What We Do

Through a variety of aerial services and products, True West Aerial specializes in obtaining elevated perspectives of important landscapes - helping individuals and organizations to better understand a certain land tract, eco-system, or issue with greater clarity. True West strives to introduce new and innovative solutions and yield the high quality and custom-tailored results we are known for. By combining sophisticated technology with deep knowledge and experience we are able to offer superior and more efficient services to our partners. True West was founded out of a passion for flying and dedication to the American West. We understand the important role of private, public, and conserved lands throughout the Rocky Mountain West and work to help ensure their legacy persists with a healthy and sustainable future.

Who Is True West

Daniel Carter
Daniel CarterOwner & Pilot
Daniel Carter is a commercial pilot and the founder of True West Aerial. Daniel originally hails from Montana where western landscapes and aviation made an imprint on him at an early age. Daniel obtained his pilot’s license at the ripe age of 16, and immediately felt at home in the sky. Shortly thereafter he began to realize how a small airplane can provide a stunning, unrivaled and valuable perspective of land from above. Flying over these spectacular vistas ultimately led him to a greater passion and appreciation for the land, mountains, and rivers below. It is this passion and appreciation that is at the foundation of True West Aerial Company. In addition to his work with True West, Daniel also works as a Ranch Broker with Mirr Ranch Group where he represents buyers, sellers, and stake-holders of unique investment quality property all over the Rocky Mountain West, ranging from recreational and conservation-centered holdings, to agricultural and income generating ranches.

Daniel is an experienced and knowledgeable pilot with numerous hours flying in the backcountry and mountains, as well as other demanding situations. He uses this specialized experience as well his background in land use and real estate to provide a well rounded aerial offering. Daniel prides himself on maintaining a high safety standard and creates a comfortable and fun environment for all who fly with him.


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The Cessna 185 Skywagon is known as a backcountry workhorse throughout the aviation industry. It is a very versatile platform, and our specific airplane is uniquely outfitted for our mission profile. The airplane has a useful load of over 1600 lbs, which usually translates into running out of space in the cabin before hitting the maximum weight capacity.The 185 was designed for performance on short and unimproved airstrips. It can take off and land in very short distances – around 1,000 feet depending on the load. Our airplane is additionally equipped with a STOL (Short Take-off and Landing) kit and VG’s (Vortex Generators) that allows for greater capability and control of the airplane when operating at low speeds and on short landing strips. Beefed up landing gear and oversized bushwheels also aid in our aircraft’s ability on rough, unimproved landing areas.

Getting from A to B in the Skywagon is comfortable and swift. Its average cruising speed is around 170 mph, and the airplane seats 4 comfortably with plenty of space for gear. Once a destination for observation is reached though, the airplane really begins to impress with its slow-flight capability. Slowing down to observation speed seems like a hover. This slow speed operation is essential for land observation. Powered by a 300 horsepower engine, this airplane operates with confidence when flying through mountainous and high altitude terrain.

The interior is well equipped for safety and comfort. Instrumentation is state-of-the-art, increases the usability and provides the pilot with ample information. With upgraded glass and bubble-windows the platform is wonderful for aerial observation by all passengers.

What People Are Saying

True West Aerial is a trusted partner of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT). CCALT has used True West Aerial to deliver critical aerial monitoring services for more than a year and could not be happier. They consistently go above and beyond the standards for the industry to deliver a tailored service package. Daniel Carter is an excellent pilot with experience flying in both the mountains and the plains. True West’s plane is perfect for conservation easement monitoring and site visits. An added bonus is the oversized tires which enables the plane to land just about anywhere. I strongly endorse True West Aerial and Daniel Carter.
Erik Glenn, Executive Director, Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust
There is truly no better way to experience the grandeur of the Rocky Mountain West than from the vantage of a small aircraft, and in my experience there is no better group to take you to the skies than True West Aerial. With over 170 conservation properties on the Western Slope of Colorado ranging from 5,200 feet in the high desert up to 10,500 in the subalpine forests Aspen Valley Land Trust has the responsibility of monitoring each property annually and through their services True West Aerial helps us to ensure that these lands are protected – forever. From planning to flights to post-flight business Mr. Carter runs a solid operation and AVLT anticipates working with True West Aerial well into the future.
Aspen Valley Land Trust