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Picking up VFR mountain flying

The first time I ever hear the words “rotor” and “there is no problem flying” together.

Scary.
If I (or anyone here) should be scared of flying in rotors, there wouldn’t be much flying we could do, and there certainly would be no mountain wave gliding for anyone. I must say flying in the crowded air in central Europe sounds really scary with all the air spaces and infringements and stuff you got.

My home airport ENVA is an international airport. It’s situated in a fjord with surrounding mountains. Not particularly high mountains, but it gets very rough when the wind come from SE. The runway is 09-27. I have sometimes taken KLM from Amsterdam, they have a direct route. The last time I took KLM home it was what I call normal, certainly nothing any pilot used to landing there would even think is remotely problematic. Maybe 6-7 m/s from SE. Well, obviously the pilot in front had not landed there before when it was blowing from the SE, or he was new to the CRJ, or both. It was some jumping and shaking at final, but just before touch down it was full power and up for a new circuit. At down-wind the captain just said that he decided a go around due to safety. Some 15 seconds later he said “I will promise you we will land the next time”. Needless to say the captain took the stick and made a perfect landing.

There is another KLM captain who comes on a short holiday here every summer. He comes with KLM, then rents a Cub and and fly all over the district here for a week visiting every little strip that exists, in the fjords, at the coast, in the mountains. Then after a week he flies back with KLM.

LeSving thanks for the post – on my to do list is taking the Super Cub up to the northern tip of Norway – Trondheim and environs will have to be on the list – but without rotor clouds.

No matter how hard you tighten your straps a nice bump of turbulence in the mountains seems to connect your head to the ceiling – at least in Cessnas. Fortunately has only happened a couple of times to me, but still memorable.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

May have been answered here but the search did not produce results.

In the distance past I did the Italian mountain rating ground school – my understanding is that CofA aircraft are not allowed to land on a campo di volo without a mountain rating, but this may be incorrect, or not followed in practice.

A campo di volo being a micro or ultralight landing site and different to an aviosuperfizie, which is more akin to an unlicensed airport.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

Funny that – there are hundreds and hundreds of glider pilots converging here in summer yet i have to see a single one is excited about “rotors” and “mountain waves” – 20kts across the crests is usually a no-go. Physics must work differently in Norway :-)

Funny that – there are hundreds and hundreds of glider pilots converging here in summer yet i have to see a single one is excited about “rotors” and “mountain waves” – 20kts across the crests is usually a no-go. Physics must work differently in Norway :-)

Show me a glider pilot that is not excited about mountain waves, they don’t exist. Wave Oppdal!

Look at the VSI, w a v e. Or you can do a google/youtube search. 33k feet in wave!

20 kts a no-go? 20 kts is perfect, unless directly from the side. Rotors are nothing to be excited about, they are just a side effect of the wind blowing across the valleys. But, to get to the wave, we have to fly through the rotor and up to the waves.

Last Edited by LeSving at 23 Apr 22:31

One of my dreams is to be able to say.. lets go to Courchevel .. or .. St Tropez .. or ..

Should I start pursue a mountain rating and if so where or should I go for a local rating?

“20 kts a no-go? 20 kts is perfect, unless directly from the side. Rotors are nothing to be excited about, they are just a side effect of the wind blowing across the valleys”

The advantage of flying in the Alps is that regardless where the wind comes from it is always going to be “directly from the side” of the mountain… ^^. Alone in a half empty 235 HP Pawnee… maybe. But saying that rotors are “nothing to be excited about”… yeah. That hasn’t been my experience sofar :D

“Should I start pursue a mountain rating and if so where or should I go for a local rating?”

If you get the French MOU rating then it doesn’t expire and it’s good for all altiports and altisurfaces. If you get the local (site) rating, it’s only good for that one specific site, and there’s a six-month currency requirement.

Alone in a half empty 235 HP Pawnee… maybe. But saying that rotors are “nothing to be excited about”… yeah. That hasn’t been my experience sofar :D

We all have our limits to what we are comfortable with. What I said up there somewhere was that if you are not used to it, then suddenly loosing 4-500 feet in a matter of seconds, for no apparent reason, can be very scary. This does not mean that it automatically imposes a real danger. It certainly can, but then you are not flying as you should regarding margins.

What’s the excess climb performance of the average 200hp spamcan at 10’000 DA? Is that enough in an average 1’500 fpm downdraft? It’s not a “comfort” thing. It’s a physics thing.

Absolutely not. A PA28-181 will do about 200-300fpm at 10000ft, ISA.

A 250HP TB20 would be hard pushed to hold up in a -500fpm downdraught at 10000ft. Only a turbocharged aircraft (+1000fpm net ROC) would be able to usefully outclimb it. For -1500fpm you would want a turboprop at least, preferably without anybody inside.

I don’t think this is a topic which can be disposed of with a few lines, without stating what precisely people are doing.

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Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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