Threat of Mountain Waves, Part 1

Whenever attempting to cross a ridgeline, approach at a 45-deg. angle. This allows a pilot to make an expeditious turn toward lower terrain in the event that the aircraft is unable to out-climb a downdraft. Photo credit: Patrick Veillette
When the captain of a Rocky Mountain Airways de Havilland DHC-6 “Twin Otter” showed up at Stapleton International Airport for his daily flights between Denver and the airports on the other side of the Colorado Front Range (Dec. 4, 1978), he was greeted by horrific winds as soon as he stepped outside...

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