HELI-EXPO 2013 Professional Education Courses

Mountain Flying Ground School

March 4, 2013 | | 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, Level 2
Pilot Skills Track


Register by midnight, January 25, 2013, and save!
Member Registration
by Jan. 25
Nonmember Registration
by Jan. 25
Member Registration
after Jan. 25
Nonmember Registration
after Jan. 25
$325 $485 $425 $625


Online registration is closed.

Register on-site, March 1-8. Learn More.

Flying in the mountains is a different experience than flying in any other environment. Reduced engine power, decreased lift, hypoxia, terrain, and treacherous winds and weather all pose serious challenges to pilots. This ground school, taught by instructors from Rota Aviation Training, the mountain/high-altitude training school with the highest airport (9,927 ft.) in the continental United States, will provide attendees with the fundamental and advanced concepts necessary to fly safely in the mountain and high-altitude environment.

Topics that will be addressed in this course include —

  • Mountain geography and features, such as ledges, glaciers, snowfields, and canyons
  • Altitude physiology and pilot human-factors for this environment, and optical illusions
  • Mountain flying operations and how factors such as wind, weather, and altitude impact aircraft and engine performance
  • Unique features of mountain landing areas and contour crawl
  • Flight planning, managing risk, and high-altitude emergency procedures
  • Mountain survival and preparedness.

Attendees will be familiar with mountain flying concepts and techniques and prepared to meet the challenge of operating in this environment. Attendees will be able to manage risk associated with the hazards for this environment using strategies that include flight planning, landing zone reconnaissance, and implementing high-altitude emergency procedures.

Njord Rota, owner of RAVCO, has more than 6,000 hours of mountain flying experience, including as a U.S. Army aviator in combat in Afghanistan. He is a former rotary-wing test pilot for Lockheed Martin and graduate of the National Test Pilot School. Rota owns the RAVCO Mountain/High Altitude Training and Test Site in Colorado and the Kenai Heli Ski in Alaska, and has provided training for organizations such as Rockwell Collins, the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Special Operations Command. Rota has a M.A. in aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Mike Silva, chief instructor pilot for RAVCO, has more than 28,000 hours of mountain flying experience, most of it in Colorado above 6,000 feet mean sea level. He serves as a Federal Aviation Administration safety counselor and previously helped develop its Mountain Flying Training Program. Silva’s 40 years of experience includes teaching for the High Altitude Army Aviation Training Site, serving on the Department of Transportation’s Aeronautical Board, and participating in search and rescue missions in the Rocky Mountains. He also served in combat as a U.S. Army aviator and has flight experience in helicopter law enforcement, electronic news gathering, and firefighting.

Who Should Attend

Professional pilots whose mission profiles require them to enter or operate in a mountain environment will benefit from this course. Also, managers, directors of operations, chief pilots responsible for flight operations, military helicopter pilots, air medical service pilots, airborne law enforcement officers, airborne fire control pilots, executive/corporate transport pilots, power line/pipeline pilots, general industry pilots, and flight instructors will all find the course material invaluable.

Course Prerequisites

Professional Development Credit
FAA Wings program