Scary video encounter with density altitude

Density altitude can be an invisible danger for high-altitude mountain flyers on hot summer days. Moreover, combine the perils of density altitude with adverse or misjudged runway conditions plus shifting winds and you can easily and quickly have a disaster on your hands.

And there is no better evidence of this than some of the footage in this recent video interview of Chris Palmer by Jason Schappert. As you will see in the video, Chris explains to Jason how “something happened with the wind that totally took our margins away.” However, both luck and “pilot instinct” allowed Chris to pull out of this particularly dangerous situation where he literally had to fly through a gap between some very tall trees.

Among the lessons mentioned by Chris included the need to really KNOW you aircraft (a Bonanza in his case) as an aircraft’s actual performance may not meet your expectations should you find yourself in the same situation as he did.


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One Response to Scary video encounter with density altitude

  1. Anson Chappell September 6, 2010 at 17:08 #

    Later they also talk about their decision to abort the rest of the flight and head to a larger airport. They landed, regrouped, and ate lunch. Then, on takeoff roll, they blew a tire. If that had happened at their next planned destination (Darrington) they certainly would have had a much worse day.

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