During the holiday season, many pilots take their aircraft on vacations throughout the Southwest to visit family and friends or take long awaited vacations to strap some wood on their feet and slide down a big hill.
For many, this trip takes them directly over the vicinity of the Continenatal Divide. The majority of aircraft accidents in this vicinity occur during the winter months, especially around the holidays. The primary reason for this seems to fall back to the same old things get ther itis, accompanied by lack of preparation.
When planning for a trip along or across the Continental Divide during the winter months, remember to plan ahead for survival:
Know the existing and forecast weather along the route of flight and at your destination
Know the elevation of mountaious terrain that youll be flying over and around
Know your aircrafts performance at altitude, and allow for icing
Make sure to have oxygen on board and be prepared for high altitude flight
Know how to check for ice build-up and take the proper precautions.
Dont become a a victim of the Killer Ridge. Be aware, be prepared and be smart.
Professor A.K. Cydent is an ex-FAA Investigator and Army Rotorcraft Instructor.