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Luxair
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TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 6:57 am

As I said above, what are the most dangerous airports in the world for pilots to perform landings and why? Here we go..... Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
michigan4life
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Wh

Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:05 am

I'll open up with the obvious...LGA. This needs no real explanation.
 
cba
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Wh

Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:11 am

I've heard that Juarez Intl. in Mexico City is a tough landing because of nearby mountains. DCA is also a tricky approach because the plane has to avoid government airspace, which required many steep and sharp banks. LGA is a disaster waiting to happen.
 
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Luxair
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:14 am

I follow with Athens, some time ago I saw a
report over this airport and pilots where reporting that there was a lot of rubber from the
tires on the runway and when it was raining they said that after the touchdown it was something like skating on ice!!! Oh yeah another one was Punta cana on the Repulica Dominicana. Pilots from
a German charter carrier told that the runway was in a very bad condition!!!
 
Red Panda
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Wh

Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:16 am

I would say AREA 51. Pilots would get shot down if they tried landing there. Would it be dangerous enough?! =)

For real, Former HKG(KAITAK) was very hard to land. the current HKG (CLK) is hard to land too according to CXflyboy. The crosswind coming from the south can create windshear and turn planes around. (a bit exaggerated).

regards,
r panda
 
Tripleseven
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:17 am

SAN's got to be in the top 5, maybe the top 3. There's that lovely Laurel travel center sitting at the end of 27. Add to that a short runway, and you've got yourself a tricky landing. Especially in high winds or rain.

The FAA calls the building "an obstruction", but does not call it a safety hazard.

I guess they won't until someone tries to park a 737 on the upper parking garage.

Let's all hope that day never comes!
 
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Luxair
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:17 am

Hmmm...what about Innsbruck they have a lot of mountains too. I heard that pilots who perform landings their must have a special certificate!
 
Guest

RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:18 am

Kai Tak's gone.....
Funchal has had it's runway lenghthened ......

Je ne sais pas!

From personal experience I would vote for:

1.Buenos Aires-Aeroparque Jorge Newbery
(still wondering how the Lapa-crew did to get a fully-loaded 757-200 off that little ***t of a runway)
2.Constanta(Romania)
(Dito with Tarom Il-62's,Tu 154's,B707's)

Cheers,

Marco
 
Guest

RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:19 am

A guess, Kathmandu due to high terrain clearence requirements, and the fact that both TG and PK have lost a/c on the sides of surrounding mountains there.
 
BUFjets
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:22 am

An AA MD-80 pilot once told me that none are dangerous. Shorter runways, like Orange County are more difficult.
 
Mit
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:32 am

There's an airport at the end of some fjord in Alaska. The terrain around the airport rises so steeply that the approach plate (in characteristic aviaion understatement) says "successful missed approach unlikely."

Anybody know which airport this is? (I don't)
 
thomacf
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 8:10 am

I heard Birmingham, AL was. Pilots have to have landings there on a regular basis, kind of like currency. If they don't, they have to land in a sim. before they fly again in and out of it.
 
AS737900
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 8:33 am

There's a lot of small airports in Alaska that are dangerous due to mountains, high winds, etc. But the most dangerous (well, difficult) with regular jet service would have to be Juneau since it is an LDA approach to runway 8 and you have to bank 20 degrees to the right right before touchdown, to an airport sitting pretty much at the bottom of a fjord. But there is now a GPS approach that has made things a bit better.

Also Dutch Harbor/Unalaska with it's NDB approach and frequent high winds and 3,900 foot runway. I've heard about landings on a 737 with 40 kt. X-wind there...
 
USAFHummer
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 10:07 am

Lukla, Nepal-no chance for a go-around, due to one end being at the base of a large hill-not to mention on a steep angle, although it only gets choppers and Twin Otters...

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
bluemeatball
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 10:19 am

I would like to suggest two. First, unless things have changed in recent years, Harry S Truman Airport in St. Thomas, VI had one end of a short runway at the ocean and the other end faced a mountain. Secondly, Kanawah (Yeager) Airport, Charleston , WV whose airport is the top of a mountain and the runway runs from cliff to cliff.
 
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VIflyer
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Bluemeatball (and STT)

Wed Feb 14, 2001 10:36 am

St. THomas has gotten better...the hill on the far end of the runway was lowered and the runway was extened to 7,000ft. and offically the airport isn't called Harry S. Truman anymore, it's now Cyril E. King........and for my vote...Beef Island, BVI......that and St. Barts..
I reject your reality and subsitute my own
 
redngold
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RE: Carrier Landings

Wed Feb 14, 2001 12:01 pm

Subject line says it all about LGA.
I HATE flying in there.

redngold
Up, up and away!
 
