The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Fri Apr 21, 2000 8:41 am

What is the most crazyest Landing or approach you have seen ah what the heck takeoffs too.

RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Fri Apr 21, 2000 9:29 am

When my Uncle and Aunty came over from Auckland(we live in Brisbane) they flew a Air New Zealand 763. As the aircraft approached everything was good until the flare and the port side of the wheels banged down into the runway and smoke was everywhere. The starboard side was left in the air for a good ten seconds before the pilot decided to put them onto the tarmac. I asked my Uncle what he thought of the landing and he said it felt like dropping 1000 feet straight into the tarmac!!!!!! It was HARSH!!!!!!!!
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RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Fri Apr 21, 2000 9:48 am

Any approach into DCA is straight ins, follow the Potomac across the 14th Street Bridge (R.I.P. Air Florida), straighten it out to RWY 19(18). Actually quite fun.
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Yeah DCA

Fri Apr 21, 2000 10:56 am

and when you make that final turn it probably looks like you're gonna come down in the park!!! Or, if you're in the park, it looks like a plane is about to crash on top of you. And I fear someday one will.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Fri Apr 21, 2000 11:09 am

Saw a Qantas Boeing 737 join late downwind for Adelaide runway 23 earlier this year, it was way low, it turned into a very close base and had a very high AOT (angle of attack), then wasnt wings level on final till well into ground effect. I estimate it joined late downwind at about 300 feet or less. I wonder who messed that one up. It was really dragging its arse and there was no hurry as there were no other aircraft around.

RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Fri Apr 21, 2000 11:18 am

I once remember an airplane did a cartwheel on its wings. Oops, nevermind..... that was the Sioux City Crash.
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RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Fri Apr 21, 2000 11:33 am

Once at Denver International on a stormy afternoon while I was there spotting they were doing simultanious approaches on 35L/R with planes stacked up like mad on both runways. Then a United 757 on approach to 35R swirved to 35L, then back to 35R, and again, all when it was very close to landing. Seemed like somebody couldn't make up their mind!  
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RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Fri Apr 21, 2000 11:46 am

I haven't seen many landings, but take-offs a-plenty. The one that sticks was a Delta Shuttle 727 to LGA. It was a normal run down the runway, then it nosed up, and when the wheels were, literally, no more than 3metres off the ground, the plane entered a rather steep turn, and for a moment I actually thought the left wing was going to touch the ground.

This one involved another 727, only this time of Northwest. The plane, once again began a normal take-off, and it was just after rotation, the plane entered a very shallow climb, much lower than a regular 727. After about 10 seconds of not really gaining much altitude, that the pilot must have realised he wasn't driving a bus, and pulled the plane into more higher climb.

« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Fri Apr 21, 2000 12:05 pm

Well, I didn't see these, I exsperianced these:We were already to land, everything a go. When we just about hit the runway the pilot lunged us back into the air, then the cabin got all hazy with smoke. When we finally got on solid ground i asked what happend, and they replied, oh nothing. Once time in FLL we were getting ready to take off, we were off the groud when all of a sudden the plane jerks to the left making the a/c tip durastically. Come to find out, I looked out my window, and there was a plane probably a hundred yards from our a/c. the closest I can tell, if we hadn't turned, we would have prbably hit that other plane. But from stories I have heard, these types of events aren't all that uncommon.
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Denver Switcharoo And IAD

Fri Apr 21, 2000 12:40 pm

The comment about the 757 at Denver was probably just an S turn. Sometimes (especially at DCA) when planes get stacked up and a runway might not yet be free when it is supposed to be, an inbound jet will perform an S turn. This is done to make it take longer to reach the runway, and hopefully give the other plane a little more time to get off the runway. If there still is too little space, the incoming plane will have to do a go-around, which is not cheap. (However, the pilot WILL do it if it is at all necessary for safety.)
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Duhhh... (IAD)

Fri Apr 21, 2000 12:50 pm

I forgot to post the rest of that message! Silly me.  

At Dulles International (IAD) planes routinely fly to the south at about 2000' (I guess) about 5-7000' away from and parallel runway 19L. When they get to the end, they fly out a bit further, and then do a sharp U-turn and land northbound on 1R. Quite a beautiful sight if you are in Fairfax and look up and see *both* wingtips of a giant 747 from the top. Do you know what I mean? The planes are in such a steep bank that if you are in the right position you see the tops of the wings instead of the bottoms. Hmm. That's hard to describe. I'll have to take a picture and show it to you.

Another interesting approach that I've also experienced is in TSV, Townsville Australia. Pretty normal fly in until you get close to the little mountains there. Then all of the sudden there is a huge bank and U-turn where you also descend about 1000 feet (again a guess) and land in the opposite direction. Scared the p out of me when I first experienced it. Second time wasn't so bad.  


Fri Apr 21, 2000 1:12 pm

D L X,

You are right! I live in Fairfax, and the end of the u-turn is often near my house. The views are spectacular!

