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Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying (Softcover)

  • Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying
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Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying (Softcover)

by Amy L. Hoover and R. K. "Dick" Williams

Open up a whole new world of recreation by learning to fly, land and takeoff in remote and challenging landscapes.

Available in print, ebook, and ebundle formats.

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For more than a century, pilots have been intrigued by the challenges of flight in the highest mountains and the deepest canyons on every continent. Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying allows pilots to get off the beaten path and enjoy the outdoors. It opens up a whole new world of recreation, including airplane camping, hiking, fishing, and staying at guest lodges or bush camps in areas without roads or easy access by land or water.

Flying in these enticing environments often entails operations over relatively inaccessible terrain in a challenging and sometimes unforgiving environment. This necessitates the proper mindset, discipline, and procedures to operate efficiently and safely. Operating over mountains, navigating through canyons, taking off and landing on unimproved, high-altitude airstrips in confined areas, and maximizing airplane performance requires specialized skills. The authors and guest writers share information and tips gleaned from more than 150 years and 100,000 hours of collective experience as professional mountain and backcountry pilots and flight instructors.

Recreational pilots to mountain flying instructors will find this book useful, and college and university professors can use the text to supplement their classroom instruction. Fundamental concepts include preparing for and conducting mountain and canyon flights, airport operations, situational awareness, aircraft performance, risk management, and emergency operations. Analysis of accident scenarios, accounts from the authors’ own experiences, and contributions from seasoned backcountry pilots and instructors expand on material detailed in the text. Each chapter includes exercises to help the reader understand and apply the information to their own flying, and beautiful color illustrations will inspire pilots to seek out these awe-inspiring destinations.

Copyright © 2019-2021 Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. All rights reserved.

ISBN 9781619547414

Authorsby Amy L. Hoover and R. K. "Dick" Williams
Date Published2019
Dimensions7.25 x 9 inches
Page Count392 pages
IllustrationsFull-color photographs and illustrations
Weight1.40 lbs

"Pilots with a thirst for practical adventure and a soft spot for the esthetics of mountains and canyons will find immense pleasure in backcountry flying. But-flyer beware! You can do this safely only when the contours of your knowledge match the contours of the terrain. To obtain that knowledge, you need experience, and this is what Dr. Amy Hoover and R.K. "Dick" Williams bring to the table in Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying. Both of them have thousands of hours of flying in backcountry terrain that is so far back, you can almost see it coming around the other side. Feel confident in knowing that by studying this book and adding it to your collection, you'll have the tools to help you fly safer should you venture beyond the flatland."
—Rod Machado

"Absolutely the VERY BEST book on this subject. I could write a novel explaining why I believe this! Suffice it to say, get a copy and enjoy!"
—Grover W.

"Operating in the environments described by Hoover and Williams demands peak performance from pilots and their airplanes. Flying with precision is a must—the margin for error here is too slim for anything less. Identifying and mitigating risk are imperative; deep practice and thoughtful planning, mandatory. Stick and rudder skills, situational awareness, decision-making, and understanding weather and airplane performance need to be highly developed. The rewards for the effort include breathtaking sights and incredible adventures. Whether or not you venture into the mountains, canyons, or backcountry, applying the tips and techniques presented in this book will improve your overall flying."
—Rich Stowell, 2006 National Flight Instructor of the Year

"Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying is a phenomenal resource for anyone interested in utilizing their plane for anything other than the $100 hamburger. It is the most comprehensive book of it�s kind. It uses both theory and real world advice that is easy to understand and apply. This will absolutely be the one-stop shop and all encompassing resource that I recommend to my students before instruction."
—Patrick Romano - ATP, CFI, creator of STOL Tips, owner at backcountryaviation.com.

