Mountain Bowl Risk Factors Synergistically Add Up

This is the cockpit view from a Douglas DC-3TP during a para-cargo drop to a group of smokejumpers. In this location, on a mountainside above the Blackfoot River in western Montana, the smoke and haze obscures the foreboding terrain. Our escape route in case of an engine failure was a slight turn to the left flying down canyon, which would eventually open up into a wider valley. Photo credit: Patrick Veillette
Business jets on approach into mountain bowl airports are in a low-energy, high-drag configuration, making them more susceptible to the effects of strong vertical turbulence. For example, an aircraft over the threshold at a runway perched on a precipice, such as Telluride Regional Airport’s (KTEX)...

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