Mountain Flying

1 year 3 months ago #2886 by STEVE ELLS
Replied by STEVE ELLS on topic Mountain Flying
Hi Michael,
One rule of thumb is keep at least 2000 feet between your airplane and the peaks when the winds are above 20 knots.

Wind flow can be easily visualized when you look at a flowing stream or river. Flow is smooth and uninterrupted until there's a rock that projects above the surface. Water will run up the slope then break into a curling flow on the back side of the rock

Wind does the same. You let down on the down wind side of a mountain range into turbulent (unsmooth) airflow. That's to be expected.

You can fly further away from the lee side of the mountains before letting down to lessen the effects of the bumpy air.

Remember to always slow to maneuvering speed when you encounter moderate to severe turbulence. This is especially true on the lee side of a range when letting down.

I suggest you buy one of the good Mountain Flying books on the market to learn more about winds in the mountains and how to best handle a windy day.

I like Sparky Imeson's "Mountain Flying Bible," although there are others that I have heard good things about. Buy a used copy from an Amazon seller.

If you really want to get a great education on mountain flying, take a mountain flying course. AOPA has an online course. Try Googling mountain flying course for more information.

Happy Flying,

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1 year 3 months ago #2884 by Michael Martines
Mountain Flying was created by Michael Martines
I have read in many places that mountain flying should not be attempted with winds aloft beyond 20 to 25 knots due to turbulence. I fly a T210L and my question is, at what elevation is this recommendation no longer applicable? I recently flew from Durango to Colorado Space Port and had an amazingly smooth ride at 17,500 with a 30 to 35 knot tail wind. Upon hitting the foot hills and descending through 12,000 experienced severe turbulence for 10 or 15 miles then it tamed down to moderate. Just trying to make some sense of my experience.

Thanks to all.

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