Backcountry Flying Instruction

Interested in Backcountry flying?

Latitude Aviation offers seminar and on-demand mountain backcountry instruction to some of Idaho’s most scenic, challenging airstrips in the mountains and backcountry of North and Central Idaho.

Learn about density altitude, the SAFE way to fly canyons, mountain winds and weather, as well as “non-standard” approach and departure techniques, tailwheel tactics, and more as part of our Backcountry Basics course.

Build to our Basics course with tailwheel training, BFR, or just general proficiency with Latitude.

Gain the confidence necessary for safe access to the wilds with Latitude Aviation.

Backcountry Workshop Schedule

Backcountry Basics June 26-27, 2020

June 26

09:00 – Ground Start

11:30 – Break for lunch

15:30 – Ground End

June 27

06:30 – 1st flight Pilot Briefing

07:30 – 1st flight departs COE

11:30? – Picnic Lunch


14:00 – Return to COE

Basic Backcountry Complete


  • Basic Backcountry Ground School and Flight Instruction

Basic Backcountry Course Description

Gain Confidence

Much of a pilot’s apprehension about anything in flying often starts with a sense of being unprepared.  A big piece of becoming prepared comes with knowledge.  One gains that knowledge through competent instruction and study.  Latitude is here to offer that instruction and provide a safe start to your own future exploration of the wondrous world of backcountry flying.

Access Adventure

Mountain flying is about accessing adventure in the best way possible – by flying.  You can maximize your safety, and the safety of those riding with you, by starting with a Basic Backcountry course from Latitude Aviation.  Feel prepared for your adventure by getting a strong start learning about – and then flying –

  • Mountain maneuvering and slow speed control
  • Weather and winds
  • Navigation
  • Survival preparation
  • Performance calculation – both for you and your airplane
  • Mastering precision landings
  • “Unconventional” airport ops, such as:
    • Sloped runways
    • Obstructions to landing and takeoff, whether short to the airstrip or affecting your long final or departure path.
    • Offset approaches and departures.
    • Soft and/or rocky field operations to maximize performance without being too hard on equipment.
    • Short field operations – some of the places you’ll go are less than 2000 ft.
  • Much, much more.

Shoulders of Giants

Latitude bases our courses on a combination of our own operational experience in the North Idaho Panhandle and surrounds as well as the excellent work of Sparky Imeson in his Mountain Flying Bible.  Incorporate his knowledge and blend it with our experience and expertise for the perfect blend for growing as a pilot and increasing your safety in the wilderness.

Start easy, build from there

We ease you into mountain flying with a full day of ground covering much of the book knowledge you’ll need to maximize your margin in the woods; of course, we don’t stop there.  You’ll be guided through some basic maneuvers intended to equip you with some tools to practice on your own and incorporate into your everyday flying habits – habits that will eventually grant you precise, safe handling and decision-making skills necessary for competent access to the back woods.  Then, you’ll have a CFI safety net riding along as you fly to a selection of our local easy-to-moderate mountain airstrips, ranging from the scenic and remote Cavanaugh Bay airstrip on gorgeous Lower Priest Lake to local favorites like Magee USFS and Sullivan Lake State.  These strips offer a basic selection and introduction to some concepts and procedures that you don’t get flying from pavement to pavement.

Before you come to us

Light prerequisites apply:

  • 25 hrs make/model (owner flown) or;
  • Latitude Aircraft Checkout (renting or owner-flown)
  • 10 hrs preceeding 30 days
  • Tail-low wheel landing proficiency (conventional gear only)
  • Spot Landing self-practice
  • Read the Introduction, Mountain Flying Bible
  • Pilot Performance to Commercial Pilot Standards (CPL not required)
  • Personal and aircraft emergency/survival kits.

Follow this link for a full course description, as well as terms and conditions.

Basic Backcountry Complete


  • Basic Backcountry Ground School and Flight Instruction

Advanced Backcountry Flying

You’ve come a long way in your flying career.  Maybe you’ve completed your Basic Backcountry with Latitude Aviation.  Maybe you’ve got a lot of experience at familiar fields in your favorite backcountry airplane.  You might have even ventured into the wilderness on your own for some of the easier airstrips you felt comfortable trying on by your lonesome.  You think you have the skills, airplane, and experience to tackle some of the names you read about in the magazines… Dug Bar.  Salmon Bar.  Shearer.  Fish Lake.  And others.  But you just don’t know for sure.

That’s where Latitude Aviation comes in.  Our Advanced Backcountry workshop is a group fly-out providing guided instruction to any set of airstrips in a day’s flight, consistent with the weather, pilot, and airplane capabilities of course.  A group fly-out setting will form lasting relationships while leveraging the dual safety nets of experienced CFIs and multiple airplanes for the ultimate backcountry adventure.

Please note, pricing and schedule for Advanced outings is TBD for 2019.

*Prerequisites and minimum experience/proficiency apply.  Inquire for details, or look at this link.

Champ in the Idaho Backcountry

Backcountry Workshop Pricing

Basic Ground Only


  • Attend just the Ground portion of Basic Backcountry.

Basic Backcountry Complete


  • Basic Backcountry Ground School and Flight Instruction