BE­WARE RIS­ING VAL­LEYS

Flying - - INBOX -

I found Les Abend’s “Tack­ling Ter­rain Ter­ror” ar­ti­cle in the April is­sue in­ter­est­ing and en­ter­tain­ing. I learned to fly in the Sierra Ne­vada moun­tains and later got my CFI-I. I was taught, and al­ways taught my stu­dents, to avoid as­cend­ing val­leys. There is no good rea­son I can think of to fly up an as­cend­ing val­ley un­less you’re sui­ci­dal. Ed Keene via email I re­ally en­joyed Les Abend’s ar­ti­cle, “Tack­ling Ter­rain Ter­ror,” in the April is­sue. We did the same fly­ing with Matt McCaughan in New Zealand seven years ago. I had my video camera clamped on the glareshield to cap­ture every­thing. I am not a videog­ra­pher and an even worse ed­i­tor, but the videos do a fair job of show­ing how beau­ti­ful the South Is­land of New Zealand is to fly around.

I am a CFI-I, but I dis­cov­ered very quickly I did need a CFI with me in the cock­pit. For starters, I could not un­der­stand what was be­ing said on the ra­dio. I could not come close to pro­nounc­ing most of the names of the rivers or val­leys. Most of the time I had no idea where we were. While I have moun­tain-fly­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, I was not New Zealand-moun­tain com­pe­tent.

This was one of our best va­ca­tions, and cer­tainly one of the most beau­ti­ful parts of the world I have ever vis­ited. Fred Quarn­strom via email

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