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CT2kflyer

Leadville, CO.......

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Completed a trip today from Longmont, Colorado to Leadville, Colorado.  The airfield in Leadville (KLXV) is at 9,934 ft.  Density Altitude landing was at 10,600.  Density altitude at take-off was 11,000 dead-on.  Total trip was 3.5 hours and most of it was at high altitude.  My homebase of Longmont (KLMO) is at 5,400.

 

I fly a CT2k, 100 HP 912 ULS, and it handled the high DA without trouble, but then again I didn't do any extraordinary maneuvering and my wings have a 3 ft wider wing-span than all subsequent CT models.  Also, my empty weight is 717.  Today, two people, baggage, and 24 gallons of fuel probably put me near 1,275 pounds at take-off from Leadville.

 

Earlier this year, I flew from Longmont to Puget Sound and back.  Superb trip and great weather.

 

The trip to Leadville was on my bucket list.  

 

Death Valley will be coming up within the next  12 months..... at least that's the plan.

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I'm impressed.  Not sure I'd want to fly straight and level for long at altitudes like this, let alone maneuver to land.  This obviously is not an airport environment that one takes lightly. Apart from knowing how to deal with the loss of performance caused by high altitude, is the weather predictable here or do you also deal with wind shear?

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RUNTOEAT/FLYINGMONKEY:

 

Weather here is not particularly predictable.  We had a huge high pressure over Colorado for a couple of days prior to the trip.  Skys very clear with visibility a hundred miles or more at altitude.  Wind in Wilkerson Pass the previous day was 23 with gusts to 29.  Wind during my time of landing was 320 at 12 G17, but the good news was RWY heading was 340.  Frankly, the wind was very beneficial on landing and take-off.  Almost all of South Park is pretty high; Fairplay Co is at 9,900 and Buena Vista is at 9,000.  I like 2,000 AGL so on the trip I was at 11,000 to +12,000 most of the time.  Oxygen measurement  off my finger tip measured 97-93 saturation depending.  

I live at 5,000 and I'm older, but used to the altitude.  I think I have more red blood cells than the flat-landers.

 

I did not notice ground speed at landing, as I was focused on airspeed.  Takeoff took about 1/3rd of the runway, or a bit less, but I used the brakes to hold during initial engine run-up, and as soon as my airspeed hit lift-off, I picked the plane up off the runway, but kept the nose down to build up airspeed without drag.  By the end of the runway I was doing 75-80 kts, and climb wasn't an issue.

 

The only thing I would do different in retrospect, would be to use a straight in approach (which I dislike) rather than a standard pattern approach.... so depending on traffic, I recommend a straight-in.  Maneuvering at high altitude is a bit trickier than I would have liked. 

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