Where Eagles Fly : Red Rock & Potosi Mountain ~ Part 2 ~ Deadly Rollers on Potosi Mountain! Film Included

in #photography5 years ago (edited)

This is the second post from my 3 part post series on my exploration flight around the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon area in the wilderness of Nevada, west of Las Vegas.  

Continued from Part 1....

After passing through the small pass between Potosi Mountain and the sandstone cliffs to the south or Red Rock Canyon I angled towards the eastern side of the mountain. The wind was blowing pretty hard at this time, and I noticed it especially as I was coming through the pass due to the venturi effect caused by funneling of air into the canyon space. 

Shooting over Potosi Mountain ~ Click to Enlarge

But when I arrived on the eastern side of Potosi Mountain it started to get really rough and I was getting bounced around a lot! The following map shows the flight location of this part of the story, this all happened where the circle target is next to Potosi Mountain.

Flight Path For Part 2 of the Journey ~ Click to Enlarge

I had flown into the leeward side of the prevailing winds over the mountain and the winds were creating horizontal rollers, also known as Mountain Waves or Rotor Turbulence. In the following illustrations from Bold Method you can see how these are formed but to get a clear picture go to their article about the effect here

In this first illustration notice the lenticular clouds on top of the mountain?

Now take a look at the image below I captured from the wingtip camera mounted on my right wing. Notice how the leticular cloud has created a cloud cap on top of Potosi Mountain?

Lenticular Cloud Cap on Potosi Mountain ~ Click to Enlarge

I had just passed through that pass on the right side of the image and was now on the eastern side of Potosi Mountain, and this put me squarely in the rotor zone. Take a look at the image below to get a clear picture of the wind effect.

These rotor systems are basically horizontal tornadoes and can seriously disrupt your day! If you are not paying attention to what is happening and allow yourself to get caught in the downward wind draft of the rotor it can literally push the airplane into the ground or the side of the mountain. Either way it can be disastrous!

To give you an example of what this is like I create a short film about my overall experience that day flying the route around the mountain and getting brushed by a rotor system. Take a look at this film and I hope you enjoy!

 This is the end of Part 2 of this 3 part series on my aerial exploration of the area around Potosi Mountain and Red Rock Canyon. Stay tuned for Part 3

I lensed these images at different times while exploring this awe-inspiring wilderness area for my ongoing project, "Where Eagles Fly". 

About The Project

Where Eagles Fly - The American Wilderness Expedition is my personal mission to introduce people to these amazing locations that surround us. I am piloting a bush plane while exploring and filming throughout the remote back-country areas of North America to raise awareness of the 47% of the USA and 90% of Canada that remain unpopulated wilderness.

About The Author

My name is Zedekiah Morse and I'm a Bush Pilot, Photographer, Explorer and Filmmaker. I live in the Rocky Mountains and devote my time and resources to exploring as much of the world as I can by air. If you wish to watch a short film detailing how I do my work and this project, go here.

If you like what you see here upvote and resteemit so that others may experience these wondrous places.

And if you'd like these images to be part of your feed, follow me.

Thanks for your support and Yehaw!!


@skypilot, mind-blowing! really what a day for you! This is simply indescribable beauty! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! The video is the best!

Thanks!!! Glad you liked it.... I really enjoy creating these short films... lets me use all my skills at once!

That is a trip! Mechanical rotor scares the life out of me. A few months back I was flying my paraglider at one of our local sites called Palomar. Its a part of the Palo Indian Reservations. The laps rate was low and the prospect for a good flight was minimal. Turns out that the thermals were going to be stronger than I thought and I ended up at about 6k. The problem was that at 7k there was a wind sheer from the east meeting the west at 7k ft. amsl. I caught this 500ft per minute thermal and it pushed me right through the inversion and into the sheer. Needless to say, my wing didn't like it up there and I experienced my first frontal collapse. Video I ended up giving bad inputs and went into a face down spiral. I figured it out after a full 60seconds of terror. I just started to feel normal again when I am in the air. Thanks for sharing this post my friend!

Wow!!!!! You have giant steel ones my friend!!!!!! What a trip that was.... jeeeeeez!! No thank you! I will stick to my engine mounted wings!!! LOL... what a video that was... darn dude!!! Wow

This very amazing your life my friend

All our lives are amazing yes? It is important to love what you do in life, you have to choice to do anything you want so live the life you want to be!!!

You very amazing @skypilot...

Thanks so much for your kind words!

Hi Zed,
Wow amazing bro! ... as you may know I am into surfing, so marvelling at the power of nature is part of my day too. It was brilliant to watch you expertly handle those tricky conditions, it must get pretty wild up there at times!

keep well :D

Upvoted and resteemed

Thanks my friend! Practice practice practice!!! Just like you on the board... the more you do it the better you become at it... probably like you, I have been doing this all my life so it has become 2nd nature to me. Thanks so much for saying this... very cool! yehaw