The Five Scariest Airports to Land a Plane

Discussion in 'Other Aspects of Aviation Security' started by Mike, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

  2. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I can't believe that St. Maarten didn't make the list, and if you are flying a smaller plane, the runway at Matekane in Lesotho is just nerve wracking looking at it... You fly off a cliff... A 7000+ ft cliff. Another decent list that has some you wouldn't think of is here: http://www.carhire.org/blog/scariest-airport-runways
     
  3. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I have no doubt that those airports have scary landings.

    My personal favorite is a military field on the island of Terceira, Azores, or in military parlance Lajes Field.

    Picture a small island with a high mountain a few miles off to the side of the runway. In certain weather conditions the winds rush over the mountain then down across the runway at about a 45 degree angle to the runway direction so no matter which direction you come from a significant cross wind has to be dealt with. My crew were returning from a long patrol, low on fuel, and the weather conditions were exactly as describe. Winds across the runway in the range of 90 + knots and gusting. Our approach was very rough with heavy low level turbulence with the airplane bouncing around so hard I was concerned that in trying to adjust engine controls the movements would jerk me in the opposite direction of intended. My position in the airplane was Flight Engineer, sitting between the pilots. As we approached touch down I am looking out of the pilots side window directly down the runway. I honestly don't know how the pilot got the plane down. By the grace of the almighty we managed to land and get the airplane parked without any damage. During that same weather event building on the station lost roofs and had other damage.

    Just a side note, I missed my one chance for a Bob Hope Christmas show because of those winds. Bob was aboard Air Force C-141 with similar weather conditions as describe. They didn't chance landing in those conditions and I can't say I blame them even though we all were disappointed that the show had to be cancelled.
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    There was a great video of a 757 landing in at SEA in similar conditions a couple years ago, basically just dipped his wing & got slammed down at the last moment, skilled pilot but nerve-wracking to watch.
     
  5. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    DCA isn't exactly peaceful either if you're attempting an approach on one-nine.
     
  6. RB

    RB Founding Member

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  7. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Yeesh! Didn't that approach exceed crosswind max for that aircraft?
     
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Probably. The landing I spoke of upthread was almost 90 degrees to runway heading, but landing is better than swimming. The low level turbulence and wind sheer was extreme. Took me a week to dig seat cushion out of my rear!
     
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