Encyclopedia of backcountry flying

Knowledge Base project

Encyclopedia of backcountry flying

A curation of community knowledge about backcountry aircraft, piloting technique, destinations, survival, and best practices for safe operation.

Welcome to the newly created Backcountry Pilot Knowledge Base. The purpose of this part of the site is to store and document information about aircraft, pilot technique, product, and safety & survival knowledge in a format that is like an Encyclopedia, rather than a forum discussion. Most information will be mined from the forum, and will have reference links that lead back to the origin.

All information is open to debate and update. If you disagree with a particular section, feel there is erroneous information, or feel that it can be improved, changes are simply an email or comment away. Anyone with the knowledge can help to improve this body of information. If you have a good topic to suggest, send us a message with your idea and reference links.


We've categorized the knowledge base into 5 main sections: Aircraft, Pilots, Destinations, Safety & Survival, and Products and gear. Obviously, backcountry flying is a complex topic with a number of possibilities for how one could organize this information, but this makes it pretty simple, at least to start with.


Bush planes and aircraft that are ideal for backcountry flying, including popular modifications and accessories.


The aircraft that pilots fly, admire, and love are central to completing the mission. Whether it's a weekend camping trip for the hobbyist backcountry pilot, or the 4th load of supplies to a mining camp for a pro Alaskan bush pilot, the airplanes make it possible. It's to be expected that the topic of which ones work best, and what can be done to make them better, is a tireless conversation. It's also quite fun.


Techniques and procedures for negotiating the unique flight environment of the backcountry.


Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement... or something to that effect. More than any other flying discipline, backcountry and mountain flying present severe challenges to aviators, where decision-making and planning count just as much, if not more than, aircraft handling skills.


Learn about backcountry airports and off-airport operations from around the world.


We're lucky to have a dedicated information resource solely for backcountry airstrips and finding airports that provide a similar "sidecountry" experience. While remains our primary resource for that information, there's a lot more to cover on our favorite destinations and regions of the world. This section will provide a narrative index of the regions and locales that provide some of the best backcountry flying.

Safety and Survival

Self-sufficiency in an emergency or in the absence of civilization is a critical skillset for pilots.


The study of safety is an ever-present cornerstone of aviation, and while prevention of accidents and mishaps is key, being prepared to handle worse case scenarios is just as important. First aid, wilderness survival, and strategies for being rescued are deep topics that will be featured here.

Products and gear

Quality products and gear for pilots and aircraft owners


Culled from the experts in our community, enjoy some carefully written guides to the best products and gear for aircraft, aviators, camping, survival, and many other categories.

This is a living article in the Knowledge Base. If you have feedback on the accuracy or legitimacy of this entry, or would like to add more information, join the discussion below or email knowledge@backcountrypilot.org to volunteer your input. Suggestions and changes will be incorporated readily.

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Add your knowledge! The Knowledge Base is a dynamic, active project and depends on information submitted by knowledgeable pilots, mechanics, and aircraft owners. If you have a specific addition, suggestion, or change for the article, you can comment below and even attach files. If you have an idea for a new article, please email knowledge@backcountrypilot.org.


While this knowledge base is a compilation of information from various sources, some official in nature, it is not a recognized or acredited source of aviation training information, and thus should be considered entertainment. Please consult a FAA-certificated flight instructor or mechanic prior to putting any information found here into practice.