IFC Region of the Month | Montana, USA

Hello IFC,

I am excited to announce the start of a new monthly topic series, Region of the Month. For each topic, I will choose an underrated region, show its best airports and scenery, and even suggest routes that go through the area. The purpose of this series is to encourage people to fly in the many beautiful places in the world that don’t get enough attention in Infinite Flight. I will try to do this at the beginning of each month so that there is plenty of time for everyone to explore it before the next is released. For the first installment, I will be writing about my home state of Montana in the USA, then I will move on to various continents and countries to make sure that each topic is different from the next. Enjoy!


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About Montana

Montana is a state located in the Northwestern United States. It is the 4th largest state in area (slightly larger than Japan) but 43rd in population, with only about 1,050,000 people. It has a wide variety of biomes including the Rocky Mountains, pine forest, hills, prairie, and even desert. The most popular of these are the mountains, which are primarily in the western half of the state and consist of 77 named ranges. The state is also part of several national parks and recreation areas including Glacier, Yellowstone, and Bighorn Canyon. It is absolutely beautiful to look at from both the ground and air, and no doubt is one most underrated US areas in Infinite Flight.

Website

Wikipedia article

Areas

Montana has dozens of breathtaking areas to explore, but here are my top 3:

1. Glacier National Park
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Glacier is a large national park located in the northwest tip of Montana.The primary attractions are the huge, rocky, snowy mountains that run throughout the park. It also has many lakes, and of course, glaciers to explore. Nearby airports include: KGPI, MT60, MT17, and 49S.

2. Bob Marshall Wilderness
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The Bob Marshall is a vast wilderness area located in western Montana that covers over 1 million acres and is the fifth-largest wilderness in the lower 48 states. It has numerous mountain peaks, lakes, waterfalls, and dense pine forests, and is an amazing place to fly over. This area is primarily in the center of airports: 3U7, 23S, and S04.

3. Bighorn Canyon
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Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area borders southeast Montana and is a bit different from the areas above. It is primarily a highland desert with short mountains, red sand, and a deep canyon. The canyon is fairly deep and is a lot of fun to try to fly through. It’s kind of like a miniature Grand Canyon. It is located inbetween U68 and 5U7 (which is at the mouth of the canyon).

Airports

Although Montana’s airports aren’t very big, they are all in beautiful locations. It currently has 8 airports served by common US airlines. Here are the top 3 is my opinion:

1. Bozeman Yellowstone International (KBZN)
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KBZN is the largest commercial airport in Montana and is one of few that has been edited for Infinite Flight. It sees lots of traffic from airlines including Delta, American, JetBlue, and many more due to the fact that it is a primary entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It also looks beautiful as it is overlooked by the Bridger Mountains in the east. More info on this airport and its airline routes can be found here.

2. Glacier Park International (KGPI)
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As its name suggests, KGPI is located at the entrance to Glacier National Park and therefore sees traffic from several US airlines. When flying into this airport, you are guaranteed a beautiful approach from all angles with huge mountains to the north and east, a large forest to the west, and a massive lake to the south. You can find a list of airlines and routes that serve this airport here.

3. Missoula International (KMSO)
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Missoula is the second largest city in Montana. It sits in a beautiful valley that used to be a glacial lake. The airport is great to fly into if you enjoy regional jets such as CRJs or Embraer aircraft. It also has a challenging approach if you take runway 29, as you intercept the localizer on 5 mile final in order to avoid mountains. A list of airlines and routes that serve this airport can be found here.

Routes

Here are some the routes I recommend to do this month. There are 3 commercial routes and 3 GA routes. A few are VFR because you have to avoid mountains.

1. Alaska Horizon Q400 - KSEA to KBZN
This route is done up to 5 times a day, every day in real life. It crosses over the Cascade Mountains in Washington, and then moves on to fly over countless Rocky Mountain ranges in Montana. It is a beautiful route to fly and one of my all-time favorites.

KSEA SEA NORMY BLUIT EPH 4727N/11539W HLN CUSRI SWEDD GODFE MENAR 4547N/11109W KBZN

2. United Express CRJ-700 - KDEN to KMSO
KDEN to KMSO is a great route to do if you want to experience the Rocky Mountains as a whole, as it starts at one side of them and ends at the other. It flys over beautiful places like Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone National Parks, and it has a challenging approach at the end as mentioned above. Definitely a must do route!

