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Dangerous Approaches  
User currently offlineAussie_ From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1766 posts, RR: 5
Posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3117 times:

Hi all

I have to do some research on some of the world's more dangerous airport approaches. We all have heard of Kai Tak, but what are some others?

I believe Kathmandu (Nepal), Mahe (Seychelles) and Monterrey (CA, USA) are pretty hairy.

Could people suggest some more and also more precise details about what makes them so hairy and what difficult procedures pilots have to do (and the relevant distances from the aerodrome and height).

Any info would be appreciated

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCo 757-300 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2001, 324 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3083 times:

Aspen, CO (ASE)
Quito, Ecuador (UIO)
Saga (island in the caribean)
are 3 ive heard about.


User currently offlineJe89_w From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 2360 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3066 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Honolulu is not that bad but it is more cooler than the normal approach. That happens when the wind direction blows from the south/southwest. If a plane comes in from the west, the pilots have to make a sharp, left u-turn and fly toward runway 26L/R. In order to land on runway 26R/L they must turn half left right before touchdown! The half left approach makes an excellent photo!!!

Planes coming from the east have an easier time. Basically, they just fly toward runways 26L/R and turn half left right before touchdown.

Je89


User currently offlineAirNewZealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2542 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3057 times:

I have heard Queenstown in New Zealand is quite cool and dramatic aswell, due to the mountainous Terrain.
NZQN!! ZQN!!

Cheers
Mike


User currently offlineNz767 From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 1620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3048 times:

Alexander,

Check out this site:
http://www.dangerous-airports.com  Smile


User currently offlineJe89_w From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 2360 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2992 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

http://www.dangerous-airports.com  Wink/being sarcastic  Big grin

User currently offlineKaitakfan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1588 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2983 times:

Queenstown in an awesome approach! I was lucky enough to experience the approach from the jumpseat of an Air New Zealand 737! Rivals Kai Tak in my oppinion!

User currently offlineRpwgw From Australia, joined Jun 1999, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2974 times:

I've been into ZQN in the jumpseat of a BaE146 and it's marvelous. Weaving through mountains and stopping quickly. Wife flew out and said that was cool too.

Can't wait until I get my licence and can fly it myself next time I'm down there.


User currently offlineILOVEA340 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2971 times:

Why do they list ZRH as dangerous. Its hardly that. Compared to Lugano ZRH is a piece of cake. Lugano is great. I'm flying into there in Dec again. Steeper than LCY.

User currently offlineRonE From Israel, joined Jan 2001, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2841 times:

ILOVEA340,

Hope ZRH is not TOO dangerous- I'm flying there in 10 days time!
I thought San-Francisco was pretty cool. While the approach itself isn't so bad- quite straightforward actually - there is this bit just before touchdown above the water when it feels as if you're about to land in the drink.


User currently offlineEjazz From United Arab Emirates, joined May 2002, 718 posts, RR: 34
Reply 10, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2832 times:

I used to find the VOR/DME approach into Katmandu very challenging. There were a large number of DME steps and you came within close proximity of terrain. The approach required the gear and flaps down early to prevent GPWS warnings. Unfortunately, accidents did occur specifically Thai and PIA.

The Carnasie approach into JFK I always found more difficult than Kai Tak. The turn required is much sharper than that from the old chequered boards to runway 13 at Kai Tak.

Not sure of the Airports name but the International Airport in Bhutan has a very interesting approach.

There is another in Greenland an NDB approach flown up a fjord where you look for a shipwreck after which a 90 degree left turn is made onto finals. Ther is only one way in and being well below the height of the cliffs the decision to continue must be made very early.




Etihad Girl, You're a great way to fly.
User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1610 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2803 times:

ZRH is not that dangerous. There have been a few accidents there in the past 10 years but those have been largely due to pilot error. If a pilot follows the published procedures and does DME/ALT checks there is no problem.

Lugano, where I am based  Smile/happy/getting dizzy, is FAR,FAR more challenging. The approach (IGS 01) is very steep (6.65° GS). Additionally, the prevailing winds are from the south, meaning that the IGS approach is flown with a tailwind. Tailwinds and steep approaches mean speed control is very tricky. On short final (3 miles) the pilots must go below glide (ONLY IF VISUAL) to intercept the PAPI, which is 4.17°. If conditions are visual, which it is much of the time, we fly a visual approach and circle to the north and land on runway 19.

The airport is surrounded by mountainous terrain on all sides and the missed approach must be flown very precisely - track, DME, speeds and bank angle.

We also fly to Bern and London City. These are somewhat less tricky, but Bern can be a real tough one as well.

Such are the joys of flying in Switzerland!!



smrtrthnu
User currently offlinePower From Hungary, joined Jul 2002, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2793 times:

Guatemalea City it is on a plateu at altitude had 4 go arounds in KL 747-400 in a severe storm (my worst flying experience) Pristina Kosovo, mountains everywhere, and also Skopje Macedonia not nice places to land.

