"Thanks so much for taking the time to work with me on canyon flying and mountain strip landings this past week. My preparation for this adventure had been only surface deep with the sum total of my experience being a seminar out of Gunnison, Colorado 14 years ago. With only one days' notice of my arrival, I didn't expect more than a quick briefing on field conditions and suggestions for landing pattern entries. But when I explained my game plan for the following day your long face and measured tones made me realize that maybe I needed just a little more! I was fortunate that your schedule was open enough that we could set up an agenda of flying for the next day.
Within the first half hour we explored slow speed characteristics and set speed numbers for various phases of the approach. Then we did a few 180* simulated canyon turn around maneuvers. Wow, what a revelation. I would have bet against the successful outcome of such short radius turns, but there was the proof, we did it multiple times. What a great confidence builder. You can read about or discuss short radius turns, but there is no substitute for actually doing it with slow but safe speeds.
The next few hours we spent exploring a few of the more moderate airstrips, Johnson Creek, Indian Creek and Big Creek. Each with its own challenge, I especially appreciated the advice on approaching these fields using the fly over or "shopping the field" strategy. Straight-in approaches may be easier but due to limited visibility bring the possibility of facing opposing traffic, field obstructions or adverse wind conditions. It is better to obtain field information earlier on with a more standard pattern fly over. With the confidence of knowing your demonstrated slow speed performance, there is no need for this anyway.
I can't say "Thank You" enough. You really did save my life!"
"Excellent! The caliber of instruction and instructors was outstanding. Every detail was attended to. My expectations were high and it far exceeded even that. Thank you for a fabulous experience."
"After your course, I feel I can navigate mountainous terrain with a lot more confidence and safety. I am now also a lot more in tune with my aircraft's performance. Thanks for the outstanding instruction!"
"I learned a lot. I'm twice the pilot I was before your seminar. Thanks for an outstanding learning experience."
"Your course gives credence to the saying, 'The more you know, the more you know you need to know more...' While I learned to manage the aircraft with better skill and confidence - the biggest lesson I learned was how much everyone NEEDS this course before attempting a flight into the backcountry! Thanks for the great instruction. I'll be back to learn more!"
"Your school is a great learning experience. You and your staff have a very nice way of serving an appropriately sized slice of "humble pie" to the uninitiated. I have since had time to transfer the techniques to float flying and have found the stabilized approach works very well in small high altitude lakes. Patterns start a little higher, which adds a safety margin. I am also still thinking about dropping my toes to the bottom of the rudder peddles during take off."
"I can't believe it! I woke up and found myself in San Rafael today. What a dream I had this past week about a flying seminar in Idaho. I'll have to come back to see if this really happened. You people are great and I learned alot."
"I was very impressed! This course is superb! The syllabus and course presentation are excellent, the instructors are hand-picked, and top-notch, each having extensive back-country mountain flying experience. The FAA even qualifies this for the Wings Pilot Proficiency Program. The flying is simply awesome! This is beautiful country. When flying in Alaska several years ago, I was told that if I wanted to really learn mountain flying, go to Idaho. I'm glad I did! I highly recommend this course! It could save your life someday."
"We had a such a good time this week. For me it was the perfect balance between high-intensity learning and relaxation. I am so impressed with the quality of the program and your attention to detail. This week saw a huge improvement in my self-confidence and skill level. The instructors are finest I have ever met, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to fly (or "hangar fly") with them. I think that the "residential" quality of the Sulphur Creek seminar increases the opportunity for learning on an informal basis, and that's part of what makes it so much fun."
"My experience of my third 'McCall Mountain' course and my second advanced course was virtually perfect. I did
not attend the course this time to learn anything specific. I attended because #1, I love back country flying and #2, I knew that the more experience I had in the back country, the
safer I would be if I someday had to put my airplane down in a bad place. McCall Mountain Canyon Flying has once again fulfilled, to the max, all of my expectations.
You can count on me being there with you in future courses!"