KDEN LASSS SPYCE TURBN CHICN FAARM SOLLO WINDL YAMMI 4515N/11233W JIROS 4654N/11405W KMSO

3. Delta A319 - KMSP to KGPI
This route is a little longer than the above and flies over almost the entire nothern end of Montana. During this flight you will pass over The Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Great Plains in North Dakota and eastern Montana, and the northern Rocky Mountains including Glacier National Park. A great route to do if you want to see several different biomes.

KMSP GEP HRBEK HOMUR KBREW 4645N/9651W KU18U 4813N/11411W KGPI

4. Cessna 172 - MT17 to 49S
If you want to experience Montana but don’t have much time, this this the flight for you! This is a nice, short VFR route that weaves around the mountains of one of Montana’s greatest places, Glacier National Park.

5. Cessna 208 - KWYS to KBIL
This route takes off from Yellowstone National Park, curves around the Montana - Wyoming border, and flies up to Billings, Montana’s largest city. You will fly over several areas of interest including the huge and high Beartooth Mountains.

KWYS HUKET ZEXUP 45N10 FAVUP HIPAM R0055 KBIL

6. Cirrus SR22 - KBTM to MT15 to 3U7 to 8U7 to MT60
The Continental Divide is a line of summits of the Rocky Mountains, separating streams flowing toward the west from those flowing toward the east. This VFR route flies up Montana’s portion of the Divide while doing touch and goes along the way. Lots of high mountains to navigate through on this flight!

Feedback

This series takes a lot of time to research and write, so I want to make sure everyone enjoys it. Please let me know what you think of it by voting on the poll below, commenting, or sending me a PM. Also, if you have an idea for where the next region of the month could be, make sure to PM me. Thanks!

  • This is great, keep it up!
  • Good idea but needs improvement (will send PM explaining how)
  • Not interested

0 voters

Thanks for checking out the first region of the month. There will be many more to come!

39 Likes

I like it! I’ll be sure to try out Montana sometime soon. 🙂

4 Likes

This is a really well done feature and a great looking thread. Looking forward to more of these in the future!

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Holy macaroni!

First of all, this idea is very good. I would have never thought of creating something as amazing as this. You’re taking underrated regions and shinning them in the best light!

Second, I would have never thought of going to Montana in infinite flight, let alone in real life. This thread opened my eyes widely as to what Montana holds and kind of hides from us.

Third, this thread couldn’t have been carried out any better. I like the structure and how You delivered the whole idea. It was constructed nicely with elegance.

I look forward to the next region of the month!
Best regards,
Ignas.

6 Likes

Really nice thread idea and series. Thank you.

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A great idea it’s a great way to get inspiration for new routes to fly

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I highly recommend this area, I’ve done some flights between Yellowstone and near Mt Rushmore. The mountains on the side are amazing. Don’t bother looking for Mt Rushmore as the topogoraphy isn’t clear enough, stick to Yellowstone

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Nice idea! I think it’s great to check out new areas especially this part of the Rocky Mountains.

Now I’ve been to Glacier National Park in real life, and I gotta say, if any of you have the opportunity to go check it out, definitely make plans to visit. Oh and bring a good camera, you’ll want to take pictures :)

-Moosehead

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Wow, that looks beautiful. Way to get community members into exploring new places! Do this every month and people will be begging for more. Well done!

As a matter of fact, maybe I can get the IFAE team into this place.


Smooth Skies

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Fantastic topic! 👏🏻👏🏻

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Holy shrimpoli this is a good topic! Keep. This. Up.

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Amazing work @PlaneCrazy! I’m sure a lot of time and thought went into making this! I can’t wait to fly these routes. 👏

5 Likes

What a brilliant topic!
Love the detail and the pics.
The amount of work you put in this, makes all the difference!

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Thanks, great topic and will be flying these routes tonight!

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Great job @PlaneCrazy. Amazing idea, and a well organized topic. I would’ve never thought to fly to Montana. My next flight will definitely be exploring this beautiful state. Well done! Bravo!

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Thank you all for the excellent feedback! I definitely will be continuing this series!

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Some of you younger guys may not get the film reference but I think of this every time I think about Montana. Don’t miss out on Montana…

image

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I’m going to fly the CRJ from KDEN to KGPI. Glacier Park is so beautiful. I went there last summer.

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As long as this isn’t North America + Europe only, it’s a great idea! (@Grizpac)

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Yep, that’s my plan. I will be doing places in Africa, southern Asia, and different islands in Pacific Ocean for the next few months.

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