- Make safety your highest priority, acting with responsibility and courtesy.
- Develop the skills necessary for safe backcountry aviation. Use instructors and knowledgeable pilots to seek excellence in airmanship through training and practice.
- Establish and adhere to personal minimums based on objective evaluation of ability.
- Research and practice prudent operating practices for the area and airfield you wish to explore. i.e., reporting points and altitudes.
- Anticipate, recognize, share with passengers, and manage risks using sound principles of risk management and aeronautical decision making.
- Maintain a comprehensive awareness of and consideration for all in the flying environment, avoiding all operations that may alarm, disturb, or endanger passengers, people, or wildlife on the surface.
- Use an aircraft that is capable and maintained for the intended mission.
- Be competent in the use of appropriate technologies for navigation, communication, and emergency rescue.
- Carry redundant transceivers and navigational equipment.
- Equip with proper water, food, clothing, shelter, first aid, and tools. Prepare for an extended time on the ground if necessary.
- Secure your aircraft.
- Use “Pack it in / Pack it out” and “Leave No Trace” practices.
- Keep your aircraft/seaplane clean of weed traces and seed to prevent the spread of invasive vegetation.
- Recognize and minimize the environmental impact of aircraft operations.
- Go beyond applicable agreements, laws, and regulations in being considerate stewards of the environment and others who may be sharing it.
- Act with courtesy to other recreators. Maintain reasonable distance and altitude and reduce your noise signature to a safe minimum.
- Know wildlife refuge boundaries and seasonal areas of wildlife congregation to avoid low level overflights.
- Minimize discharge of fuel and oil during refueling, preflight preparations, servicing, and flight operations.
- Avoid very early morning departures unless safety of flight requires a deviation.
- Do not use sensitive backcountry airstrips for training. Stay long enough to enjoy their special recreational benefits.
Building Your Library
The RAF Safety and Education Committee promotes safe flying through continuing education and training. While we do not endorse specific sources of information or training, we recommend that pilots continually educate themselves. To help pilots build a library of knowledge, we provide the following resources as a starting point. If you have suggestions to add to this library, please email Tom Haefeli at email@example.com.
Flying the Mountains by Fletcher Fairchild Anderson
Rim Flying Canyonlands with Jim Hurst by Pearl Baker
Mountain Flying Bible Revised by Sparky Imeson
Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying by Amy L. Hoover and R.K. Dick Williams
Guide to Bush Flying by F.E. Potts
Taildragger Tactics by Sparky Imeson
Mountain Weather: Backcountry Forecasting for Hikers, Campers,
Climbers, Skiers and Snowboarders by Jeff Renner
Flying Colorado Mountain Weather by Margaret W. Lamb
Fly Idaho! by Galen Hanselman
Fly Utah! by Galen Hanselman
Fly the Big Sky! by Galen Hanselman
Air Baja! by Galen Hanselman