Video: Pilatus landing at Courchevel

This is why you practice short field landings! Watch the ultimate ski trip in this fun flying video. The pilot loads up seven of his friends in a Pilatus, then takes off from his home airport’s grass runway (yes, in a 10,000 lb. airplane) and flies to Courchevel, a scenic ski resort in the French Alps. There’s a very convenient airport right on the side of the mountain, but it’s less than 1,800 feet long and has a stunning 18.6% gradient. No problem for the Pilatus, but the landing will make your pulse race.

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John knows how lucky he is to go to work every day at an airport. As Vice President of Sporty’s Pilot Shop’s Catalog Division, he says, “I get to hang around airplanes all the time, flying regularly and testing new products for the catalog.” Coming from an aviation family, John grew up in the back of small airplanes and learned to fly as a teenager. Ever since, he has been hooked on anything with wings and regularly flies a Citabria, a Pilatus PC-12 and a Robinson R44 helicopter. Despite his love of low and slow flight, John says, “I love the challenge of IFR flying in the system. Seeing the runway lights as you break out on approach is a thrill.”