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Guest monsterzero_jr

Problems flying in Colorado-High Elevation!

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The Rocky Mountains have a number of picturesque small airfields accessible to smaller airplanes. Trouble is with the base elevation of the airfields being something like 7,000 feet ASL single engine Cessnas and Moonies are struggling gaining height, even to the point of stalling out! Of course I have a mixture adjustment knob programmed on my stick and do my best to lean the mixture but it's not enough. So what kind of a small airplane is best for that kind of a flying environment? I realize a Supermarine Spitfire of WWII had a turbo-supercharger that ensured fast climb even in thin air...

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Well, weight is everything - make sure you are down to 10-25% fuel, no more and not a large cargo / passenger load. Listen to the engine as you adjust the mixture - or watch the Manifold Pressure - to find the peak power.You need bush type aircraft and that excludes most of the defaults, though the Caravan with a very light load sometimes works well.You've got to have quick acceleration and plan your climbs well.Steven Grant's Aviat Husky is one of the best bush planes around.http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID...04ac&DLID=37126Mikko Maliniemi's Maule M-7-260 is another very popular aircraft - (m7260_v1.zip and the patch m7260_11.zip) at FSNordic - http://www.fsnordic.net/Files -> Flight Simulator -> Aircraft -> General AviationPersonally, I really like Dave Copley's P-38 for bush flying - but I have to keep the weight light to get it off the ground on some short strips. Getting stopped sometimes is an adventure.Edit - one other thing - do not climb the aircraft by an FPS setting on the autopilot - climb by maintaining a speed- trimming the nose up or down to maintain the best climb speed.Look on the reference page for that aircraft - for the C172 that is 74 KIAS.

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I'm such a dumbass I never even thought of lightening the plane. A couple hours ago I tried flying Flight1's Cessna 172. The default load is pilot + 1 passenger plus a whole tank of gas. No wonder it's struggling.

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Another "trick" is to attempt to take off in the early morning on a hot day when the temperature and density altitude is lower. Less take-off roll will then be required. If weather forecasts predict a better significant headwind later in the day then consider delaying departure.It is a balancing act.

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turbocharged/turbonormalized aircraft or a twin - just hope you don't have a v1 engine failure or you're in trouble lol.

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I can vouch for the Maule. I have been flying it pretty much exclusively in Alaska where the various configurations included in the package make it universal (snow/water/bush/tarmac) and enjoyable. I am able to easily climb to FL120 to clear any mountain range and I can traverse the entire state on the proper fuel load. I'm sure it would cut through the Rockies like butter.DolphDell XPS420, Q6600, 3GB, nVidia 8600 GTS, CHPro pedals, stick and throttle, Active sky, much more...

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A lightly loaded plane with a nice big wing and generous power for the weight. I've eased over Monarch Pass in a 85 HP Champ, but it is more iffy in a 65 HP Champ or a J-6 Cub.Among the collection that comes with FS9, the C182 makes a decent high altitude, short field performer when loaded with no more than two persons and 10-15 gallons of fuel. Among third party models, I like a Super Cub (at least 115 HP, they wnet as high as 180) or a 180 HP Scout. Specialty bush planes, look for a model of the Maule or Helio Courier. The Helio won't really stall under power, just settle into the ground hanging on its prop. These may require some compromise among load and fuel, as good bush planes have a lot of operationally flexibility: carry a bigger that normal load, carry a smaller load a long way, carry a lighter load in and out of a high altitude strip (lake, ice field, etc).

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In addition to lowering your weight, you should also use one notch of flaps when taking off at high altitude / density altitude. Not only will it decrease your takeoff roll but also decrease your stall speed.I assume that you are performing a runup before takeoff so you can lean the mixture so that your have the optimum MP.Also, increase your Vr speed to Vr+5 or Vr+10 (if runway length permits). Reduce your rate of climb too. At Vr+x establish an initial 150fpm climb to 500 feet AGL and then reduce your climb to gain airspeed and then pitch to maintain Vy. Unless there is an obstacle at the end of the runway, trying to establish Vx is going to put you in a bad spot.Mountain flying is very challenging for ALL pilots. To be done properly, you really need to understand the performance chart for the aircraft and have an E6 flight computer handy to punch in your numbers. Mountain flying on hot days (high density altitude) is especially challenging.Hope this helps.Mike T.

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