Mountain Flying Adventure | AOPA Pilot April 2009 Issue


Telluride, Aspen, Leadville & Glenwood Springs Top The ListI opened my mail box yesterday and much to my delight, the cover story for April 2009 AOPA Pilot is Mountain Flying Adventure – Backcountry Adventure and to Ten most Challenging Airports. 

I thought this was a great piece.  The second piece was the survey results from asking AOPA members about the most challenging mountain airports.  The top four were here in Colorado – Telluride, Aspen, Leadville, and Glenwood Springs.

I thought summary of Telluride, Leadville,  and Glenwood Springs was on the money.  For Telluride the author didn’t mention the extreme runway gradient from end to center…. oh yea, forgot to tell you about that.  I think that is one additional factor that makes Telluride as challenging as it is.  Telluride runway is being redone, we’ll see if the gradient is the same when it’s finished.

I think Aspen was made out to be slightly more complicated than it really is.  Outbound traffic (especially piston aircraft in the summer) will not be able to stay right until above the inbound traffic due to the high density altitude.  As a result you’ll normally follow the Roaring Fork river out of the Valley and watch very closely for in bound aircraft as you cross the extended center line.

Throughout the summer I offer instruction for pilots that want to experience mountain flying.  I combine several hours of ground instruction with a tour of Colorado’s mountain airports and mountain passes.  Generally, the tour will visit a variety of airports that each present different challenges.  One reason I thought this AOPA article was so neat, is because as part of the training we usually visit each of these four airports.

If you would like to be introduced to mountain flying and visit some of the most challenging airports give us a call.