Topic Author
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:15 pm

Short Runway

Thu May 25, 2000 9:07 pm

I have a question and I hope someone can answer it.
Recently I flew to a greek island with a stop on another island. The islands are called Zakynthos and Kefallonia.
As most greek island airports these were very simple with one runway, no jetways and a very small airport building without modern equipment.
What surprised me was how rough the landing was on both islands. On approach to Zakynthos the captain even announced it would be rough. Take offs were also quite dramatic. I flew on a B737-800 (NG). My question now. Are these runways very much shorter than at bigger airports in for example cities and what runway length does a B737 need to land and take off? Is there more risk involved at these small airports?

RE: Short Runway

Thu May 25, 2000 9:13 pm

Shorter runways can definitely be more challenging. Although I cannot speak for the new 737-800, the 737-200s can easily handle a 4500 foot runway (Molokai), and even shorter in Dutch Harbor Alaska.

The challenge for the pilot is to put the gear on the numbers and to do so positively (which is why it is rough). Immediate application of reverse thrust and heavy braking make the landing somewhat dramatic.
Posts: 383
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 11:05 am

RE: Short Runway

Thu May 25, 2000 9:48 pm

The phenomenon you have described is quite common in many small Greek islands (and in some bigger ones like Chios) The approach described by DC-9CAPT (touchdown in the numbers, thrust reverse, and breaks) is very common as well. But as far as I know, no accidents have ever occured in any Greek islands. (Correct me if I am wrong) However, most of the times, these islands are serviced by Olympic Aviation with smaller Prop Planes (ATR-42/72, Do-228)
Best Regards