We completed a mountain flying course with full motion Redbird FMX simulator

Mountain goat above the clouds in sunset - Alpine Ibex - in Julian Alps_credit iStockPhotos
End of the Day, mountain goat above clouds in sunset, credit iStock Photos

This year, we also completed a mountain flying course with Professional Aviation Resources (PAR), based in Addison Texas. Rachel Palmer, CEO of PAR, ensured all the scheduling and onsite arrangements were flawlessly managed.

The course included a day of ground instruction, followed by flight training in a full motion Redbird FMX simulator with the configuration based on our make and model aircraft. Robert Palmer is the lead Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP). He has more than 18,000 hours flight experience and many levels of certification. He has put together a very well designed program with high quality instruction.

To begin our day, an old mountain flying joke provided the context for training. It’s a cartoon of two pilots looking out from the cockpit into the clouds and asking the question “What’s that goat doing up here in the clouds?” When flying close to mountains you don’t want to see goats in the clouds.

A primary teaching strategy was identifying threats and reducing errors using the Line Operations Safety Assessment (LOSA) methodology applied to mountain airport operations. The process helped to identify threats and potential errors associated with a destination airport by using resources readily available: a) airport facility directory; b) Jeppesen approach information; c) SkyVector.com to identify expected routing; d) AIRNAV and e) accident reports.

The course included Standard Operating Procedures from Cirrus Flight Operations Manual (FOM) and teaching two stage approach briefing that includes review of the plate and verification process that the approach and missed procedures are properly loaded into the Flight Management System.

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