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Old 01-16-2022, 06:14 AM
airshawn58 airshawn58 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Cleveland Heights
Posts: 24
Exclamation MTN Flying

Hi All, I'm hoping to fly my RV7a -180hp CSProp- from Ohio to Eastern Oregon in late June. I have no mountain flying exp. per-se (unless Poconos and Smoky's count). I don't know what I don't know, but I want to know what I need to know to safely make the trip. All thoughts/suggestions welcome.
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Old 01-16-2022, 06:48 AM
Foghorn's Avatar
Foghorn Foghorn is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 260

This is a good place to start.
Jeff Parker
RV8 Fastback (Tomís Dream) - Building (N767TS)
C195 (Red Dawg) - Flying (N4469C)
Retired Army CW4 - Helicopters, KingAirs, B737, MD11
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Old 01-16-2022, 08:19 AM
wawrzynskivp wawrzynskivp is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Incline Village Nv
Posts: 308
Default Where do we need to use this skill set?

Honest question here:

When I moved to the Lake Tahoe area (KTRK) I hired a local CFI and mountain flying instructor to give me a tour of the local course rules, and to provide me with relevant 'mountain flying' guidance.

He assessed that my RV-7 had the performance to be flown above mountain flying effects, and flying in and out of medium to large GA airports doesn't demand those skills. Should I still desire that kind of training I would need to engage a full course in another aircraft such as a kitted out Cub.

This ring true for those who have had this training?

Obviously density altitude effects need to be fully understood by all as part of 91.103 and common sense.

Good link from Foghorn!

Last edited by wawrzynskivp : 01-16-2022 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 01-16-2022, 08:35 AM's Avatar is offline
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Buena Vista
Posts: 30

I have your same engine/prop in my RV-7A and I'm at 8000'. You will notice significant differences at high field elevation but the 7A will do just fine.

My biggest advice tidbit is FLY EARLY in the day. Try to avoid flying after lunch. Winds can get crazy in the afternoons... no fun. A/C will handle it but you will not like it.

I also try to follow passes going cross country. (the State sectional map shows the passes). Here in Colorado, most of the passes have AWOS REPORTS. Finally, if the winds are >30kts reporting at the pass, I will not fly.

Read and study about mountain flying. Brush up on cross wind landings.

I've landed with 40 kt X-WINDS but I'm used to it. I also like to add about 10kts TAS to rotation.

Our airport, KAEJ (7950' MSL & 8300' long) can have winds on the north and south ends of the runway 180 deg different (= WINDSHEAR POTENTIAL).

In any case, be aware of down drafts when slow and on final; for this reason, I tend to come in a bit high and hot, esp. if I suspect windshear.

There is a ton of info on how to cross ridge lines, how to spot and avoid mountain wave (it happened to me once, NEVER again... terrifying) and many other critical issues in mountain flying. Pls read up or better get training! If you come to my area, pls reach out (I own a couple of hangars and can help).
2008 RV-7A flip up
IO360; CS Composite prop
4 GRT EFIS (3 WS, 1 HX); IFD440 Driving it all.
Baggage access door behind Pilot seat
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:41 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,250

Also in CO.... Good advice, all that.

A general concept of the wave phenomenon will help assessing how to fly it. In general, you can expect turbulence in and around the roll cloud and very smooth lift or sink in the wave itself. In the right conditions, you can see the roll cloud or the lenticulars. Generally, they are worse at the higher wind speeds and they increase spacing at the higher wind speeds.

I have encountered very mild wave effect 400 miles east of the main event; if you find that you are having difficulty holding altitude (both up and down) in a more or less regular pattern, going up for a bit and then down for a bit, not much, look to the wind forecast in the mountainous areas.

Around here, I tend to check the Denver winds at 12k'. If they are over 20 kts, expect wave. That's just a very general guideline, and note that is not the wind over the ridge from the AWOS.

You can take the I-80 route and save yourself some of the more rugged terrain, by the way.

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Old 01-16-2022, 10:43 AM
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jrtens jrtens is offline
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Utah
Posts: 267

+1 Just follow I-80 across the rockies for the easiest and safest way. Have fun!
2019 12iS SLSA
Salt Lake Int'l
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Old 01-16-2022, 11:27 AM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Havasu City AZ
Posts: 2,768
Default Mountains

Plus 1 for I80 for your first trip. Ease into the mountains by being at the end of the runway ready to go at sunrise and quit at 1100 the first day. Salt Lake to Boise and then to destination.
Try to have an alternate where it will be easier to deal with potential crosswinds, even if you need to pick a dirt runway that is well maintained if the crosswind on the main runway is too much.
If the density altitude is getting up around 10k try to stick with the really long runways such as Rock Springs.
This route should keep you away from the worst mountain wave.
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Old 01-16-2022, 12:06 PM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 4,620

Shawn, good idea to get some additional knowledge/training. Lots of great advice already shared in this thread. I found this book helpful.

I was also required to get some "actual" in the mountains as part of my PPL, and it was eye-opening. Of course my RV-8 and your RV-7 are much higher performance aircraft than the typical trainer, but there are still many situations where you simply can't out-climb the winds in the mountains.

Not to mention knowledge of blind canyons, mountain waves and other turbulence, and the well-known density altitude challenges.

One thing I invested in which I use when flying over about 7500ft is an oxygen concentrator. I have the inogen g5, and it will help keep your head clear well up into the teens. I got it "used but new" for about $1500. Nice piece of equipment.
Mickey Coggins
Fresh Ukraine update from RV-6 owner Alex 6 May 2022!
"Hello, world!"
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Old 01-16-2022, 05:35 PM
FlyinTiger FlyinTiger is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gilbert, SC
Posts: 328
Thumbs up O2 and Pulse Ox Meter

Recommend flying as high as you have planned for your trip in the local area to test out any oxygen system you may choose to use. Carry a Pulse Ox meter that you put on your finger and test yourself on the ground and in the air to see what is normal for you.

Read up on the recommendations on oxygen use in the AIM for day and night.

Research and read, watch videos, etc on hypoxia and the symptoms. If you have someone that will go with you on these flights make sure they learn what hypoxia symptoms are and how to recognize them so they can let you know if you have any visible.

Be aware of higher ground speeds on landing at high altitude airports. Your brakes should be checked and have plenty of wear left on them before heading out on that cross country. You'll find yourself landing at a noticeably higher ground speed for the same indicated air speed and you may use a lot more brakes than you are used to to get the plane down to taxi speed for your turn off.

The FAA Wings course on high altitude airport operations is useful, listed as "ALC-92 Mountain Flying."

Of course the best case would be to find a knowledgeable CFI that is experienced in teaching a mountain flying course like the FAA Wings Mountain Flying course. The Appalacian Mountains close to you can be used to teach the mountain flying course. As you travel over the Rockies you'll have to take what you learned and apply it conservatively to gain experience...always learning!

Launching from SC45
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Old 01-16-2022, 06:20 PM
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TigerMan92 TigerMan92 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Howell, MI
Posts: 122
Default Proposed Route

I flew this route from Oregon to Michigan in April 2021. Two days and 13 hours flying time total. Heading from Bear Lake, ID to Rock Springs, WY we had a 40kts tail wind at 12,500 ft and hit 217kts.

Great trip with no problems at all. Just carry the proper survival gear.

Good Luck!
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RV-7A, XIO-360, MT CS 3Blade, Slider
AG-5B, N521TT, Sold
AA-5B, N28684, Sold
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