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Old 11-13-2009, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Long Island/NYC
11,334 posts, read 17,098,470 times
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The World's Scariest Runways

Quote:
And itís not always the landing thatís the stuff of lore. Matekane Air Strip, in the tiny African kingdom of Lesotho, features a stunted 1,312-foot-long runway perched at the edge of a couloir that sits at 7,550 feet. According to celebrated bush pilot Tom Claytor, depending on the wind during takeoff, itís entirely possible for the aircraft not to be airborne by the end of the airstrip. "Instead," he says, "you shoot off the end of the airstrip, then drop down the 2,000-foot cliff face until you start flying."
That is beyond scary.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:31 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,577 posts, read 39,952,759 times
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The previous Hong Kong landing experience was interesting. When your 747 angled in and the tip of the wing 'struck-the-match' on the Marlboro mural on an apartment building, you knew you were on final approach.

I just wonder if the slip stream helped to dry the laundry that was hanging out the windows. Considering the serious rain storms they have there, it was amazing a good portion of Kowloon didn't get reconstructed. (due to de-construction).

It is exciting to fly (land) with missionary pilots in places that are not too conventional. I'm currently trying to sell an airstrip home for an 85yr old previous missionary pilot. It has a 1200' long strip with a cliff (canyon) on one end and 300' tall firs on the other. It is not for 'beginners', strange thermals from that canyon, hang on (to your stomach).
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:05 AM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,448,112 times
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Well, here's one in Tegucigalpa, Honduras where the approach looks pretty scary. I'm glad I didn't fly in there when I visited there. It looks like the jet that is approaching the airport is only about 6 feet off the ground, as you can see in the video.

YouTube - Tegucigalpa, Honduras Toncontin airport landing

Edit: I missed the link in the OP. I didn't realize there was an article with this video until after I posted it.

Last edited by jdavid93225; 11-14-2009 at 01:38 AM..
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,607,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdavid93225 View Post
Well, here's one in Tegucigalpa, Honduras where the approach looks pretty scary.
I was just going to say the runway into Tegucigalpa! My husband was in the Air Force and was stationed there twice, for one year each. I flew down a few times each year to visit and every single time, the pilot got on the PA system and explained to everyone that despite what we may see out the window, we are NOT GOING TO CRASH INTO THE MOUNTAIN. Yikes. I'm a pretty easygoing traveler but even that one scared me. Luckily I went when the weather was nice (meaning the visibility was good). If we were flying in fog or a storm, I would have been freaking out. You literally fly in between two mountain ranges and when landing or taking off, you come so close to the hills that you can literally see the faces of the kids who like to sit on the hills and have the planes go over their heads. I remember being able to read the logos on their hats and t-shirts...that's how close you get to the hills. There have been 2 deadly crashes there with pilots who overshot the runway and literally flew off the other side of the mountain. It's very scary.
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Old 11-14-2009, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Long Island/NYC
11,334 posts, read 17,098,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdavid93225 View Post
Well, here's one in Tegucigalpa, Honduras where the approach looks pretty scary. I'm glad I didn't fly in there when I visited there. It looks like the jet that is approaching the airport is only about 6 feet off the ground, as you can see in the video.

YouTube - Tegucigalpa, Honduras Toncontin airport landing

Edit: I missed the link in the OP. I didn't realize there was an article with this video until after I posted it.
And I thought landing at LaGuardia or Newport News was scary, I remember when my mother landed at Laguardia the back of her plane hit the water as it was landing, luckily nothing serious happened despite the firetrucks at the scene.

I remember landing in Newport News, VA on our way to Orlando and we were so close to the highway and it seems as if we were gonna land in a Walmart parking lot but the tiny airport was across the street.

I'm getting dizzy just thinking about this, I would have to be sedated in order to land in Tegucigalpa lol.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Kalamazoo
80 posts, read 172,866 times
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Wow, I have landed in both Lesotho and Honduras but must have been at different airports because I didn't die of a heart attack.

The approach into the island of Bonaire is scary. It looks like you are going to go into the ocean until about 50 yards before you touch down... It looks just like the one in the above slideshow about St. Martaans.
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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The Portuguese island of Madeira. My seatmate was a British airline pilot on holiday, and he said he hoped he never had to try to land there. It requires a clearing a mountain ridge, then approaching at right angle to the landing strip and making a steep bank to curve into it and hit it right.

YouTube - Landing at Madeira Airport
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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St. John's, Newfouindland, must be one of the foggiest airports in the world. Sometimes there are no flights in or out for several days in a row. If incoming pilots find it foggy when they get there, they are expected to make three passes, and if they can't touch down, to return to Gander. When they make multiple passes and sucessfully find the runway, the pilots always get a standing ovation from the pasengers. Nobody wants to spend the night in Gander.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,664,473 times
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Personally, a night-time landing at Gander, NF scares the hell out of me. Long before you can see any lights, there are trees passing by which look to be at wing-tip level and you just have to wonder, "Is there really a runway in front of us?"
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Vermont
3,329 posts, read 8,784,746 times
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Very cool link and stories. Thanks for sharing!
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