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RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Fri Apr 21, 2000 1:28 pm

Nothing could top the landing I had at Kai Tak(Hong Kong) a few years ago. The checkerboard landing is the trickiest in the world. We were inbound on a CX 744 and it was just amazing what those pilots do in the last 60 seconds of flight. It was by far the most exciting landing I have ever experienced in my life. Awesome!!!
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Fri Apr 21, 2000 1:28 pm

When you fly into Jackson airport, being right in the middle of the Rocky mountains, you have to cut the engines and drop onto the runway - the only way to do a normal approach would be to tunnel through the mountain, it's crazy and FUN!
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RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Sat Apr 22, 2000 7:15 am

The crazyest landding I ever had was into MSP. We were on a NW 757 returning to MSP to catch a DC-9 back to YWG.
Anyways were comming in on 30L and than to the right of us a NW 727 was making a emergency landing anways MSP tower got us mixed up on what runway we were suposed to land on. So what happened was at the last second MSP tower told us to go around and next thing you know w just about hit the Mall of America I bet we were maybe 100 feet above the Mall
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RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Sat Apr 22, 2000 8:53 am

SAN (San Diego) has the craziest approach...right over the roofs of tall buildings.
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Landings At IAD

Sat Apr 22, 2000 11:52 am

i'd love to see those U-turns at IAD one day..

well, working as a fueler there las year I saw some things that gave me a shiver:

first, i saw a plane coming in from the NE, and I had never seen one approach from that direction, but I kept working (ballast fuel on an AA 727). a while later fire trucks were lining up along the runway (not sure which one, it was the one farthest to the east). the plane circled around to come in from the south. as I watched it (a ual 777) seemingly land normally, i realized i didn't hear the reverse thrusters. then it stopped at the end of the runway (by this time i was at the ready room, by the Signature lot)..then a pushback had driven up and it pulled it all the way to the hawthorne side. i didn't give it any thought for a sec, then realized the only sound it had made the whole time was the APU! did they cut them off? did it glide in?

another time it was very windy, and as I watched an AA757 land, a sudden gust of wind came up and brought the right wing about 3 feet from the ground...the pilot revovered immeadetly. got to give props to that pilot!! got to admit i held my breath n that one.

IAD is great, but there's no place to get a good view unless you go through SIDA and work there, then you get to do all the good stuff..i miss fueling, if only it paid enough for me to live on....oh well, it's a job i'll never forget.

i noticed you 2 others that live in Fairfax..any time you want to go "sightseeing" at IAD or national, give me an e-mail (
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RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Sat Apr 22, 2000 5:42 pm

Ditto for Kaitak. My first ever long haul flight from AKL - HKG on a CX742. About an 8pm arrival, so it was dark. Prior to arriving, I knew nothing of the 'special' approach to Kaitak R13. I had a window seat on the right hand side of the aircraft. I was worried enough as we began decending lower and lower over the city, but when the aircraft banked around to the right I could swear the lights of the buildings below were inches from our wing tips. Scared the crap out of me! After I realised it was supposed to be like that, I always made sure I got a RHS window seat when flying into Kaitak. One of those truly amazing and unique aviation experiences that will sadly be no more. Oh well, that's progress for you...
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How About .......

Sat Apr 22, 2000 9:16 pm

Air China 744 that took off on runway 31 at Kai Tak then went over the hills at the end of the runway instead of doing the left turn out to stonecutters !!! . Seen with my own eyes !!!

As for landings, to many to mention !!

1) SQ 744 that did 4 go arounds before going back to Singapore during a Typhoon.

2) GF 763 Same as above but returned to Bangkok

3) MH 744 engine strike
4) KZ 742F engine strike


Bush, your a sad, sad man.
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RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Sat Apr 22, 2000 10:07 pm

Once at AMS there was a China Airlines MD-11 which took off. The pilot pulled the stick back, it came from the ground and not so very long after that it went into stall.
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RE: The Crazyest Approach/landing You Have Ever Seen

Sat Apr 22, 2000 11:34 pm

For sure the craziest approach must have been Kai Tak for ever. What a pity I missed it!!!!

The worst approach I lived it myself.
It was to ATH onboard an Iberia 727. The landing is most of the times onto rwy 33R, but sometimes it is onto 17L (the opposite direction). The approach to 33R is made over from Corynth to Aegina towards Sounio, and then turn left north bound. Otherwise from Corynth along the coast, Elefsina and turn right to the south. That bloody day we were south Elefsina, but north Aegina, so not the 33R nor the 17L ways. And (I guess) hdg like about 090!!! According to my (good) knowledge of Hellinikon, Western Attika and Saronic Gulf geographies (including several jumpseat landings at ATH), we were having the airport in front of us, with heading perpendicular to the rwy. At the last moment, teh plane banked something crazy like 45º left, then all of a sudden 45º right and then two or three times more the same hell of the thing. (maybe was less, but from inside and so violently, the only thing I can remember -I went scared that time- is that when the airplane went banked my side I was ABSOLUTELY UNABLE to see the sky, only the sea). A total of five or six such manœuvres were completed in some ten seconds or so. I SWEAR IT!!! Seemed like two people in the tower were fighting wether to get us to rwys 33R or 17L. Finally we landed onto 17L, many people went airsick and almost everybody (including myself) looked white like paper.

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