VirginA340
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 12:03 pm

LGA with Flushing Bay on the other end of a short runway. I've talked to pilots who work with US Airways and DL and CO . Even NYC Mayor Rudolph Guliani said that LGA's runways are too short. Pilots have also complained about John Wayne in Orange County the plane has to be taken in a certain angle so that thewre is no noise so that the rich snobs below don't yap about their golf game being interupted by a loud AA 757. Pilots have complained about DCA because of the restricted airspace to avoid during landing and takeoff which takes your attention from flying the plane.
"FUIMUS"
 
Superfly
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 12:24 pm

How does MKK (Molokai, Hawaii) rank in terms of a challenging airport to fly in out of?
Bring back the Concorde
 
TWA902fly
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I Know The Actual Answer

Wed Feb 14, 2001 12:29 pm

I read in some magazine that now with Kai-Tak gone, Lugano,Switzerland is now the most dangerous airport. You have to make a full turn around to land, because the one end of the airport is right near a hill you you have to drop 100 feet to land there, or the other end where there is a huge mountain, and you have to come in at about 45 degrees down, which is just suicide pretty much, so you come in over the other end, turn around over the city and land. There is no way to land at the airport without passign over it. Also- London City has a killed glideslope at the end, because of the noise restrictions.

-TWA902fly
Chicago Illinois
life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
 
csavel
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RE: I Know The Actual Answer

Wed Feb 14, 2001 12:34 pm

Cuzco Peru has got to be pretty dangerous. 13,000 feet up so planes taking off suffer a performance hit. It is in a steep valley on all sides, you think you are about to land and then you see the ground fall away from you, the planes actually circle like a corkscrew into the valley.
When I took Faucett into Cuzco, they only flew in the morning (gets too windy later in the day) and only on half empty planes.
An amazing place.

I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 12:35 pm

I think there are going to be changes at both SAN and SNA, because both airports are literally accidents waiting to happen.

The takeoff method at SNA is very dangerous, because what happens during the steep climb if you start to experience engine problems? By the time the pilots can regain control it may be too late before the plane hits the ground.  Sad

As for SAN, that building has GOT TO GO. Do we really need to have a plane approaching the airport hit the building with a major loss of life before something is done about it?
 
cba
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 12:41 pm

They need to get rid of the noise abatement at SNA. Taking off out of that place is scary, even for experiences flyers. Last time I flew out of there, I was sitting next to a businessman who flies out of SNA all the time, and he says it scary every time.
 
toxtethogrady
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San Diego And DCA

Wed Feb 14, 2001 12:51 pm

Lindbergh sits in a bowl on one edge of downtown and has a garage just off the RPZ. Park your car there if you dare! And that doesn't even count the Navy jets buzzing nearby...

National has noise constraints on one side and the White House and Congress on the other, so you fly down the middle of the river, hook a right at the USA Today Building and drop right in to a runway that's only 7000 feet long. If you take off in the early morning hours, you have to cut power almost as soon as you're airborne (can't wake up the millionaires in Georgetown or Old Town Alexandria!). DCA handles 250,000 ops a year on what is effectively a one-runway airport
 
BA
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 1:06 pm

London Gatwick (LGW) is pretty hard to land in. For one thing, there are a few somewhat high buildings in-front of the runway, which makes landing quite tricky. Also Gatwick is EXTREMELY congested, so thats another thing that makes it tricky. I was in a British Airways 747-400, landing in Gatwick, and it took quite sometime to touchdown on the runway. Also, when the plane finally came to taxiing speed, we were at the end of the runway.
San Diego is quite dangerous also.
Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) also a bit dangerous because its so close to the strip.

Kind regards.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
US A333 PIT
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Maui

Wed Feb 14, 2001 1:28 pm

Kahului Maui(OGG) I've heard is a difficult runway to land on, especially the bigger jets (dc-10's, L1011, 764's, 777's all of which have daily flights into the airport) because of the barely 6500ft. runway and the often harsh hawaiian cross winds coming off the pacific. I witnessed many a plane try not just one but sometimes two or even three go arounds before getting their approach right.
 
SIA fan
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 1:59 pm

Pardon my ignorance, but what airport is SNA?
SQ*G BD*S
 
Trvlr
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 2:03 pm

I think that one of the major factors that will finally knock some sense into San Diego and get it to start construction on a new airport may be an accident related to either that building near the edge of Runway 27 or the elevated area of Point Loma at the other end.

