BEWARE RISING VALLEYS
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