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To the letter - Re: Mountain Flying

I read with interest the article on the Hope-Princeton VFR route in Issue 2/97 of the Aviation Safety Letter. Flying VFR on this route is extremely dangerous unless the conditions are such that a direct flight between the two airports is possible. In fact, the route is to be avoided if there is any possibility of entering IFR conditions.

I am not a high-time pilot, but I have managed to acquire 1750 h, most of it in cross-country flying in Canada, the United States and Mexico. In 1981, after obtaining a private license plus a night endorsement, I received some excellent advice from experienced Penticton pilots: do not use the Hope-Princeton route in inclement weather. I understand that Hope now has automated weather reporting, which
compounds a bad situation.

I was advised to use one of the following routes in uncertain weather:

  • Because the Fraser Canyon from Hope to Lytton turns almost 90° north at Hope, the moist systems that often affect the Hope-Princeton or Coquihalla Highway routes will not affect the canyon, and good legal VFR in the Canyon is possible. As Lytton is at an elevation of 922 ft. and Hope, at an elevation of 128 ft., there is no precipitous rise in the elevation enroute. Lytton to Merritt (or Kamloops, if necessary) is most often open if the Canyon is open at Hope.
  • If one does fly east or west from the Canyon, an excellent route can be found at Boston Bar. Fly the power lines, as this is the lowest elevation.

W. Lawrie
Penticton, British Columbia

Originally Published: ASL 3/1997
Original Article: To the letter - Re: Mountain Flying

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