The incredible diversity of the SLV, including 14,000 foot peaks and vast agricultural areas.
After pushing through the daunting 10,709 foot Hayden pass, the San Luis Valley (SLV) stretched out for miles below us. The Cessna 172’s windshield failed to contain the vast landscape, guarded on all sides by snow-capped mountains, and both pilot and passenger found themselves craning their necks to take in the view. The area is truly unique, featuring a diverse collection of farmlands, ranching, canyons, vast national forest and wildland areas, and mountains over 14,000 feet high. It’s also unique due to the abundance of local support for both unmanned and manned aviation, including specific improvements to airports to support UAS operations, as well as securing permission for partnering companies to operate up to 15,000 feet MSL.
Black Swift Technologies and UAS Colorado recently partnered to showcase the outstanding flight and regulatory conditions of the SLV in Saguache County, Colorado. On April 22, 2016 Jack Elston, CEO of Boulder based Black Swift Technologies, and Constantin Diehl, President of UAS Colorado, flew the 172 from the Denver area to meet with County Commissioners, Airport Managers and Economic Development representatives to showcase the area’s excellent conditions and the ease with which they can be utilized.