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  #1  
Old 09-01-2021, 02:01 PM
Veetail88's Avatar
Veetail88 Veetail88 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hales Corners, WI
Posts: 1,018
Default North Denver area safe sightseeing

Hey folks, I'm in Brighton CO for business for a few days (with my airplane) and I'm wondering if anyone can give me some advice for some safe sightseeing before I head home.

I've attended a mountain flying forum at OSH, but OBVIOUSLY that's not nearly enough knowledge to go messing around in the mountains. I've flown over the Superstition mountains in AZ, but that was well over the top.

There's quite a lot of smoke in the area, but certainly greater than 10 miles vis.

So if any locals might be kind enough to make a few suggestions on where to head, how close can I safely get to the big rocks, etc, etc...

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2021, 02:24 PM
AlpineYoda AlpineYoda is offline
 
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Location: Boulder, CO
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I flew this morning in a rental C-172 with a friend for a sightseeing trip (his first flight) out of Rocky Mountain Metro, just west of Denver. We went up to around Horsetooth Res, NW of NorCo airport (KFNL), and then back over KLMO and his house in Boulder.

Flew over the CSU campus, the CU campus, football stadiums, etc. Horizontal viz was terrible - could not see the mountains at all.

The class B around DIA is very busy, but if you stay west of it there is the corridor all the way along the Front Range.

Alternatively, you can head south over Golden and Red Rocks, could go down to Colorado Springs (KCOS) and see Pikes Peak. But remember that KCOS is C airspace and the USAF Academy is restricted airspace. And watch for the MOAs between KCOS and Pueblo (KPUB).

Also, watch out for TFRs over the college stadiums this weekend and Coors Field about half the evenings. Mile High should be free for two weeks.
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Last edited by AlpineYoda : 09-01-2021 at 02:28 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2021, 02:26 PM
AlpineYoda AlpineYoda is offline
 
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Location: Boulder, CO
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And if you are going to actually do real mountain flying, plan out that route and bring oxygen. I've taken a mountain flying class in Boulder, and it was a lot more than just a lecture. A few trips up to learn about and feel mountain waves in a DA-40. And a few classes on wilderness survival.

Make sure you go prepared.

These classes were the reason I'm building a BRS into my RV-10. There are times there is nowhere to land as far as you can see.
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Last edited by AlpineYoda : 09-01-2021 at 02:37 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2021, 02:28 PM
abuura abuura is offline
 
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The impromptu pirep about smoke-affected vis is very helpful. Surface observations and forecasts for the area don't give a hint of that.
Heading to Reno for the air races in two weeks and monitoring that "sitch" several times a day. Remaining hopeful...
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2021, 02:31 PM
AlpineYoda AlpineYoda is offline
 
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My standard for taking off at KBJC and holding runway heading until MSA (there are parallel runways) is to pick a mountain near Longs Peak and lock onto it. Could not see anything beyond the Front Range today at all. Just haze.
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2021, 03:20 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
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The rocks immediately west and south of Boulder are a common sightseeing target. Plenty of traffic there, including gliders, which will have the right of way, and there might be gliders on tow. Upon release, the gliders go left, the towplanes go right. Not that they often release there - generally higher, depending upon conditions, and mostly when they find lift.

The city of Boulder is very noise sensitive, and appreciates flying above 7,500'.

You can do this flight without mountain flying skills.

Check winds aloft - if the winds at 12k' are above 20 kts, turbulence can be significant.

Dave
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2021, 10:47 AM
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Veetail88 Veetail88 is offline
 
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Thanks folks. Heading out this morning and I'll fly over to the front range at Boulder. Not trained in mountain flying so I have no desire to get in too close. Then home to MKE. I'm thinking the weather between here and home will be more challenging than taking a peek at the peaks!
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