Mountain Flying Is A Whole Different Kind of Aviation...
Women in Aviation International is gaining a reputation for one of the most complete and diverse annual conferences in the industry, but also works to make sure it's not just women who feel welcome. Any exhibitor who might play a role in expanding employment opportunities is welcome. One who came in 2011 was Joe Kuberka, President of Blue Goose Aviation.
The company offers airport hops or mountain flying excursions into the back-country grass strips of Montana and Idaho for individual students, but specializes in its America Air Tours, which allow participants to bring their own aircraft for seven-day tours of scenic destinations in the west, including training, weather data services, help with flight planning, and a bundling of miscellaneous costs.
Joe tells ANN's Jim Campbell that six-to-eight couples in their own planes typically follow his lead each morning, as he flies his plane along a route planned to choose the best mountain passes, then enjoy afternoon activities including fishing or whitewater rafting, or visits to national parks and underground caverns. Joe explains, "So we make it a fun vacation where the pilot is also going to gain some valuable mountain flying experience."
A 20-year Air Force pilot and accident investigator, Joe saw a need for such tours beyond their entertainment value. "I wanted to set something up as an instructor for people to learn to fly in the mountains and do it safely. There are so many great places to fly out west, and people are either timid and not going to, or they're going to, too boldly, and really don't know what they're doing. So we set this up so that people can learn how to fly out there, and come enjoy it with us, and then go do it on your own into some great places."
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