Aircraft Operations in the Rockies
Recently we arranged a private jet charter flight to fly out of Eagle Airport in Eagle, CO. This airport is the closest suitable to many of the favored skiing locations and as such sees much jet traffic in the winter. But, Eagle Airport also has its fair share of summer air traffic as well, and summer in the Rockies presents us with a challenge known as “High and Hot”.
Not a movie about teens and their summer adventures, “High and Hot” refers to geographic and atmospheric conditions that limit aircraft performance. As the temperature and altitude climbs, the air becomes thinner and generates less lift over the wings, the engines will not produce as much power, and the normal load that the jet can carry is significantly diminished. For example in January it is common for a Hawker 800XP to depart Eagle Airport and fly nonstop directly to Teterboro, NJ with 5 passengers and baggage. In July, that same mission profile would require a fuel stop. These conditions take special training and demand experienced flight crew members. Make sure to ask if your aircraft possesses the required performance for summer operations at high-altitude airports.