This was my 2nd Visit to Colorado Springs for work which spanned a weekend.
Last time (early March) I had booked to go flying with Aspen Air,
but the appropriate instructor became unavailable.
I did get my FAA IR written exam completed at TacAir (Centennial Airport) though.
This time I went to Colorado Springs (COS) GA side to see what was on offer.
I found A-Cent Aviation, Inc , a Flight School run by Mike & Alice Hogan.
I met up with John Clare-Panton (Wg Cdr, RAF, Retired) 8am on Sunday morning
and we went flying!
Route: KCOS - KAEJ - KLXV - KCOS
We took N21718, a 2004 Cessna 172
The modern instrumentation of N-718
Taking off on 35L from KCOS (Elevation 6187') we headed West climbing to 10,000'
Climbing up Ute Pass - initially following I24 West
Eleven Mile State Park
John and Dee - haven't got the hang of this self portrait stuff!
Heading West toward Buena Vista across South Park
Approaching Buena Vista from the East
Finals 33 at Buena Vista (KAEJ) for a Touch & Go - Elevation 7946'
Then climbing out to the North toward Leadville
Finals 34 at Leadville (KLXV)
John with N21718
Leadville Airport - Elevation 9927' - Highest Airport in North America
If you land at Leadville you get a certificate!
It was great to fly in the mountains of this beautiful state with breathtaking scenery,
but a word of caution, get a mountain rating or take a rated instructor with you
and be prepared NOT to go!
There would have been more photos on the way back, but things got a little 'bumpy'.
We left Leadville on 16 climbing to 12,500' and headed more or less straight back to KCOS.
Descending through the same valley we had climbed through,
we experienced 'moderate turbulence' (common with mountains and wind - eh JOB?)
I was glad the headsets were padded as we bounced off the cockpit ceiling.
On checking ATIS at KCOS, info was Oscar, Runway in use 17R,
a crosswind of 23Kts gusting 30Kts and 'Wind Shear Alert'!
After an interesting landing, we put N-718 to bed and headed back to the clubhouse.
For 2.6hrs flying the cost was $413 (£238) including John the instructor.
(around 50% of UK cost)
My sincere thanks to John Clare-Panton & Mike Hogan of A-Cent Aviation, Inc