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Turbulence over the Rockies

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  • Turbulence over the Rockies

    Hi! I have an upcoming trip that will take us through the Rocky Mountains. We must change planes in Denver and fly on United Express/Skywest to Vail. I'm very anxious about flying over the rockies in a smallish plane since the rockies are known for being one of the most turbulent points in the U.S. I realize every day is different, but I would love to hear about the experience of others (good or bad) and how you handled it. Thanks!

  • #2
    As a pilot and flight instructor I've flown in single engine aircraft over the Rockies countless numbers of times. I've hit mountain waves before, but I try to avoid conditions that produce breaking mountain waves which can really beat you up at times. But it's done safely every day.


    • #3
      I have to fly to Denver from the west a ton for work...have always hated it. It is always so bumpy once you start descending into Denver. Here's what I tell myself...United has it's main hub in Denver. There is no way a major airline would put a hub in a "dangerous" flying region of the country. Since it is hub and a very large airport, planes are taking off and landing there CONSTANTLY. If it was a dangerous airport to land or take off from, planes would crash there all the time...but they don't.

      So, just as we start descending...whether it's in a large or a small plane, I just get ready for the bumps and keep thinking about the hundreds of planes that landed safely before me that day.


      • #4
        Ok here's a question that I just posted....I need to fly over Rockies into Grand Junction, CO...should I connect in Dallas (originally coming from Newark, NJ) because my aunt said you don't go over such high peaks. Would this be less turbulent because Denver to Grand Junction was MURDER!!!


        • #5
          Oh, my Danilynn, I feel your pain but I can't imagine it would be any different/better. If I were you, I'd opt for the faster flight, which is probably EWR-DEN.. I hate flying over the rockies also but as Vandy pointed out, DEN is a major airline's major hub. Pls let us know what u decide and how you make out. It's silly but I plug my ears, close my eyes, put my head between my knees and mutter to myself "it's just a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road ..." Shutting off -- or subduing anyway -- my other senses helps me ride out turbulence.


          • #6
            I fly to Denver often and it really all depends. I've had rough flights over the Rockies, and other times, smooth as glass. Landing in Denver can be an experience even when there is no weather. You tend to get a lot of crosswinds and such. Turbulence is nothing to worry about. I used to freak at the slightest bump, but now, i've gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me at all.