bragi
Posts: 212
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The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 6:08 pm

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."
 
backfire
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 6:26 pm

Any African NPA in the dark during a storm.
 
StarFlyer
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 6:54 pm

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
 
airblue
Posts: 1785
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 6:59 pm

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.
 
747forever
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:00 pm

RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 6:59 pm

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.
 
Rick767
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 7:30 pm

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...
 
FrequentFlier
Posts: 410
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 7:40 pm

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.
 
bragi
Posts: 212
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 7:58 pm

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."
 
Ejazz
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 8:05 pm

Always found Katmandu difficult.
Etihad Girl, You're a great way to fly.
 
luzezito
Posts: 250
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 8:24 pm

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.
Quoniam Vita Brevis Est, Propera!
 
Lionel
Posts: 356
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2000 4:09 pm

RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 10:08 pm

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...)
 
vulindlela744
Posts: 427
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 11:34 pm

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.
 
airfrancejfk
Posts: 451
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Wed Sep 25, 2002 11:51 pm

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.
 
United777
Posts: 2196
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 3:19 am

I have heard the airport in Leh, India is pretty difficult also it is the world's highest airfield in north India.
 
H. Simpson
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:01 am

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 :-(
 
flpuck6
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 1999 12:32 am

RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:01 am

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


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Arrow
Posts: 2325
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:19 am

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.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
Stretch 8
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:23 am

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.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
Rai
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:27 am

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...
 
brianhames
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:27 am

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.

 
Guest

RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:32 am

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

 
kaitakfan
Posts: 1475
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 4:58 am

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.
 
pressclub
Posts: 754
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 10:24 am

RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 6:23 am

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.
 
pilottim747
Posts: 1577
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 1:37 pm

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
Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
 
Lionel
Posts: 356
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 3:59 pm

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!
 
turbulence
Posts: 876
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 1999 1:33 am

RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 10:08 pm

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.


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This is the before-the-last-one "victim", luckily with no casualties. Not long ago some time in year 2002, a cargo Embraer 120 "Brasilia" was the actual last crash there, with worse results. BIO has a history in difficult approaches.

Best turbulences
 
mandala499
Posts: 6458
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 10:15 pm

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 unserviceable. The other way in is through a dual NDB approach 80 degrees off the centreline. Pass the second NDB, you must see the lead in lights, and make the turn down to the threshold. Go arounds not nice either because:
For runway18, the threshold is at the foot of a long hill... caution is the key.

Another one is Palu, about 1hr away from Manado. Just like Innsbruck... but prone to fog and bad winds with short runway. Go arounds definitely as challenging as Innsbruck.

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
tadex
Posts: 89
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Thu Sep 26, 2002 10:30 pm

Maybe not the most difficult, but a fairly difficult approach in Central Europe is to be found Innsbruck, Austria (LOWI). The instrument procedures are not easy to fly. They have a steep glide slope and a non standard missed approach. It is suggested to execute the first instrument approach in VMC.
 
N751PR
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RE: The Most Difficult Approach?

Fri Sep 27, 2002 5:23 am

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.....
"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."