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Old 05-25-2010, 06:59 AM   #1  
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Default Aspen flying

I am going to be flying into Aspen on a regular basis in a cessna mustang. Wondering what to expect about winds, turbulence, etc. Thanks
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:48 AM   #2  
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I am going to be flying into Aspen on a regular basis in a cessna mustang. Wondering what to expect about winds, turbulence, etc. Thanks
Welcome to APC! Your first post only took 17 minutes to get a caustic response.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:59 AM   #3  
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This would have been better if it had been posted in the Corporate or Part 135 forums as you will find answers from many more pilots who fly into ASE. Perhaps a moderator can move it.

The weather conditions in ASE are highly variable. Some days are very pleasant with almost no wind or clouds. However, other days (especially during winter) marginal ceilings/visibility requires constant monitoring of the weather. There also can be moderate or worse turbulence in the mid 20's and down during your final descent into the area.

Aspen is not a trivial airport to fly in and out of. The combination of close-in high terrain, variable weather conditions, and aircraft performance limitations require a great deal of pre-planning and consideration. You should request simulator training in Aspen instrument procedures during your next training event, as well as seriously discuss these issues with an Aspen-experienced pilot.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:48 AM   #4  
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I am going to be flying into Aspen on a regular basis in a cessna mustang. Wondering what to expect about winds, turbulence, etc. Thanks

Ok.... I have flown into Aspen a million times. If you don't have substantial mountain flying experience DO NOT GO!. Sky west has some severe procedures, and crews dedicated to this airport.

If you choose to go regardless, here are some tips. Land on 15, take off on 33. Do not take off on 33. Fly the localizer in as published, and give yourself a much higher personal minimum. Do not circle to 33 in a jet!

Make sure you a FULLY configured to land by the time you reach DBL. Look at the chart!! there is very little room to make any errors, some of these turns are sharp without much room. Winds change very quickly, turbulence can be severe. Like I said, if you don't have substantial experience in the rockies DO NOT GO!

Go arrounds can be deadly! find someone who knows that airport and fly with them.

It's a no joke hard airport to fly in and out off. You can very easily kill yourself if you don't know what you're doing. GJT is just around the corner, so it might be better to go there and drive.

You can PM me if you need more info.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:13 AM   #5  
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My stomach is still tied in knots after my first and last landing at Aspen in a Hawker over 25 years ago and I the SIC. I think we made a left pattern to 15 it seemed like if I reached out the window I could grab pine branches.

Perhaps you can call the NBAA or the local FBO could hook you up with a local who has the KNOWLEDGE.

So are you babysitting for the Mustang's owner? If so use a little physchology and tell him/her it's always better if the instructor wrecks the plane.

Watch out for density altitude!!!!

and Good Luck!
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:15 AM   #6  
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Land on 15, take off on 33. Do not take off on 33.
Yeah, that is a rule of the airport, not like he has a choice to takeoff on 15
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:28 AM   #7  
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Yeah, that is a rule of the airport, not like he has a choice to takeoff on 15
I've seen some corporate jets request a waiver on that when there is an excess of 10kt tailwind on 33.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:12 AM   #8  
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I am a young pilot and have flown in and out of Aspen quite a few times in a Cessna 400 in the winter. . Just limit yourself to VFR days and you should be good to go.

Last edited by citation35hf; 05-25-2010 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:15 AM   #9  
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I am going to be flying into Aspen on a regular basis in a cessna mustang.
Spend the $80/mo for APG runway analysis.

If you're not typed in the Mustang yet, make sure you do this approach A LOT during your Initial training, and every time you go to recurrent...especially if its going to be a regular destination for you.

As others have said, be fully configured over DBL and set some minimums for this airport well above those published on the Jepps (like if you can't see the tops of the peaks, you don't depart). Always keep GJT and/or RIL in your back pocket and DO NOT let your passengers talk you into doing something you may regret (if you survive).

A man much smarter and more experienced than I once said "There are a few things you must do as a pilot - going to Aspen is not one of those things."

Did I mention spend the $80/mo for APG runway analysis?!?
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:45 AM   #10  
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At Comair we used Aspen as the LOE sim scenario that dealt with CFIT. Our instructor told us that most people in this particular LOE crash. As far as I can remember, we never actually flew into Aspen, so of all the airports to use to demonstrate CFIT they chose Aspen.




LOE= Line Oriented Exercise
CFIT= Controlled Flight Into Terrain

Last edited by makersmarc; 05-25-2010 at 11:46 AM. Reason: too many TLA's
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