July 30, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
Pilots looking for ways to explore Colorado’s spectacular backcountry in a general aviation aircraft can find helpful information, ideas and images at a new website launched to promote the state’s recreational aviation opportunities.
The site, Fly Colorado, was created by Colorado Recreational Aviation Committee (CORAC), in partnership with the Colorado Pilots Association.
“The goal of CORAC is to promote general aviation in Colorado and to provide a readily accessible database of information for pilots to access for trip planning,” the group explains on the site, which went live in May. “While detailed runway and FBO information already exists on multiple platforms, the local knowledge surrounding the logistics of getting from point A to B and the facilities available to recreational pilots are not always clear. Documenting these details and providing easy access to this information benefits both pilots and businesses that support them.”
Pilots visiting the site will find photography, webcam views, and ideas to help them select destinations for a backcountry outing. A calendar provides scheduling information about fly-ins and other events A database of backcountry airstrips provides maps and overviews of public airports, strips on Bureau of Land Management property, and private strips in the Colorado back country.
Pilots can read up on mountain flying basics, and follow links to other sources of information about those specialized piloting skills.
Still “under construction” on the site was a page dedicated to mountain passes (to include photos and videos taken in flight) and mountain weather. The site brings together clickable links to reports from all automated weather stations in Colorado’s mountains on one page.
Trip reports and space dedicated to the pursuit of aviation’s Holy Grail—the hundred-dollar hamburger—can be found at the site section called "The Hangar."
Pilots can submit information for inclusion on the site by email. CORAC is requesting feedback from site users as content is added and updated.
“AOPA strongly supports recreational and backcountry aviation in Colorado and across the country, and is pleased to collaborate with groups like the Colorado Pilots Association and the Recreational Aviation Foundation to expand and protect access to backcountry airstrips and recreational opportunities,” said David Ulane, AOPA’s Northwest Mountain regional manager.
“This is an excellent resource that will provide pilots with a wide array of information, helping them make the most of recreational and backcountry aviation in Colorado,” he said.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
Recreational Aviation Foundation,
Pilots in Washington State have another voice advocating for them on airport, economic, legislative, and public perception issues: the Washington State Aviation Alliance.
Under a current Washington law, only 10 percent of the aircraft excise taxes that aircraft owners pay go to the Washington State Division of Aeronautics, while the other 90 percent go into the general fund. AOPA is advocating for legislation that would direct 100 percent of the tax to aviation use.
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