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Flight student Jim Martin checks the wing of his aircraft before taking off with instructor Joe Birkinbine on Friday morning at the Steamboat Springs Airport.

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Mountain flying presents dangerous challenges to aviators

Paying special attention to weather that can be variable and extreme year-round is just one of the things instructor Joe Birkinbine teaches students in specialized courses on mountain flying. "The most challenging thing about flying in the Yampa Valley is weather," Birkinbine said. "This includes how difficult the weather is to forecast."

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