November 11, 2009
Although it has only been available since June, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Mountain Flying course has already helped more than 4,000 pilots learn about flying in mountainous terrain - and that number is increasing rapidly.
"The quality of our Web-based programs, along with the convenience of online access, makes them popular for pilots nationwide," said ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. "Tens of thousands of pilots enjoy the free courses on our Web site every year."
The Mountain Flying program is one of many free online courses offered in the AOPA Online Safety Center, and it offers tips that benefit all pilots - even "flatlanders."
For example, even though summer is nearly over, density altitude should be a preflight consideration regardless of terrain or altitude. And proper leaning is not just for high-altitude operations. You'll learn why and how you should pull back the mixture knob anytime you're operating at less than 75-percent power. There will also be times when leaning the engine at full power is the only way to get maximum power.
"Before flying my family across country from Richmond, Virginia, to the Rocky Mountain region, I completed the Mountain Flying online course and truly benefited from being fresh with important safety information," wrote Gerald Waddill, a Cessna 182 pilot. "This was my second year in a row to make this trip and this year was made safer with the knowledge base given in your course. I highly recommend these courses to all my fellow pilots."
The Mountain Flying program was sponsored by the FAA and was based on a recommendation from the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, an industry-government safety oversight group committed to reducing general aviation (GA) fatal accidents.
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation, the world's largest nonprofit GA safety organization, was founded in 1950 solely to help general aviation pilots improve flight safety. Since that time, the GA total accident rate has dropped by more than 90 percent despite a large increase in GA flight hours. ASF produces live seminars, online interactive courses, videotapes, written Safety Advisors, and other aviation safety materials for free distribution to all GA pilots.
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