User currently offlineFrequentflier From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 422 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2793 times:

I would think that airports like SFO and LGA are challenging to fly into, as well as dangerous. Basically, once the a/c has cleared the water, it is on the runway. I don't know about SFO, but there have been a number of incidents at LGA over the years when a/c have skidded off the rwy into Flushing Bay.

User currently offlinePower From Hungary, joined Jul 2002, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2781 times:

Guatemalea City it is on a plateu at altitude had 4 go arounds in KL 747-400 in a severe storm (my worst flying experience) Pristina Kosovo, mountains everywhere, and also Skopje Macedonia not nice places to land.

User currently offlineErasmus From Italy, joined Jun 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2752 times:

Why hasn't Funchal, Madeira (FNC) been mentioned yet?

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Photo © Filipe Clairouin
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Photo © Filipe Clairouin



(BTW: I would call these approaches exciting rather then dangerous)

Regards,
Erasmus.


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7965 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2731 times:

I think one potentially dangerous approach is at SAN.

That parking structure at the end of the runway is going to be hit sooner or later--I'd rather they take it down now before it's taken down in a more horrific manner.  Sad


User currently offlineTomindc From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2720 times:

St. Barts, French West Indies

User currently offlineTrickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2704 times:

Here's a difficult and dangerous approach:

Toncontin Int'l Airport (TGU) in Honduras
http://www.airliners.net/articles/read.main?id=8



Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
User currently offlineFlying machine From Spain, joined May 2002, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2692 times:

RayChuang said SAN I think is Lindberg field at San Diego, and a have to mention MEX that is only 7 km from city downtown .Airplanes pass over the city and make a sharp left turn to line up.

User currently offlineJsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2014 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2639 times:

Chicago Midway (MDW) doesn't have a lot of large obstructions on its approaches, but it's completely hemmed in by residential areas... the most frequently used runway (31C) has a pretty straight-in approach, but it's still a bit frightening coming in so low over the housetops. When Runway 22L is in use (seems to happen about a third of the time) arriving aircraft pick up the 31C ILS, then make a sharp S-curve a few miles from the airport and making an extremely short final approach to 22L.

Last month I had my first landing on 22L, as a passenger on a Southwest 737... the turns are indeed very sharp and are all the more exciting at low altitude. However, when we leveled out of the turn, I was surprised at how close to the runway we were... probably only about a mile and a half out.


User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2624 times:

The SFO approach isn't too tough. Usually I end up coming in from the North.

The aircraft flies South down the length of San Francisco Bay, then makes a steep right bank turn. The aircraft then flies back the direction it came in, lowering the gear just before flying about nine hundred feet above the San Mateo Bridge (a large causeway across southern SF Bay). The aircraft then descends until it's quite low over the water. Much like at LGA, it looks like you're about to make a water landing but the runway comes right up under and the jet plops right down on the runway. Very fun.

Aircraft tend to fly close to each other on approach...


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Photo © Matthew Lee




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Photo © Matthew Lee



Welcome to San Francisco! There's a reason why they tell you to pack your heart medicationss in your carry-on...


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Photo © Jorge Rocafort



Here's what the airport layout looks like...


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Photo © James Richard Covington, Jr




Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2613 times:

Here's a view of the San Mateo Bridge I was talking about:

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Photo © Dean Barnes




Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
User currently offlineSSTjumbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2576 times:

MDW is a fishy approach. You have to be accurate so as not to hit the houses or strike the blast fences. Those landings from the north get pretty interesting too. Also, the only two times my flight has landed there the plane bounced on approach. As far as takeoffs go, the hairiest in the world by far has to be SNA (throttle choke @ 1000'). Also, the takeoff at Santos Dumont is strange. Pilots have to get 737s off a 4000' long runway and clear Sugar Loaf Mountain so as not to crash. That's mega-power required to do that.

User currently offlineEugdog From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2548 times:

I a told that JFK visual approach on to runway 4L is a tough one as that it requires a sharp right turn right before landing - you are also subject to the winds coming out of Hudson river esturay

User currently offlineTrickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 5
Reply 25, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2489 times:

Jsnww81 wrote:
Last month I had my first landing on 22L, as a passenger on a Southwest 737... the turns are indeed very sharp and are all the more exciting at low altitude. However, when we leveled out of the turn, I was surprised at how close to the runway we were... probably only about a mile and a half out.

Yes, very true! Last week sometime I was driving south on I-55 and saw the very approaches you talked about to 22L. One plane after another made the steep turn from a 310 or so heading to line up for Rwy22. Very impressive to look at, especially the way the winds were behaving on that day. I haven't flown that approach yet and if I do I'm pretty sure I'll be able to tell which runway I'll be landing on.



Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
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