Float Refresher and/or Mountain Refresher Course

One of the greatest thrills of being a pilot in Alaska is the opportunity to fly throughout the majestic mountains, valleys and lakes. With steep mountain peaks that appear to shoot straight out of the water, remote lakes and streams, and wildlife in abundance, mountain flying can be the highlight in a lifetime of flying.

Mountain flying isn’t without risk. Narrow and sloping runways, one-way take-offs and landings and unpredictable and abrupt changes in weather will test any pilot’s decision-making abilities and skills.

Statistics show that pilots without the training and skills needed for safe flight over mountainous terrain often get themselves into situations which are beyond their capabilities. The risks of mountain flying are minimized and safely managed when a pilot fully understands the conditions commonly encountered in mountainous regions, specific challenges of landing areas, and the performance characteristics of their aircraft. All pilots wishing to learn the skills necessary to fly safely in the mountains can receive an Alaska Float Ratings float refresher and mountain refresher to improve their safety and decision making abilities in mountainous terrain. This course is accomplished through one-on-one instruction in our Float Refresher and Mountain Refresher Course, which includes ground school and one-on-one mountain flying sessions. At Alaska Float Ratings, pilots have the opportunity to train with Alaska’s most experienced and qualified flight instructors that fly daily in the Alaska Backcountry.

The Alaska Float Ratings Float Refresher and Mountain Refresher Course

Ground School
This will consist of ground training, where Pilots will learn the basics of how to fly floats and in mountainous terrain. Students are taught the fundamentals of performance considerations, developing go-no-go judgment skills, mountain flight planning, and developing confidence for mountain flying.

Mountain Flying
Each student will have the chance to fly four hours of individually customized mountain flight training. Common destinations include Grant Lake, Johnson Lake, Crescent Lake, Paradise Lakes and many more. There are many options; the sky is the limit.

Both the ground and flight training will incorporate the following topics:

  • Wind! How it will affect flying in the mountainous terrain, how much altitude to have when approaching a ridge or pass and how the winds aloft will affect that number.
  • How and when to approach ridges, and canyons.
  • How to review the flight route options in detail. How wind speed aloft, wind direction and cloud bases influence route selection.
  • Compute weight and balance and takeoff and landing distances.
  • Why maneuvering speed, (VA) is important and how it changes with aircraft gross weight.
  • Minimum runway lengths and how to establish a point on the departure runway beyond which take-off should be aborted if not airborne.
  • Procedures for dealing with severe downdrafts and wind shear.
  • Where to expect turbulence and how to read the clouds to anticipate the severity of the turbulence.
  • Typical mountain weather patterns.
  • Determining “Safety Zones” in the mountains.
  • Looking at the “Big Picture” in making go-no-go decisions.
  • Given a particular aircraft make, model, and engine and propeller configuration, what kind of mountain flying is safe and what kind to simply avoid?

This is for you if you already have your SES or just want float plane instruction and mountain flying.

  • 1-2 Days
  • 4 hours of flight time
  • Extra aircraft time A/C @ $395 per hr
  • Course ONLY $1795
  • Course with 1 room cabin rental $2050
    * Larger family cabins available upon request (for additional charge)