Logbook Stories

from my "Standard Pilot Master Log"


I Get High On Extracurriculars

June 27, 1975

I think it's great and well worth it when a pilot takes advantage of extra training and knowledge even when it's not immediately applicable to their current aviation career needs. The flight school at which I trained for most of my basic professional pilot credentials was located not far from the Rocky Mountains Front Range and they offered a mountain flying course. So when the time was right I got checked out in the Cessna 182 and signed up for the course.

On a nice summer day Lonnie R. and I went out to fly the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Lonnie taught me techniques of crossing ridgelines, staying out of box canyons, effects of winds aloft, winds over terrain, micro weather events, reading clouds, etc. We landed and departed from airports like Aspen, Glenwood Springs (one-way into a canyon) and Leadville (highest elevation airport in America).

The departure from Leadville was really interesting. With half tanks and only two persons onboard it took the C-182 almost the entire runway to get airborne, and we crossed over the departure end in ground effect and then had to make a shallow turn to the right and fly down into a shallow valley, still in ground effect and over a herd of sheep in order to build enough airspeed to begin a slow climb. An aerial view of the airport, looking down the departure runway is shown below. I don't know if the sheep still graze off the end of the runway there. When we flew over them they didn't seem too bothered by it. Apparently they were pretty used to low-flying aircraft.



References for Non-Pilots: