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The Most Difficult Approach?  
User currently offlineBragi From Iceland, joined May 2001, 218 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 11 months 4 days ago) and read 6454 times:

Does anyone know what is now considered the most challenging approach in the world?

I never got to fly into Kai Tak, but it must have been scary in bad weather.

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Are there many other airports that need special training?
E.g. does London city airport require that?
Thanks in advance!

(http://www.aviationpics.com/app/app.htm - pictures of few approaches) Big grin


Muhammad Ali: "Superman don’t need no seat belt." Flight Attendant: "Superman don’t need no airplane, either."
28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 11 months 4 days ago) and read 6363 times:

Any African NPA in the dark during a storm.

User currently offlineStarFlyer From Germany, joined Sep 2002, 987 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6347 times:

I think Innsbruck Airport in Austria is quite hard too, its nestled right in a valley in the Alps. And their ILS is misleading too, you cant follow it down all the way but have to turn a wee bit just before touch down! Big grin


Yours truly - StarFlyer
User currently offlineAirblue From San Marino, joined May 2001, 1825 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6339 times:

I think small Greeks islands airports in the Aegean sea have a quite difficult approach.
Usually there are strong wind, short runways and high temperature.


User currently offline747Forever From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6334 times:

I have a friend who says the JFK approach to rwy 13L is a lot like Kai Tak, so i guess this would be a challenging approach.

Cheers,

Jeff.


User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6317 times:

One of the most difficult approaches we fly is Samos in Greece, with Kos at night a close second.

Many of the Greek islands are not easy to fly to in the big jets (A320 / 757). Mykonos and Skiathos are two we (thankfully) don't fly to, but other charter airlines do - some in 757s - which is a rather scary concept.

Madeira is still quite difficult too, although the runway extension is a blessing the new alignment brings you closer to the hills when landing in one direction.



I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineFrequentflier From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 422 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6302 times:

I think Lugano, Switzerland is supposed to be the most difficult in the world.

Also, many airports in Alaska are very difficult to fly into with narrow paths through mountains.

I would also expect that St. Maarten would be a bit difficult. Landing short might not be a great option. And from what I understand, the opposite runway has a huge mountain RIGHT BEHIND IT.


User currently offlineBragi From Iceland, joined May 2001, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6283 times:

Right!! I forgat Lugano in Switzerland. Smile Situated in the Alps with only one runway, 1200 metres long and surrounded by mountains. The approach involves very steep descent angle and tight turns.
Airways magasine published an article about Lugano last year...... I think



Muhammad Ali: "Superman don’t need no seat belt." Flight Attendant: "Superman don’t need no airplane, either."
User currently offlineEjazz From United Arab Emirates, joined May 2002, 721 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6282 times:

Always found Katmandu difficult.


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User currently offlineLuzezito From Spain, joined May 2001, 269 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6258 times:

I landed as a passenger in 1990 on Madeira and it really scared the hell out of me. The runway was so close that when we turned around after landing the tip of our TAP a/c was almost out of the tarmac and overlooking the sea.



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User currently offlineLionel From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 391 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6198 times:

What about St.Barthelemy (SBH)? I landed with only one other passanger in a Twin Otter! I didn't believe it would touch town before the end of the runway!

I don't think SXM is too difficult. There is a straight approach and if you are too high you can go around and turn left. (Mountains...)


User currently offlineVulindlela744 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6120 times:

The approach into Mosjoen, Norway is amazing. I remember flying into that airport 2 years ago. There were mountains all around. The peaks were on the left and the right and they were actually higher than we were. I couldn't see where we were gonna land and all of a sudden we broke through the clouds into a very deep valley and just dived down to the airport. It was a truly amazing landing. I was so impressed with their flying skills. The Norwegian pilots of Wideroe have to be some of the best in the world. Well done.

User currently offlineAirFranceJFK From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 480 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6102 times:

The Canarsie approach into JFK has often been compared to that of Kaitak. Kathmandu is supposed to be pretty scary as well, as is Innsbruck.

User currently offlineUnited777 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1657 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6012 times:

I have heard the airport in Leh, India is pretty difficult also it is the world's highest airfield in north India.

User currently offlineH. Simpson From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 949 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5988 times:

AirFranceJFK, using a 747 and make a sharp landing on 13R using Canarsie approach is comparable to Kai Tak! Unfortunlately not many heavies use 13R for landing :-(

User currently offlineFlpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2122 posts, RR: 29
Reply 15, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5987 times:

Don't know if it's more difficult than fun, but Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Central America (TGU) is a good one!!!


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-Chris



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User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5969 times:
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There are two airports in British Columbia -- Kitimat and Castelgar -- that offer challenging approaches depending on wind conditions. They are nestled in the bottom of valleys with steep, high mountains all around. Castelgar in particular is a treat. Back when they ran DC-6s in there, after take-off they had to fly very tight climbing circles over the airport to get enough altitude to get over the mountain range. The jets and Dash-8s don't have to do that, but they do need to be very precise about where they turn and when. Instrument operations require lots of concentration.


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User currently offlineStretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2568 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5963 times:

Reagan DCA to the south on RW 18. You snake down the Potomac, dodging office towers on the Virginia side, avoiding the P-40 airspace near the monuments and Whitehouse on the D.C. side. A sharp right turn to line up with the runway just before touch down. Very dicey when the weather is anywhere minimums.


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User currently offlineRai From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5956 times:

How about the Expressway Visual runway 31 approach for La Guardia? That's pretty cool too. They were using it last night. Just curious, why do they hardly ever use the ILS approach for that runway? Would it interfere with JFK traffic? I don't know how it would since most of the time the 13/31's are used...

User currently offlineBrianhames From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 795 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5953 times:

Ketchikan, Sitka, and Juneau, Alaska all have special navigation equipment. They're the only airports in the world to use an RNP approach, where the AS 737s have dual GPS computers and the computers basically generate little boxes the plane flies through to guide it to the runway. I don't know if they are the MOST difficult, but its for sure challenging and does require special training.



User currently offlineSpotterboy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5947 times:

Innsbruck, Austria (INN, LOWI) !!!!!!!!!!!


On the apr. for Rwy. 08 you have the river exactly in front of the runway (look at the right pic!), wich could give baaad downwinds and turbolences... and on the 26 apr. you are flying over the whole city... houses and houses and houses...
Downwind for 08 is also extremely strange, passing th airport in the south, make a 180 turn and land the plane... and all that between the big strange mountains... not easy.


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Florian



User currently offlineKaiTakFan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1588 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5913 times:

If you study the approach charts for the JFK Canarsie VOR approach right away it proves it is not that difficult. Canarsie and IGS approach really have one thing in common... a turn to the right. Besides that, I really dont see what makes the approach difficult. My last time flying into JFK we did the Canarise approach on a UAL 767-300. Spoke to the pilots after that landing. Just as I said, both pilots felt it was not challenging what so ever, compared to SNA or DCA for that matter.

User currently offlinePressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 774 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5864 times:

Although I am not a pilot, I agree with Rick. Samos is spectacular and I know not all belgian charter pilots are allowed to land there. Same for Funchal due to the turbulence risk nowadays.

I think also the Greek island Chios is a difficult one due to the short runway.

Can some charterpilots give more info about their experiences here? I know they fly more charter destinations than the UK and even German guys...

I experienced St Barthelemy and that's a spectacular one as well... Very strange: just over a hill and down.


User currently offlinePilottim747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5755 times:

I heard that Paro, Bhutan (in the Himalayan Mtns.) is a real hard approach. Druk Air, Bhutan's national airline, uses BAe146 aircraft because they can land on short runways (props. probably wouldn't work as well with the altitude).

Check out Dangerous Airports Database for all the hard airports (and ratings). The site is built for Flight Simulator pilots but I think it's interesting even if you not a vitual pilot.

pilottim747



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User currently offlineLionel From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 391 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (11 years 11 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5700 times:

There is an other one in Switzerland called "Wangen-Lachen". They don't have airliners but the very special thing is that just at the beginning of the runway there is an exit from a yachting port towards the lake Zurich. If there is coming a sailing boat out of the harbor you have to go around. Otherwise you will crash in the sail!

25 Post contains links and images Turbulence : Bilbao (BIO) is also a quite challenging one. Would not say "dangerous", but the glideslope is parallel to the hill in front of the runway. View Large
26 Mandala499 : Just to go to another side of the world... There's Manado in Indonesia. For runway36, ILS takes you through a high valley, but the Glideslope is unser
27 Tadex : Maybe not the most difficult, but a fairly difficult approach in Central Europe is to be found Innsbruck, Austria (LOWI). The instrument procedures ar
28 N751PR : Kai Tak would most likely pop in my head as a difficult approach but I think the aprroach to Iloilo, Philippines seems to be tricky at times.....
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