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Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2000 4:48 am

Most Difficult US Approach?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 11:32 pm

What do you consider the most difficult approach in the U.S.?

My vote goes to DCA river visual 19, circle to land 22.

And this picture is only for the straight in 19! Imagine circling to 22.

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Photo © Rafal Szczypek

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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2000 3:16 am

RE: Most Difficult US Approach?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 11:41 pm

I would say either Vail Eagle, or Steamboat Yampa Valley Haden Airport. I've flown to both and praise the pilots who fly that route. Also the TWA pilot last year who landed the wrong airport in that area because the approach is so difficult with no tower, hard approach.

My opinion.
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2000 4:41 am

RE: Most Difficult US Approach?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 11:41 pm

Seems like Laguardia is hard. Coming low over terrian and there is a lot of traffic.

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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 1999 4:19 am

RE: Most Difficult US Approach?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 11:51 pm

Juneau, Alaska...Surrounded by mountains on four sides. Covered in mist and clouds most days. In 1972, An Alaska Airlines 727 flew straight into a mountain while on approach killing all onboard.
those who have no vices have very few virtues
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RE: Most Difficult US Approach?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 11:58 pm

That Alaska 727 ended up in the mountain because the FAA had a beacon that somehow move 20 degrees off it's intended heading. It took years of lawsuits for them to admit that.

Add to that list- Valdez Alaska, Dutch Harbor Alaska, and Adak Alaska.
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RE: Most Difficult US Approach?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 12:01 am


Vail/Eagle, Steamboat Springs Yampa Valley Hayden Airport are very difficult approaches, however they are not nearly as difficult as Aspen's approach.

I'm sure you all heard the deadly Gulfstream crash in Aspen while it was decending to land.

When you decend, you are unbelievably close to the ground, and to the right of you are the mountains which are also very close, if you don't keep a steady decent, it can be fatal. Also, the wind shears in Aspen can flip a plane over, there is a lot of turbulence while landing in Aspen and is only for experienced pilots.

They recently recieved permission from the FAA to install an advanced landing system aid, and additional lights to improve safety.

"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran

RE: Most Difficult US Approach?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 12:15 am

Carnarsie approach into JFK is also rather interesting, especially with any crosswind component...
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 12:05 pm

RE: Most Difficult US Approach?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 1:25 am

RWY 13L at JFK (dunno if that is canarsie) looks like it could be very difficult. Also, RWY 31 Expressway visual at LGA looks a little tricky, especially with the low alts.

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