"I have had the opportunity to meet, fly with, and learn from some of the world's best back-country pilots and can tell you that the authors and other people who contributed to this book are at the top of the list. Having flown in the back-country, bush, and above both arctic circles, there were many times I wished I had a resource like this in my hip pocket; far and away the best available anywhere."
—R.G. "Ron" Hanks, ATP, PhD, CFI, Former US Naval Aviator; retired National Aviation Manager for US Bureau of Land Management; and retired Chief of Aviation Operations for US Forest Service

"The book is extremely comprehensive, and I truly believe it will be a great textbook and sought-after personal reference for any pilot who wants to learn about flying safely in the mountains. I also believe the telling of personal stories adds immense value to the book. I was impressed with the quality of photos, and the many illustrations, charts, and graphs are great additions."
—Sherry Knight Rossiter, Ph.D., ATP, CFI, helicopter and airplane pilot and instructor, and college instructor

"After reading this great book, I encourage all pilots to have their own copy. It candidly covers many years of true-life experiences from seasoned backcountry and mountain pilots. If someone understands the concepts and applies the practices in this book, I am confident their chances of an accident will be majorly reduced. Enjoying this kind of flying means so much more when it can be done safely."
—John Reed—18,000-hour Alaska bush pilot and Idaho backcountry pilot

"This book is going to be the best mountain flying text out there. I learned some new things from it and plan to have all my students get a copy."
—Jeanne MacPherson—Retired Chief of Safety and Education for Montana Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division, and mountain flying and emergency maneuvers training instructor

"Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying is a valuable resource, whether you are just getting started in mountain flying or are a seasoned pilot refreshing your knowledge. It is a must read for anyone wanting to safely experience the exciting world of mountain and canyon flying and teaches a path that can take you to the next level of flying skills. I recommend this book to any pilot seeking to broaden their aviation knowledge, and it is critical for those who want to fly in the backcountry." —USAF Call sign "Man Bear"—airline pilot, glider pilot, Super Cub pilot, and F-22 instructor pilot

"Today, a new generation of pilots is discovering the magic of mountain and backcountry flying. Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying will serve as an excellent reference to pilots who are new to the mountain/canyon flight environment as well as serve as a great refresher to those old hands who've been flying the mountains for years."
—Michael Vivion—Alaska bush pilot, ski flying expert, and retired university flight professor

"Many years of investigating aircraft accidents convinced me that the decision to fly among mountains must be an informed decision. Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying, composed and compiled by highly experienced backcountry pilots, may be unique in fulfilling a compelling need for facts and wisdom about this niche of general aviation. I'll keep it simple: aspiring backcountry aviators need this book. Kudos to the authors, who rose to the challenge."
—Michael L. Stockhill—Retired FAA inspector and NTSB investigator, A&P mechanic, and professional pilot

Reader Resources

This is the Reader Resource page for Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying.

The following is a listing of external links and resources used throughout the book (ASA-MOUNTAIN). These resources can be used to expand on the topics covered within the specified book chapter.

General Information on Mountain Flying:

AOPA Mountain Flying Safety Advisor

AOPA Focused Flight Review

Civil Aviation Safety Authority Australia, Outnback flying

Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand: Basic Mountain Flying

Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand: Mountain Flying Manual

Federal Aviation Administration: Tips on Mountain Flying

FAA Aviation Safety: Mountain Flying Briefing


Transport Canada - Flying VFR in the Mountains

Weather, Weather Services, and Webcams

Aviation Weather Center - NOAA

FAA Aviation Weather: Advisory Circular 00-6B

FAA Aviation Weather Services: Advisory Circular 00-45-H

FAA live weather cameras

NavCanada Aviation Weather Services Guide

Backcountry Flying Tips and Backcountry Airports






Instructional Resources and Organizations

Impossible Turn

Rich Stowell's Aviation Learning Center

Rod Machado's Aviation Learning Center

Seaplane Pilots Association

Recreational Aviation Foundation

Aircraft Equipment and Performance

Backcountry Tire Guide

Ski Flying Equipment

FAA Amateur-Built Aircraft and Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook, Advisory Circular 90-89B

The Bootstrap Method by John T. Lowry

Accident Scenarios and Links

Chapter 8:

Chapter 9:

Human Factors and Risk Management

FAA Aviation Human Factors Risk Assessment tool (note - does not work with all browsers)

Federal Aviation Administration on-site survival training

Rod Machado's Handling In-flight Emergencies eLearning Course

Sparky Imeson's advice on post-crash survival


Watch Video

Dr. Amy L. Hoover and RK "Dick" Williams talk to Bob Roberts of Aerospace Education aboutMountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying.

Watch Video

Dr. Amy L. Hoover and her new book Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying.