Mountain Flying Courses in Utah | Mountain Flying Syllabus
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Mountain Flying Courses in Utah

Drew Bowles | Flight Instructor & Mountain Flying Instructor

Fellow Aviators, I wanted to reach out to all of you and share what we at Elevate think will be an exciting new program. Effective immediately, we will be offering an advanced Mountain Flying Course specifically tailored to the SR2X series and the pilots who fly them. Moving forward, this course will be mandatory for all of our students enrolled in or beginning Private Pilot and Commercial Pilot training. Being positioned in the heart of the Mountain West, we feel that it is important to help our clients obtain all of the tools necessary to master aviation around the terrain that makes our home so unique.

Traditionally, the policy for mountain flying instruction has been avoidance. In my experience, for the last two decades in Utah aviation, mountain flying courses have been offered as optional, and while interest has been high, I have found that the proverbial trigger has rarely been pulled. Elevate feels like this has been a mistake. Those of us who have been in aviation in Utah have undoubtedly witnessed and heard of incidents or accidents that resulted from poor decision making in high-density altitude environments. Several of us have even lost loved ones due to a lack of familiarity with the intricacies of mountain flying.

Collectively, the instructor group at Elevate believes that it is time to change the way we operate. Our goal is to provide our students and renters with the tools necessary for proper Aeronautical Decision Making in our rugged environments. Over the next few months, my goal is to bring all of our excellent instructors up to speed on our new Mountain Flying Syllabus.

This course entails two ground lessons with one flight each. It is recommended that this syllabus be tackled over the course of 2-3 days to achieve maximum effect. Day one will consist of aircraft familiarization and limitations as to what a Cirrus is and is not capable of in this area. The flight will focus on Canyon Escape Maneuvers, Contour Flying, Canyon Flying, and density altitude considerations. The second ground lesson will cover how the weather is affected by the terrain in the Mountain West. The second flight will expand on all of the skills learned with a trip to one of the more challenging airports in the area.

We truly believe this program will encourage safety through more adequate decision - making processes. Nick Henderson-Williams, Dean Jones, and I are all trained to teach the flying portions of this syllabus and are quickly being brought up to speed with respect to the ground theory. We highly recommend The Mountain Flying Bible by Sparky Imeson as it is the foundation for everything we will be teaching. Other than much of the off-field landing information, the book is very applicable to the Cirrus.

We are very excited about this program and think that you will all benefit greatly from it. We will also look forward to hearing back from each of you and again, this program will be effective immediately.


Drew Bowles
Chief Flight Instructor

Posted on Sep 1, 2020
Image Credit:

Elevate Aviation



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