Here’s basic guidance on flying mountain terrain by Loren French, with Alpine Flight Training. He teaches an introductory mountain flying course aimed at piston-engine pilots navigating below 12,000 feet in VFR conditions.
Basic mountain flying considerations
- Don’t try to out climb rising terrain
- Climb to altitude before attempting to cross passes and ridges
- To cross passes and ridges fly a 45 degree angle
- Box canyons: Before entering a valley or canyon have sufficient altitude to clear the highest terrain
- Understand your turn radius to airplane speed
- Fly the windward side of ridges and not the downdrafts on the leeward side
- When tracking parallel with a valley It’s usually best to fly the updraft side of the valley
- Plan your abort landing procedures in advance
What are your basic mountain flying considerations?
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