One day (night, probably), it will be very foggy out, and a plane is either going to take off at too low of an altitude and hit the heavily populated residential area of Point Loma, or run smack dab into the Laurel Travel Center Parking Garage (that's what it is called) as it is coming in to land, if it doesn't hit the I-5 freeway first.

After this accident (which I unfortunately think there is a good probability of it occuring), the airport will be closed down within the decade.
 Sad
Aaron G.
 
AS737900
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 2:08 pm

SIAfan-
SNA=Santa Ana/Orange County, California.  Smile
 
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RayChuang
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 3:00 pm

Aaron G.,

I think it is a testament to pilot training that we haven't HAD a serious landing or takeoff accident at SAN since the 1978 mid-air collision that killed 144 people.

But still, the dangers are very obvious, and it's only a matter of time before a horrid scene happens at the Laurel parking structure.

Maybe the idea of an airport that serves both San Diego and Tijuana may not be such a far-fetched idea then.

By the way, LAS is not really that dangerous of an airport if you use the east-west runways. The real danger is the very strong winds you can get at LAS in the winter and summer--winds often exceeding 50 mph. Crosswind landings is not fun with those type of crosswinds.
 
chiawei
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 3:33 pm

Nepal has to be the dangerous airport due to its surrounding.

PS. within 1 week of Thai A310 crash, a PIA A300 also crashed near the airport.
 
OO-AOG
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 10:13 pm

Most dangerous airports are definately in Africa. You might be shoot down on approach in a few civil war countries. On technical point of view, Lugano must be one of the most difficult approaches.
Falcon....like a limo but with wings
 
steman
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Wed Feb 14, 2001 10:42 pm

Palermo in Sicily, Italy is one of the most dangerous airport.
You have to approach it from the sea and at the end of the approach you have a mountain on your left side and the sea on the right and behind you.
In the '70s Alitalia lost two aircrafts there, a DC8 and a DC9.

Ciao

Stefano
 
samspain
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 12:16 am

I would suggest the airport in Merida, a small city located in the middle of the Venezuelan Andes. The runway is short; at the botom, there is a gas satation; at the end, there are water tanks and tennis courts; and avenues and houses at both sides. My guess is that the runways lengnth is aboy 2000 meters... and Avensa used to fly 727's there.
regards
 
Guest

RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 12:27 am

i went to JFK in '99 and while we were on approach we were flying around water and god knows what and when you land on a runway that's on the edge on a massive lake it's pretty scary. Also LGA because it has criss-crossing runways.

HL  Smile
 
Dufo
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 1:39 am

What about Courchevel, France (LFLJ)?

You can see some pictures from there at
http://www.members.aon.at/~slenz/dash7.html

Regards,
Jernej
I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
 
Guest

RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 1:45 am

Do you know if YUL is safe?
 
aa737
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 2:12 am

I would say Courchevel in France, or Lugano Switzerland are some of the more dangerous landings. I read an article about crossair and captains have to be specifically certified top land in lugano. I have skiied at Courchavel (I'm real pissed I live in California now and can't go there this week, all of my friends from London are skiing all week in Courchavel) and I have watched planes land at the airport. The runway isn't even flat, the whole middle is slanted uphill.
 
us330
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 2:21 am

What about Vail/Eagle County Airport. Especially on a when you takeoff going westward, as there is a 13,000ft. mountain you have to get past, also, it is in the middle of a mountain range with lots of turbulence.
 
Guest

RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 5:33 am

I think that the airport in Alaska to which you were previously alluding is either Juneau or Ketchikan. Both are on the sides of mountains near a natural harbour. For my money, however, Ketchikan is far worse.
 
AC320
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 6:06 am

JMJ, I don't think YUL ranks very high on the list of dangerous airports.
fuddle duddle
 
Guest

RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 8:35 am

Most mountaineous areas are bad for landing but Mexico
City should certainly be near the top of this list. You
have to make a rapid descent between mountains only
to find a steam roller or other similar vehicle crossing
the runway at it's leisure - and then the opposite may
become true on takeoff!
 
ywg777
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 11:55 am

I think a hard airport to land at would be eathier MCO=Orlando or OAK.
I have been on 7 differn't approaches into MCO and tyyou have to watch out for the freeway and the Orlando Exutive airport when on final as well if ytour comming from the east I think there is a altidude restriction over Disney World
OAK because off all the runways go over water and if your low your in the bay especially on 11-29.
 
