For more than a century, pilots have been intrigued by the challenges of flight in the highest mountains and the deepest canyons on every continent. Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying allows pilots to get off the beaten path and enjoy the outdoors. It opens up a whole new world of recreation, including airplane camping, hiking, fishing, and staying at guest lodges or bush camps in areas without roads or easy access by land or water.
Flying in these enticing environments often entails operations over relatively inaccessible terrain in a challenging and sometimes unforgiving environment. This necessitates the proper mindset, discipline, and procedures to operate efficiently and safely. Operating over mountains, navigating through canyons, taking off and landing on unimproved, high-altitude airstrips in confined areas, and maximizing airplane performance requires specialized skills. The authors and guest writers share information and tips gleaned from more than 150 years and 100,000 hours of collective experience as professional mountain and backcountry pilots and flight instructors.
Recreational pilots to mountain flying instructors will find this book useful, and college and university professors can use the text to supplement their classroom instruction. Fundamental concepts include preparing for and conducting mountain and canyon flights, airport operations, situational awareness, aircraft performance, risk management, and emergency operations. Analysis of accident scenarios, accounts from the authors’ own experiences, and contributions from seasoned backcountry pilots and instructors expand on material detailed in the text. Each chapter includes exercises to help the reader understand and apply the information to their own flying, and beautiful color illustrations will inspire pilots to seek out these awe-inspiring destinations.
Forward by Rod Machado
Read the Forward, written by Aviation Author and instructor Rod Machado
“Operating in the environments described by Hoover and Williams demands peak performance from pilots and their airplanes. Flying with precision is a must—the margin for error here is too slim for anything less. Identifying and mitigating risk are imperative; deep practice and thoughtful planning, mandatory. Stick and rudder skills, situational awareness, decision-making, and understanding weather and airplane performance need to be highly developed. The rewards for the effort include breathtaking sights and incredible adventures. Whether or not you venture into the mountains, canyons, or backcountry, applying the tips and techniques presented in this book will improve your overall flying.”
—Rich Stowell, 2006 National Flight Instructor of the Year
“I have had the opportunity to meet, fly with, and learn from some of the world’s best back-country pilots and can tell you that the authors and other people who contributed to this book are at the top of the list. Having flown in the back-country, bush, and above both arctic circles, there were many times I wished I had a resource like this in my hip pocket; far and away the best available anywhere.”
—R.G. “Ron” Hanks, ATP, PhD, CFI, Former US Naval Aviator; retired National Aviation Manager for US Bureau of Land Management; and retired Chief of Aviation Operations for US Forest Service
“The book is extremely comprehensive, and I truly believe it will be a great textbook and sought-after personal reference for any pilot who wants to learn about flying safely in the mountains. I also believe the telling of personal stories adds immense value to the book. I was impressed with the quality of photos, and the many illustrations, charts, and graphs are great additions.”
—Sherry Knight Rossiter, Ph.D., ATP, CFI, helicopter and airplane pilot and instructor, and college instructor
“After reading this great book, I encourage all pilots to have their own copy. It candidly covers many years of true-life experiences from seasoned backcountry and mountain pilots. If someone understands the concepts and applies the practices in this book, I am confident their chances of an accident will be majorly reduced. Enjoying this kind of flying means so much more when it can be done safely.”
—John Reed—18,000-hour Alaska bush pilot and Idaho backcountry pilot
“This book is going to be the best mountain flying text out there. I learned some new things from it and plan to have all my students get a copy.”
—Jeanne MacPherson—Retired Chief of Safety and Education for Montana Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division, and mountain flying and emergency maneuvers training instructor
“Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying is a valuable resource, whether you are just getting started in mountain flying or are a seasoned pilot refreshing your knowledge. It is a must read for anyone wanting to safely experience the exciting world of mountain and canyon flying and teaches a path that can take you to the next level of flying skills. I recommend this book to any pilot seeking to broaden their aviation knowledge, and it is critical for those who want to fly in the backcountry.” —USAF Call sign “Man Bear”—airline pilot, glider pilot, Super Cub pilot, and F-22 instructor pilot
“Today, a new generation of pilots is discovering the magic of mountain and backcountry flying. Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying will serve as an excellent reference to pilots who are new to the mountain/canyon flight environment as well as serve as a great refresher to those old hands who’ve been flying the mountains for years.”
—Michael Vivion—Alaska bush pilot, ski flying expert, and retired university flight professor
“Many years of investigating aircraft accidents convinced me that the decision to fly among mountains must be an informed decision. Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying, composed and compiled by highly experienced backcountry pilots, may be unique in fulfilling a compelling need for facts and wisdom about this niche of general aviation. I’ll keep it simple: aspiring backcountry aviators need this book. Kudos to the authors, who rose to the challenge.”
—Michael L. Stockhill—Retired FAA inspector and NTSB investigator, A&P mechanic, and professional pilot