Backcountry aircraft

While most any light aircraft can be used in the backcountry, it is true that some are more suitable than others by design, and are called "bush planes."

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What makes a good backcountry aircraft?

While most any light aircraft can be used in the backcountry, it is true that some are more suitable than others by design, and are called "bush planes." It is often said that one should let the mission define the aircraft: Does a pilot need 2 seats or 4? Is STOL performance important? High altitude operations? Rough terrain and off-airport durability? Speed? The list goes on, but these are the kind of questions appropriate for deciding on a bird.

Common modifications

Since backcountry flying can present some unique conditions like rough surfaces and short strips (or no strip at all) the most common modications address these needs. One of the most popular is the use of bushwheels, sometimes called "tundra tires." They're larger in diameter and are run at lower pressures to soak up the rough terrain like suspension. Another popular modification is a STOL wing kit, which usually comes in the form of a replacement leading edge cuff that slightly reshapes the camber of the wing to provide better low speed flight characteristics and a lower overall stall speed. Those are just two examples.

We're going to do our best to compile the best modications here (some not necessarily backcountry related) and provide approval documentation wherever possible. Head on over to the Modification index.

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.

Information in this article was compiled from the following sources:

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  2. Backcountrypilot.org forum

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Disclaimer

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.