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Posts: 386
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 9:10 am

Your Most Harrowing Approach

Fri Feb 20, 2004 2:27 am

Last summer, I flew down to South America from MIA. We took the 5 oclock flight (996?) to Quito (Mariscal Sucre/UIO). The light faded, and the flight was smooth. That is, until, our descent in to the valley in which Quito is located. What a ride! Turns, major turbulence, and all without visibility from the windows except lights from below! When we were just about to land I was sure that we were going to hit a building of some sort, they practically form as soon as the runway ends. The landing was very hard, but we eventually stopped. Crazy good times. I ended up flying in to Quito two more times, one on an Icaro Fokker-100 and one on a TAME 727. None were as bad as this.

What are your most harrowing approach experiences?
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RE: Your Most Harrowing Approach

Fri Feb 20, 2004 2:57 am

I wouldn't call mine harrowing, but it was a little low! I was on an ATA Tristar MAN-YQX-MCO, YQX being a refuelling stop. It seemed like we were flying a pretty standard approach, I could see the airfield out of my window and then we turned for the base leg... but when we turned for finals, no sooner had the wings levelled than we touched down. Surely must have been ex-Air Force pilots to pull off a landing like that, it's not something I've ever experienced before or since. Exciting though Big grin
Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
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RE: Your Most Harrowing Approach

Fri Feb 20, 2004 3:05 am

In the mid 70's, while a flight attendant (airline steward, then!) with Flying Tigers, I was aboard a DC8-63 on final approach to Iwakuni, Japan.

There is a very high concrete sea wall at Iwakuni, that is flown over just prior to touchdown. On this particular day it was very foggy and for some reason, as we swept in for landing, we were BELOW the top of the sea wall. Fortunately the pilots glimpsed the wall and managed to 'leap-frog" over it, at the last possible moment.

Strapped into my jumpseat in the aft galley, I was oblivious to any danger, but just at the time I expected to feel us flare for touchdown, all four engines suddenly SCREAMED with the application of full power, and it felt as if the airplane jumped straight up, and then settled on the runway.

Though this military charter was a thru-flight to the United States, several shaky passengers - who had seen how close we'd come to smashing straight into the sea wall - demanded to be let-off the aircraft. There was quite a flap when we reached the terminal.

I've had a few close-calls during my 30 year flying career, but that's probably the closest I've ever come to truly being toast.
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: Your Most Harrowing Approach

Fri Feb 20, 2004 3:13 am

In the early 80s, I was flying ML from DTW to MDW. At one point, we were flying due north parallel to Cicero Avenue, close and low enough that I could read the names of the airlines on the front of the MDW terminal.

I figured that the pilot was going to make a wide, sweeping turn and make his approach from the northwest. No sooner had I thought that, the pilot rolled the plane to port about 20 degrees and turned the plane, a DC-9-30, for an extremely short approach from the northeast.

That took me by complete surprise.
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Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 3:08 am

RE: Your Most Harrowing Approach

Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:25 am

For me, it was 1992 and my first trip into HKG. I was not aware of the checker board approach until that day. I was on DL89 ANC-HKG on an L-100-500. I was looking out the window as we made the approach at night. Watching the usual buildings going by. It started to occur to me the buildings were getting much closer. After the turn to final, I was thinking s**t those buildings are way to close! I could make out the rooftops! Then all of a sudden the runway appears and your down!

It was one hell of a ride......just wish I could have done it more than once.

The other was on a flight into OAK on a 737-200 where we made a steep turn over the bay giving one heck of a view of downtown SFO and the Bay Bridge. Even had some deadheading pilots comment on the turn.

"What we've got here, is failure to communicate." from Cool Hand Luke

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