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Do you have the stomach for a winter flight into Telluride?

February 21, 2006 at 9:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Telluride airport, which is at the highest altitude of any airport in North America, is unavailable for landing about 35 percent of the time during the winter.

The diversion, usually to Montrose means a 1.5 hour transfer by van back to Telluride. America West appears to be the only major airline that flies in and out of Telluride.

However, despite the relative routine-ness of these winter diversions, an aborted landing in heavy winds is enough to rightfully scare the bejesus out of most newbie Telluride bound passengers.

Check out blogger Jason Calacanis's Telluride experience/reaction:

Almost died last week. Was flying into Telluride airport on one of those prop planes designed to land at small airports and we got caught in a wind storm.

As we were dropping down the side of the cliff while flying sideways I thought for sure this was it. The engines started to make some really strange whizzing and groaning noises. I figured they were either fighting the crazy winds or the pilot had powered the engines all the way up. The plane straighted out and we were heading back up in the air.

The pilot came back on the radio and informed us that we missed the runway. Really?! I had no idea. The  turbulence started again and we circled the airport, at which point I told the flight attendant that we better not be trying another landing at that airport. He agreed, and said that the airport had now been shutdown after a couple of aborted landings.

A couple of aborted landings!? WTF!?! Why was American West even attempting to land when winds are gusting like this? Why did we even try to land when other planes had to abort.  

So do you have the stomach to try flying into Telluride in February?

image focalplane/Flickr

Related Stories:
·   Fly Telluride [Official Site]
·   Telluride Airport [Mountain Flying]