Author Topic: Are there any Mustachian pilots?  (Read 2844 times)

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Are there any Mustachian pilots?
« Reply #50 on: March 06, 2021, 10:03:51 PM »
OK this is for the future reference but every experienced pilot reading your post is now twitching wondering whether to reply at the risk of sounding sanctimonious.

Two things that will kill you faster than anything is a combination of mountains and weather. Either one will kill you by themselves quite easily.

If you read enough accident reports you will find them littered with stories of under powered C172's and the like trying to out climb the terrain as they fly up a box canyon, only to realise their climb performance drops rapidly with increasing altitude. They then can't climb over the top and the canyon has narrowed so they can't round either.... Stall, spin, dead is how the rest of the story goes.

Weather of course can change rapidly in mountainous terrain and cut off your escape path. I haven't even mentioned the horrific downdrafts that happen on the leeward side of BFR's (Big freaking rocks!)..:).

Anyway, my personal rule was to climb to at least 2000' above the highest peak before the terrain started climbing. Now the RV with a constant speed prop and an I0360 makes a C172 seem like a golf cart with a flat tire..  climbing at 2500 feet a minute was par for the course. A 172 is much more limited.

So as I said, that was for future reference but when I talked about the lots of details that will severely limit your life expectancy.. Well that was two of them right there!

This x1000. Please make sure you find a good instructor that will instill a healthy respect for weather and mountains.

Inadvertent flight into IFR conditions by non-instrument rated pilots has been major cause of fatal general aviation accidents for years. It often occurs in mountainous terrain exactly as Exflyboy describes with escape routes being cut off by deteriorating weather. The tragic result is either a loss of control due to spatial disorientation or an unexpected encounter with terra firma.

To add to what Exflyboy said about mountains, in my part of the world we have an airport that has the exact same accident once or twice a decade due to underestimating the effects of high altitude and temperature. Angel Fire (KAXX) sits at almost 8,400 ft. elevation in the south end of a large valley. There are signs posted encouraging pilots to fly north and gain altitude over the lake before departing the valley. But Albuquerque is south and going north would take time and fuel. Every so often someone takes off in their Bonanza (the infamous doctor killer) straight south thinking they’ll out climb the terrain on a warm summer day, and instead end up on the news.

I just realized I never really replied to Exflyboy as I just kind of quit thinkin about it with everything happening last spring... I appreciate the warning though. My intended point about being to do after I was FIRE was that there would be less pressure to make it home for work on a given day. I was bumped (not enough seats for our group) from a commercial flight in Nepal a few years ago that didn't make it. The plane lost an engine (birds) on takeoff and between the thin air, and I suspect pushing the weight limits, it couldn't make it back to the runway.

JetBlast, I could see Angle Fire causing problems for pilots who aren't used to the thinner air. I used to live in ABQ, but I always drove up there for my hiking trips. My sister flew into the double eagle airport from KS to visit me while building cross country flight time. I remember being impressed by how much thought she put into the thinner air and the time it would take for her to climb high enough to clear the Sandias on her return. I probably won't have much reason to fly that high in this area. Eight thousand feet is well above the snow line year around.

AlanStache

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Re: Are there any Mustachian pilots?
« Reply #51 on: March 07, 2021, 07:25:13 AM »
This leads into one of the weaknesses I found while taking flying lessons; that is instruction is specific to where you live.  Where I am nearly all runways were within 100' of sea level, there are no mountains but there is lots of open water and military airspace.   I dont think either of my instructors ever discussed how to operate at a higher alt runway; latter on I went up with a friend and I had trouble staying at an airports pattern altitude what was not at 1000' + "a bit", mentally I had trouble remembering to stay at 2400' to maintain 1000' over the airfield, never had to do that around here :-)  For you you may need to independently research best practices on how to fly near wide bodys of water, or read a bit more on military airspace. 

For this I wish private students were required to spend 2-5 hours in a simulator to expose them to different geographic areas as well as some common malfunctions.  But I work with sims so maybe I am biased.

Uturn

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Re: Are there any Mustachian pilots?
« Reply #52 on: March 08, 2021, 05:58:31 AM »
I think 2-3 hours in a glider should be mandatory for all student pilots.  I was a licensed almost 100 hr pilot when I first flew a glider.  I learned more about how a plane flies in the first two hours than I did in all of my primary training. 

Malcat

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Re: Are there any Mustachian pilots?
« Reply #53 on: March 08, 2021, 06:34:10 AM »
I think 2-3 hours in a glider should be mandatory for all student pilots.  I was a licensed almost 100 hr pilot when I first flew a glider.  I learned more about how a plane flies in the first two hours than I did in all of my primary training.

This is such a great tip.

I'm considering learning to fly, so I'll keep this in mind.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Are there any Mustachian pilots?
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2021, 11:16:59 AM »
I think 2-3 hours in a glider should be mandatory for all student pilots.  I was a licensed almost 100 hr pilot when I first flew a glider.  I learned more about how a plane flies in the first two hours than I did in all of my primary training.

This is such a great tip.

I'm considering learning to fly, so I'll keep this in mind.

I happen to be on friendly terms with a glider instructor... I'll have to talk with her about that this summer.

Something interesting I noticed on my "Exploration" flight last week is useful a mechanical engineering basics are in understanding flight. You don't actually have to do the vector math on the FBD for it to be helpful in understanding the controls...

Exflyboy

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Re: Are there any Mustachian pilots?
« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2021, 12:04:59 PM »
I think 2-3 hours in a glider should be mandatory for all student pilots.  I was a licensed almost 100 hr pilot when I first flew a glider.  I learned more about how a plane flies in the first two hours than I did in all of my primary training.

This is such a great tip.

I'm considering learning to fly, so I'll keep this in mind.

I happen to be on friendly terms with a glider instructor... I'll have to talk with her about that this summer.

Something interesting I noticed on my "Exploration" flight last week is useful a mechanical engineering basics are in understanding flight. You don't actually have to do the vector math on the FBD for it to be helpful in understanding the controls...

Funny when I finally got my RV7 to spin inverted (Had to fall off the back of a hammerhead with full power applied) I was thinking how to do the math on the FBD (free body diagram for the non technical types)..

No I wasn't, but the spin was fun..:)