BOAT
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 12:25 pm

Note to Thomacf, BHM (Birmingham, AL) is my home port, I must have landed there 200 times, since 1964(as a passenger on com flights). I know there is only one runway long enough for com airliners, this might be the main complaint to do with cross wind conditions. DL uses 757's, I think that is the largest craft at present. W BOATNER
 
AerLingus
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 2:18 pm

1)LGA-Short, intersecting runways, rediculous congestion.
2)SFO- (Surprised no one has mentioned it)Fog, congestion and extremely close proximity of parallel runways to one another.
3)DFW (Again surprised no one mentioned DFW)-Windshear country. The winds come out of nowhere and slam the damn aeroplanes into the ground.
4)Mexico City-Mountainous terrain.
5)SXM-Princess Juliana Int'l looks like a tricky approach in a jumbo, but they do it all the time. You have to be ever so precise on approach or part the hair of some sunbathers and knock down the perimeter fence with your landing gear!
6)DCA-Odd approach to avoid White House no fly zone and single runway ops.
7)RNO-Not so much as safety as it is a performance effect. The airport is at a high altitude and the summer heat makes it difficult for jets.
8)SAN-There's a damn garage at the end of the runway!
9)SNA-Takeoff, steep climb, cut engines to idle and COAST out!
10)Buenos Aires (is that it?) has a mountain which you need to turn steeply from seconds after takeoff.

Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
 
N628AU
Posts: 355
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 6:54 pm

None of the US airports are really DANGEROUS, but some definitely more difficult. SNA just requires max performance takeoffs and landings, it is not really dangerous, kind of a fun ride actually (learned to fly there). SAN is really poorly laid out, and that parking garage should go, but I think saying that an accident is going to occur because of it is kind of going overboard. Besides, how many places can you count rivets on the belly of a 747-400 as it crosses overhead (LOL). When it is really foggy, aircraft depart RWY 27 and land RWY 9 (always an interesting thing to watch).
 
JETPILOT
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 6:40 am

RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Thu Feb 15, 2001 7:27 pm

Airports are inherintely designed not to be dangerous. They all have to meet the same criteria. A 3 degree glideslope is a 3 degree glideslope whether there are mountain around or not.

There are no dangerous airports.

JET
 
FuturePilot
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RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Fri Feb 16, 2001 1:47 am

Well, this airport is not dangerous. But I thought it was very interesting. I am talking about JFK and when they use the VOR rwy 13L/R approach. I have seen it numerous times when I fly out of JFK and even flown in a Delta 757 executing this approach. Its not as steep of a bank as an airport like Kai Tek, but it still seems like a hard approach. I have tried this approach on my Microsoft Flight Simulator and lets just say I didnt make it..
 
Tan Flyr
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Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:07 pm

RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Fri Feb 16, 2001 2:16 am

As a fairly seasoned flyer I have always believed that some airports are more difficult than others, but have always had the faith that the Pilots know what they are doing. That said, there are several that I have been to that looked more to far more difficult than average.

So...my 2 cents worth ..
1. Medillen Colombia. Narrow valley in the Andes. Cemetary at the end of the runway as I recall.

2. Aero parque Jorge Newberry in Buenos Aires.. Wow. what a short runway with a fully loaded 727.
3.Gibralter..water at both ends as I recall.Plus the cross runway traffic..

Others covered the domestic ones that offer a higher level of challenges..LGA, DCA, SAN, SNA.
 
trintocan
Posts: 2728
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2000 6:02 pm

RE: TOP 10 Most Dangerous Airports To Land? And Why?

Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:32 am

Courchevel indeed! How do they manage to land ANYTHING there? Just my impression, looking at those pictures on the link. It is certainly a credit to de Havilland that Tyrolean could fly the Dash 7 from there.

Of those I know, I must say St. Vincent (SVD). The runway is only 4500ft long and has one end in a mountain, the other end running almost into the sea from where the seabed drops steeply down. Flights must literally enter in one direction and fly out the other way. The runway has seen 2 fatal accidents in recent years. In 1986 a LIAT Twin Otter trying to return after leaving for Grenada in a storm could not do so and crashed; the investigation was inconclusive as the plane was never recovered. In 1997 6 Trinidadians aboard a light aircraft died when the plane, which had just left St. Vincent, developed engine trouble and again the pilots were unable to return (little room for error); 2 of the 6 were never found. The largest craft that flies pax there is the Dash 8 (Q)300 of LIAT and BWIA but Amerijet uses cargo 727s there (must certainly be load restricted!)

I do not think that SXM is that dangerous but certainly St. Eustacius and Saba (with its 2000 foot runway) have elicited many hair-raising comments among travel writers who have flown into them. Ditto St. Barts and the Saintes off Guadeloupe.

Trintocan.
Hop to it, fly for life!

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