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Trapped in the Hills

Real Pilot Story

Natives of Monterrey, Mexico, pilots Arturo Guerra Perez, Sr. and Art, Jr. rely on their familiarity with the region’s terrain, and despite the intense mountain turbulence and sinking ceiling on one chilly November day, they aim for the gap between a low, overcast sky and the hills ahead.

In this harrowing real pilot story, a routine flight turns fatal as a father and son negotiate the Mamulique Pass back from Burnet, Texas, following a weekend adventure.

Join the AOPA Air Safety Institute as we explore how the allure of a familiar route can lead to a critical lapse in judgement and underscore the dangers of complacency in the cockpit.

ASI’s Real Pilot Stories allow pilots to share their encounters with dilemmas so others can benefit—while comfortable on the ground—from lessons learned the hard way in flight.

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We share a deep passion for aviation safety. As compassionate pilots, we bring together safety research, analysis, and knowledge in creative ways to share aviation safety education with you—with the ultimate goal of one day having zero fatal accidents in GA. If you find this information valuable, please consider a donation to support our work.

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA has enjoyed a partnership with Sporty’s that began long before the company became a Supporting Sponsor in 2012. AOPA pilots have relied on Sporty’s products since the company was launched in the early 1960s, when founder chairman, Hal Shevers, started selling supplies to his flight students. But the relationship between Sporty’s and AOPA goes beyond pilot supplies. An AOPA member for more than 50 years, Hal pioneered the three-day ground school when he taught for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation in 1963. In the 50 plus years since, Sporty’s and AOPA have continued to partner on items critical to safety, fun and freedom to fly. Today, the dedication of Sporty’s master instructors, product specialists, and exemplary customer service representatives positions Sporty’s as the world premier pilot shop, producing an extensive line of aviation training materials, and operating its own flight school.