Friday, December 3, 2010

Telluride Fall Colors Fly-In

Telluride, CO
and the Fall Colors Fly-In

Flown:  September 29, 2001
Aircraft:  Cessna 182 - N92844
Approximate round trip mileage: 423nm
Approximate flying time:  4:18

This was a much needed day trip to Telluride after a month of little to no flying.  After our night flight over Denver a month before, I flew once 10 days before 9/11 and once 10 days after 9/11.  This was still a time when no one knew what was going to happen to the national airspace system and restrictions were up all over the place.  For a few days no airplanes could fly, then it was narrowed down to some airplanes could fly, but not out of or around certain airports.  That grounded thousands of airplanes and many flocked to Longmont as it was just outside Denver's special "Enhanced Class B" airspace.  Airplanes were being chased all over the place by F16's, even in the Denver area, and you never knew when some new restriction would pop up and you'd be in violation of some new unknown rule.  At time time of this trip things were slowly going back to normal.

Telluride is the highest commercial airport in the U.S.  Every year, which after 2001 it became every two years, they'd have their "Fall Colors Fly-In".  Since the colors were supposed to be good this year, we went, and were not disappointed.  It was a perfect day for flying.  The fly-in had a pancake breakfast and a terrific show put on by a squadron who puts on a mock battle of Vietnam, based on actual events.  By the time they were done they had that airport engulfed in flames and smoke, the best airshow event we'd ever seen by far.

After the show we left for home.  The airport sits up on a plateau and it's pretty interesting departing out of there to the west.  The ground drops away fairly rapidly and you climb out over a narrow canyon.  Once we were past Vail, the weather started getting a little dicey and we had to get an IFR clearance to get through Corona Pass.  Once clear of that it was clear into Longmont.