Idaho has long been recognized as very supportive of backcountry aviation, and Idaho Division of Aeronautics oversees over 30 backcountry airstrips. Some experience heavy usage, most notably Johnson Creek, 3U2 where a number of aircraft accidents have occurred. To promote safe and enjoyable flying into Johnson Creek, Idaho Aeronautics has produced a YouTube video demonstrating recommended standard operating procedures (SOPs) into and out of the mountain airstrip, including recommendations in the event of a go-around. See the six and-a-half-minute video here.

The Division has prepared printed versions of SOPs for Smiley Creek, Stanley, Big Creek,
Cavanaugh Bay, and Garden Valley. According to Tim Steffen of Idaho Aeronautics, editing has begun on the SOP video for Smiley Creek, and videos of the other backcountry airstrips listed are planned, adding Hoodoo Meadows. 

The Idaho Division of Aeronautics is in continuing talks with the RAF, Idaho Aviation
Association, AOPA, and others through the Backcountry Safety coalition in this safety and
education effort. “As we refine the process, we will make instructions available to surrounding states and organizations that have resources to do the same for their airfields,” Steffen added.
You can find Idaho’s SOP resources at

Additional materials recommended by the Backcountry Safety Coalition is located here:

By Carmine Mowbray
Submitted on September 11, 2023.

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