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Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 6:10 am


Just wondered what everyones scariest landing has been (perhaps the most exciting aswell!). What airport were you landing at, what was the weather like, and did anything unusual happen? I found landing at Corfu and Rhodes quiet scary, well exciting, especially because it was in the middle of the night and the runways on Greek Islands are very short with difficult approaches. Anyway it would be interesting to see everyone else's personal experiences!

Take a across the sky

RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 6:18 am


A Thai Airways flight, (A300-600) approaching Colombo, Sri Lanka (CMB), after a 3-hour flight from BKK. It was 11pm.

Weather was absolutely fine, we were just coming in with too much groundspeed & vertical speed, and as a result, slammed onto the r/w, left main gear first.

Well, it woke everyone up, that's for sure!! Big grin

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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 6:22 am

For me it was on a CP 747-200 landing in NAN (Nadi, Fiji). The landing was so hard that a good number of the oxygen masks deployed.
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 6:23 am

Landing at the domestic airport in Buenos Aires.

We came down quite fast, hit the ground and sort of rotated a bit, bounced back into the air, then finally landed. I know nothing about flying, but when we were coming in, I just knew we were gonna bounce on touchdown...

Wasn't really "scary" per se. But certainly the roughest landing I've ever had! Woke everyone up, that's for sure.
Matt D
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 6:29 am

USAir 757, July 1994. Landing at PHL from a flight from LAX. Being stuck in a holding pattern for 90 min was bad enough. Then, they were talking about diverting us to BWI. That would've really sucked. But they finally announced a "hole" that we can land in.

Heavy rain and turbulence all the way down. I was barely able to see out the window to gauge our AGL. It was not until I heard the wheels come down that I was able to make out that we were flying in over the Delaware River in final. We came in fast, and slammed hard on the runway. I was sitting in the back of the plane and my window was covered in water spray. Feeling the plane sway back and forth as we hydroplaned the full length of the runway did little to calm my nerves. Apparently the tower was trying to get in as many planes in as little time as possible because no sooner did we clear the U-outer than I looked out the window and saw a plane coming in right behind us. In that weather, I could make it out to be an American MD-80. That's how close it was. After that landing, I had a brief vision of that MD-80 plowing right into that 757 and it was not a fun one.
America West
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 6:43 am

My scariest landing was in Boston. We were on an America West A319 comming from CMH. It looked like we were going to land in the ocean for a few minutes. And then we made a soft landing (on the runway).
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 6:49 am

Landing in a Delta 757 at JFK with flaps being broken and not being able to be fully extended we landed...landed on 31L and went allllll the way down the runway....all 14572 feet of it. Fire engines racing along side us as well made it scary.
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:00 am

March 11, 2001
United Airlines 668
Chicago (ORD) to New York (LGA)
Aircraft: B727-200
Time of Arrival: 5pm
I don't know the runway, but we were approaching the runway (at LGA) from the northeast with a 30mph gust East wind.
The pilots did an excellent job of bringing the 727 in but it sure was rough. Earlier in the flight, the captain said that winds at LaGuardia were gusting to 30knots East. Instead of approaching LaGuardia from the northeast, why didn't the flight approach LaGuardia from the WSW?? (Any responses or comments appreciated)!
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:16 am

Picture it - Jersey, 3rd January 1998, about 7-8pm in the evening; howling gale, heavy rain . . . full plane, a BA 737-400. The weather all around the UK was foul in those opening days of '98 and the 734 was delayed quite a while; earlier flights were cancelled, with the result that our flight was packed solid. Somehow, I managed to get a window seat in the last row of Club. The captain told us it was very bad weather.

I don't know if you've ever experienced it, but when you look out of a plane's window at night in very heavy rain, the effect as it flashes by looks like the sight of a tarmacadam road as you drive along - just sheer, driving rain. The windspeed was around 40-45 knots, or up to 60mph and the crew had to fight all the way in. The actual touchdown wasn't bad at all, and we put on full reverse. The captain told me after that the ILS had been knocked out by lightning as we circled.

What an arrival!
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:19 am

October 18, 2000
Delta flight 322/ 767-332-ER N118DL

Upon approach into SLC after 4hr 40 minute flight from Anchorage, Alaska the captain announced that the flaps would not retract fully. I was sitting in a window seat and could see that the flaps were very clearly NOT retracted. We continued approach and initiated a go around several miles short of the runway. The captain announced that he was going to try and remedy the problem and that we were going to climb out and go-around. On the second approach we again did not land and he announced that we were going to have to land fast and there would be emergency equipment awaiting our arrival.

Finally on the third appraoch we landed- FAST, emergency vehicles lined the runway, lights flashing! The cabin was silent, people were very calm. The landing was hard and felt very rough, probably due to the speed. But we stopped and taxied to the gate, no emergency evacuation or anything. After we deplaned, the airplane was crawling with DL maintenance staff. All the flaps were fully retracted including leading edge slats. The flight was suppose to contine to CVG but was delayed, I am not sure what happened after that as I had to catch my flight to San Jose!

Later I spoke to a friend's father who was a project engineer on the 767 program back in the 80s and he said a failure of flaps to deploy is a rather unliky event given the redundancy in that system. He also said that the 767 is certainly able to safely land "fast" but that depending on the conditions, it is not uncommon to blow tire(s) and/or cause damage to the gear itself. An inspection is always required after a hard or heavy landing.

