA Magazines. Select Personalize Your ePilot Content from the drop-down list. You may choose as many categories as you wish, and you can update your preferences as often as you like.
Q. Can you give me some gift ideas for a new pilot?
A. An AOPA gift membership is an excellent way to acknowledge a new pilot's achievement. For just $39, you'll be providing 12 issues of AOPA Pilot magazine, a copy of AOPA's Airport Directory, access to the toll-free Pilot Information Center (800/872-2672), and access to the members-only section of AOPA Online. In addition, your new pilot will be automatically entered in the 2004 AOPA Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes — a chance to win a fully restored, totally loaded 1965 Piper Twin Comanche. Log onto our Web site and click on Join/Renew near the top of the page. Then click on the box on the right side of the page that says, Give an AOPA Gift Membership Today! Fill in the requested information, and we'll send a personalized gift card to the recipient.
Q. Where can I buy merchandise with the AOPA logo?
A. Show the world you are a pilot and an AOPA member by ordering AOPA insignia products from Sporty's Pilot Shop. Embroidered with the classic AOPA logo, a great-looking shirt or the AOPA pilot cap identifies you as one who supports GA through membership in AOPA. When you use your AOPA Visa or MasterCard, you'll get a 5-percent discount on any item purchased from the Sporty's Pilot Shop catalog. Every purchase from the AOPA Insignia Collection and every purchase made on an AOPA credit card returns a royalty to AOPA to support GA programs. Call 800/SPORTYS (776-7897) or visit the Web site ( www.sportys.com).
Telephone: 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672), 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday After hours: Renew your membership, reset your Web password, or enroll in Automatic Annual Renewal using our self-service touch-tone phone option.
Web: Update your personal information, renew your membership, and much more by clicking on My AOPA in the left column of our home page (www.aopa.org).
AOPA's A Pilot's Guide to Mountain Flying booklet compiled by AOPA's aviation technical specialists. www.aopa.org/members/files/guides/mntfly.html
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
Safety and Education,
With Super Bowl XLIX around the corner, AOPA sat down with the commander in charge of national air defense.
New draft airman certification standards are available for review on the FAA’s website. In addition to releasing the draft standards, the FAA also announced that it would be deleting questions from the private pilot airplane knowledge test, effective Feb. 9.
The Environmental Protection Agency has denied the most recent petition from environmental groups that asked the agency to reconsider a 2012 decision not to immediately pursue an endangerment finding for leaded avgas.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>