I did my mountain checkout with the folks who taught me to fly (Langley Flying School). I did some more training with The Finer Points down in California. Takeoffs at 8000 feet density altitude were, ahem, interesting.
The mountain checkout is dual, and your 300nm x/c has to be solo.
There’s no such thing as a mountain checkout in any sort of official sense.
I never got one. At the tail end of my CPL.. after I’d finished my IFR and the required 50 hours X country time which included my 300 nm and a bunch of night solo x country I took a few mountain flying lessons but never finished because I had the 200 hours I needed for my CPL. I got a job doing quite technical mountain flying for the next decade having never been formally ‘checked out’ to fly in the mountains.
Depending on the school and what kind of flying you’re doing, it could be a complete waste of time. If your instructor has most of his or her time in the Fraser Valley and flying over the peaks at 11-12,000 feet, don’t bother. If you’re going do most of your flying at 11-12,000 feet on days with light upper winds and province-wide isobars, don’t bother.
Lots of schools will make a mountain checkout a requirement for cross countries to fleece students out of more cash. That should be done on your dual cross country flights.
This is the result when you have inexperienced instructors trying to teach students how to mountain fly.
http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-repor ... able=false
Mountain weather, including updrafts, downdrafts and turbulence.
Ridge crossing procedures.
Navigation in valleys.
Diversions in mountainous terrain.
Minimum-radius canyon turns (whee!).
Emergency descents in to valleys.
High density altitude takeoffs and landings. Done at KTRK (field elevation 5904 feet), KTVL (6266 feet) and O24 (6802 feet).
No official status on any of this, but a wise flight instructor once noted that a good pilot is always learning.
What I’m saying is... if you’re going over-the-top point A to point B during good weather.. you don’t need mountain training. Just a few tips like make sure you get enough track miles before turning to climb over the mountains on a hot day or the effects of high density altitude on your aircraft and body.
Or if you are going to spend several thousand dollars on mountain training... get it from someone who does it for a living like a pilot from Glacier Air, not some 475 hour Class 4 with most of their flying in the ZBB circuit or the Glen Valley practice area.
Re: fancy maneuvers like canyon turns. I would always demonstrate and let the student try a canyon turn so we could have some fun. Then immediately tell them that if you ever get to the point where you need to use this, you’ve made a ton of mistakes already. Almost all of my mountain flying was done with no greater than rate one turns at normal speeds and clean configuration. And that’s shooting through valleys a wingspan from terrain and clearing ridgelines by a matter of feet.
A 30 degree bank turn at 70 knots flaps 10 in a 172 or 80 knots flaps 20 in a 182 or 206 will give you a very tight turning radius—especially into a crosswind.
If you're flying your own plane you can do whatever you want. There is no legal impediment to me filing VFR Kamloops to Springbank via Rogers Pass. My responsibility, my neck. If you''re flying somebody else's plane you have to do what they say, and if they demand a mountain checkout (whatever that constitutes...), that's what you'll have to do.
The above is the definitive guide to mountain flying, but bear in mind that the author got himself almost killed once, and actually killed a second time, by not having sufficient altitude while flying up a canyon.
This. Add in "border crossing checkout"
Good ground school -- this could be as simple as AOPA's online course -- on weather, setting safe minimums, valley flying, ridge crossing, aircraft performance, ect should be just fine, especially in Canada.
Without any mountain course, and being an easterner, I've flown -- most of it in 172's -- across Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Alberta, BC, and Colorado, where the highest terrain was encountered, including a crossing of an 11,800' ridge and a 9000' density takeoff.
(Southern ) BC was a snap by comparison, 6-7000 feet is more than adequate to comfortably valley fly as long as weather is good.
The challenge is to find an instructor who has walked the talk. They are definitely out there
and like every other kind instruction the quality of instruction is largely under your control.
Are you really prepared to say that in retrospect your first trips in mountain/high country would not have benefited from some instruction by someone experienced in mountain flying ?
I am disappointed to see your efforts to seek out training that will make you a better pilot being rubbished. The reality is I am seeing a lot of skill challenged low time pilots so I don’t understand why posters think any mountain training is automatically a waste of time and money.
20 yrs ago my wife, then a low time PPL took the club 182 down to Idaho with 2 other low time pilots for a back country mountain flying course. When she got back and told me what they had done, my only thought was “Damn I wish I had gone down with her”
As a Commercial student you know how to fly and are expected to be able to find your way to airports and land at them.
I flew to an airport I had never been to the other day. Landed, ran in to people I knew (small world...), flew home. A good time was had by all.
My first U.S. flight came with two instructions: "have fun" and "be prepared to brief others when you get back." I was startled when Bellingham Tower called me "Canadian GNIC" (they do that a lot), and I felt slightly naked taking off from something that looked like a real airport squawking 1200.
I am against a school telling a student that it's required as part of his/her commercial course...
Easy telltale is instructors who have only worked for flight schools in the lower mainland. Another dead giveaway is stating that you should always fly on the right side of the valley. And another one is an instructor who will not fly into the mountains if the winds at 10 000' are more than 10 knots. I could go on.
Quite contrary to suggesting new pilots should not get mountain training (note the word is training, not check-out, another giveaway), Iflyforpie is suggesting getting real and beneficial training from an experienced instructor. Otherwise you're just hoping that the conditions you encounter build up slowly enough that you survive but quickly enough that you are able to combine your book learning with practical experience.
This is the problem. You're unlikely to find one of those instructors at a flight school, except in a few rare occasions (someone mentioned Glacier Air). I've seen some of Jason Miller's Flightchops videos, and his course seems to be one of the few that is actually useful.
This. Why not?
BP, I forgot to mention. My first long mountain CC was across a rather unpopulated part of the Idaho backcountry.
I was with a pilot with thousands of hours flying single engine in high African terrain. Might have picked up a thing or 2.
Of course I could have insisted we needed a mountain checkout before proceeding....
Pop quiz: ( lower time "instructors" only please).
What side of the valley Should one fly on, and why?
The PPL syllabus, as specified by Transport Canada, doesn't include mountain flying.
If you train somewhere like Squamish you'll learn a lot about mountain flying. By necessity. But if you train at Boundary Bay, you won't. Nor will you need to until you're ready to venture further afield.
Yes, I know, present-day flight training is computerized magenta-line garbage. But since I live in the present-day and didn't have the opportunity to learn in the Good Old Days I'll have to make do and try not to kill myself along the way.