Backcountry Training Tours


Stick & Rudder Aviation offers "Backcountry Training Tours” - with circuitous Multi-Day, tank-of-gas loops -  through the Scenic mountains and canyons of the Idaho, Montana, and Oregon backcountry.  

The loops are specifically choreographed to offer a progression of training - with an ever-increasing linking of challenging UN-paved airstrips.  Some public, some private - some on the map, some not - most sloped - most with one-way approaches (and no go-around abort points) - most shorter than 2000’ - always an obstacle on at least one end.
With a choice of over 75 backcountry airstrips within a thousand square miles - it’s just a few miles and minutes between airstrips - just enough time to reflect on the last airstrip, enjoy the scenery at low-level following the terrain, and add those new skills just learned to mastering the next airstrip.
Landing each afternoon - just in time for a late lunch - at a different Wilderness Guest Ranch each day, often only accessible by air or by foot.  A comfortable overnight stay - with warm cabins and friendly hosts - multi-course home-cooked meals called to the table by a triangle dinner bell - and time to reflect on the day, with arm-chair flying around the campfire under the stars each night.


Although we ask that you pay the instructors' ranch stay too - as they are there as your tour guide and teacher - also away from family & home...

The price of lodging often easily competes with the big city hotels AND includes 3 meals a day (rather than the additional expense of restaurants, or mediocre fast food). 

In addition, by staying in the Backcountry - we eliminate about an hour of cross country flight time, In and Out of the Backcountry, each way, each day.  That savings alone easily covers more than the instructors ranch stay - an keeps you closer, to master more airstrips each day, before the need for gas.  Value-Added !

Please review our web site "Favorites" for Wilderness Ranch details, and our "Pricing" page for overnight training policy.



A one-day introduction to Mountain Flying can also be accomplished daily from our base of operation - offering a great overview of “shopping-the-field, stabilized approaches, positional landings, and reading the terrain to increase your performance and safety.

In addition, backcountry training - at your home airport (you supply the mountains) - can be offered for discounted Kitfox ferry costs and instructor day rates (plus all meal and lodging expenses - as you would have for yourself visiting us).



Within any of our Mountain Flying training – the goal is learn the judgment – to then make the decisions – how best to use the skills – to fly into an unfamiliar mountain airstrip.  You will learn to “read the terrain” – to compare that to the operating envelope you've explored in the aircraft – to determine how to safely fly a semi-blind, one-way, no go-around approach into a narrow, short, sloped, rough, tall tree-lined airstrip.  Sound Exciting? – but emphasis is always on safety, judgment, and control – thereby minimizing the risk and opening a door to a world not always accessible to other pilots."Backcountry Training Tours" offers immersion into the lifestyle of a backcountry charter (Bush) pilot - Flying out to civilization only for gas, ice cream, and maybe check your cell phone - spend a day or spend a week - I’m confident you will enjoy a unique experience - and gain the skills to allow for a safe return to the backcountry in your own airplane.










The following links - should offer some additional motivation and education to explore Mountain Flying training with us:

Air Safety Institute about Mountain Flying...

AOPA Safety Foundation - SAFETY ADVISOR - Mountain Flying

AOPA Mountain Flying web site home page:

FAA write up on Mountain Flying tips:

NTSB write up on Mountain Flying:

Mountain Flying Bible (Revised):

Paul is honored to be included as one the core instructors in the world-renown, well-respected “McCall Mountain Canyon Flying Seminars”.  This group training program offers a quality, comprehensive, and structured approach to learn safe backcountry flying techniques and judgment - within a fly-in-the-morning, classroom in the afternoon group setting.  This seminar is oriented and designed for owners of an aircraft capable of backcountry operations.  Stick & Rudder Aviation promotes attendance in the seminar if your looking for the camaraderie of a group training setting.  Stick & Rudder Aviation can offer their Kitfox aircraft (with our instructors) to participants who don't own their own aircraft, or don't want to ferry their own aircraft clear across the country to attend.


Shepp Ranch 







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