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HomeMountain Flying Course

Mountain Flying Course 

SPONSORED BY THE COLORADO PILOTS ASSOCIATION Flying the Colorado Rockies, with more than 50 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet, and into more than a dozen public-use airports located near the communities and recreational areas located there, can be an exhilarating experience. But it can also be a hazardous experience for those unaware of the unique weather related variables encountered in mountain flight and the effects on aircraft performance. In Colorado, accident statistics show that pilots without the skills needed for safe flight over mountainous terrain often get themselves into situations which are beyond their capability to handle. The mountain flying course is a program developed by the Colorado Pilots Association to improve that capability.

THE COURSE: The ground school course was originally developed by the Colorado Pilots Association in 1986. It is presented in Colorado at least twice each year and occasionally at out-of-state locations. It is taught by Colorado pilots who live and fly the mountains in business and recreational flying. Through the years it has evolved into one of the premier safety training courses of its kind. 

The course takes the student on a simulated flight over several mountain passes and into a number of high elevation mountain airports. Instructors take time to discuss factors affecting the safety of flight at each step on the route and make extensive use of aerial photography and a technical workbook to illustrate information needed for a safe flight. The workbook is part of the course materials provided under the registration fee for the course.

GROUND SCHOOL CONTENT: The ground school covers the basics necessary for flight in mountainous areas, including:

Mountain weather phenomena 
Flight planning for mountain flying 
Density altitude 
High altitude performance 
Off-airport landings 
Mountain winds 
Mountain airport arrivals 
Enroute navigation 
Emergency planning 
Proper leaning procedures 
Mountain airport departures 
It also prepares a pilot for the optional mountain cross-country training flight in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. 

OPTIONAL MOUNTAIN CROSS-COUNTRY FLIGHT: The optional cross-country training flight, though not part of this ground school course, is an excellent introduction to flying in the high country. The route takes you over two mountain passes and to several mountain airports (with paved runways), providing reinforcement of what is taught in the ground school. The aircraft used (provided by the student) should have at least 160 hp. The course takes about 3 1/2 to 5 hours to fly, depending on the aircraft. Completion of both the ground school and cross-country training flight will fulfill the requirements of the FAA's "Wings" program. A "Wings" program completion with logbook entry will be accepted by the FAA in lieu of a Biennial Flight Review. Individuals wishing to participate in this portion of the program may choose a qualified mountain flying instructor from the MOUNTAIN FLYING INSTRUCTOR PILOTS list, or contact the program administrator for assistance in selecting an available instructor. 

Your aircraft POH
Current Denver sectional (WAC is not detailed enough), plotter, pencil for drawing course lines
- OR -
Tablet (iPad, Android, etc) with your favorite flight planning application

Current FAA Medical
Current BFR
Current Aircraft Liability Insurance
Minimum of 125 hours total time
Minimum of 3 T/O and Landings in last 90 days
Aircraft minimum of 180 HP without prior approval
NO fixed pitch “CRUISE” props

Personal Items for the Cross-Country flight
Set of warm clothing (including hat and gloves) in case of emergency landing
Any FAA approved Medication (in case of any delays returning to Denver)
ENROLLMENT: Pilots wishing to attend ground school are urged to pre-register within three days of the desired class date.

      08:30 - 09:00 Check In
      09:00 - 11:30 Ground School
      11:30 - 13:00 Lunch (on your own)
      13:00 - 17:00 Ground School

      $185 - CPA members
      $200 - non-CPA members

Check payable to Colorado Pilots Association, P.O. Box 200911, Denver, Colorado   80220-0911 
       Note:   Fee for the Optional Cross-Country Flight is currently set at a flat rate of $250 and is paid directly to your flight instructor.

Colorado Pilots Association
PO Box 200911
Denver, CO 80220-0911
(303) 367-0670