SK A330-300
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:26 am

My scariest landing was in stormy weather at the old, now closed, airport in Karlstad, Sweden. The aircraft was a SAS Fokker 28 inbound from Stockholm (ARN). When landing from south in Karlstad the approach included a sharp right turn on rather low altitude and during our sharp turn this stormy day the plane suddenly dropped sideways a considerable number of feet. Without having your seatbelt fasten you would no longer have been in your seat.

Even the short time left before landing, after that right turn, was rough and knowing that the runway was so short that the airport authorities had been granted an exemption to let these SAS jets land there didn’t make me more comfortable. The landing was a bit hard but we managed to get to a stop before the end of the runway and everything was ok. That approach and landing is my scariest so far.
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:39 am

August 1963, B720 Aer Lingus

Landing in gusting wind and rain on a 7,200 ft runway at Dublin with left hand outboard engine out.

No return to Shannon available as the cross wind there was gusting beyond 3 engine limits for the B720. "Interesting" use of brakes and a stop with enough room to turn round at the end of the runway - just.

November 1983 BAW Trident 3

The flight from Heathrow had been exteremely fast with a strong tailwind and we approached on finals almost 15 minutes ahead of schedule. The Captain had mentioned "breezy" conditions and, as it was after dark, it was evident there was a deal of low scud well down the approach as we kept losing sight of lights on the ground.

At about 400 ft we hit a severe windshear and it felt like we stopped dead in the air for a fraction of a second. My companion wondered if we would have to go round, I said I hoped not and seconds later we touched down. The aircraft behind was a SAS DC9-21 with a colleague on board and she reported similar conditions. When we had collected our baggage and met up in the Terminal, we saw an announcement that all flights were "postponed" due to the weather conditions and, in fact, the airport closed for some 35 minutes.

November 1983 Trident 3

On a lovely still, cold and clear November night we departed Heathrow on the back up to the last Manchester shuttle of the day. The actual shuttle flight got off the ground after us as he elected to take the full length of 28R and our captain, having only 25 on board, elected to go from part way down the runway, which cut about 4 minutes from the taxi time.

We approached 24 at Manchester and, from my many landings there, it was obvious we were hot and high over Stockport. A steep descent followed but we actually touched down with a drop from about ten feet with engines already in reverse. The noise was horrendous and, as we headed for the terminal, the Captain commented on the "interesting" landing by his co-pilot, mentioned the other flight was now on finals from the opposite direction and then said that the aircraft we were on (G-AWZL) was on its last revenue flight.

Next day it departed empty for Heathrow and a life as a set of Coke cans.

February 1999 B737-300 easyJet

From early in the flight from Liverpool, the cockpit crew had made mention of strong winds at Geneva.

From turning eastwards at Lyon, the turbulence increased and the cabin crew made much of securing the front galley.

This was a night approach to Geneva, landing easterlies and you pass between the mountains on finals. Very turbulent on finals and a fast firm landing was performed. The Captain came to the door as we deplaned and told me the headwind was gusting to 40mph and dropping to zero all the way down the approach.

B737-500 United Airlines August 2000

Approaching Reno over Carson City and listening to the "goings on" on Channel 9. The time was 6.45 pm and the temperature in Reno was still 103F.

The sun had done its best and thermals were rising rapidly.

A Lear Jet was being vectored to parallel us into Reno and he couldn't see us against the lowering sun, though he was easily visible from the cabin as he turned to parallel us.

All the way in the ride was dog rough with a 60 degree cross wind of up to 20 knots to add to the vertical aberrations!.

We landed hot and hard about a third of the way down the runway as we must have risen 50 feet passing Rattlesnake Hill. We ballooned back into the air and came down again hard almost immediately, stopping well down the runway.

On taxi to the terminal, the Lear was visible heading to the hangars on the opposite side of the field. I did wonder about his ride conditions!

None of these were dramatically scary but all were out of the ordinary and at least "interesting"
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:47 am

Well I have two scary moments.
1. Landing and Montevideo International (Carrasco), it was on a Pan Am 747-100, cloudy, stormy and rainy day. We landed at the halve of the runway, the pilot didn't takeoff again so the plane over ran the runway, we have to get out of the airplane quickly (no slides), we coudn't take our hand luggage. Every body was scare.

2. My first landing at Toncontin International (Tegucigalpa, Honduras), it was on a Grupo Taca A-320 just a really scary landing because of the small airport and runway, now when I fly to Tegucigalpa I use a Grupo Taca ATR-42 with this aircraft is a smooth landing.

Fotografos de Aviacion de Guatemala. Spotter. ... 661476921/
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:51 am

Well, i have never had a scary landing, but i have had alot of very fun ones.

Fokker 50's into BRS can be alot of fun, even my last flight on Tuesday we had some violent CAT on approach thanks to the Hills over Hartcliffe, made a few passengers' stomachs turn and a couple of quite screams Big grin.

Athens July 31st 1998 12:00pm
Airworld A320-200

Very bumpy approach despite good weather, pilot disengaged autopilot very early. Failed approach, with another Aircraft leaving the runway as we arrived due to ATC disagreement. Some kid didn't help much by screaming while the pilot applied full thrust, made alot of people very nervous.

Second approach, also very bumpy, also alot of fun. Hit the runway pretty hard and left speedily on a high speed exit, i looked out of the window to see another aircraft already lined up at the end of the runway!

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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 8:10 am

Airplane: Piper Warrior II
Time of Day: Night
Winds: Howling crosswind
Approach lighting available: Endlights and a VASI
Pilot: Me

It all translates into a few tense moments. I don't normally sweat but...
Jack @ AUS
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 9:18 am

My scariest landing was, by far, back in 1995 on A CP DC-10 flying from YYZ to LHR in mid-February.

For staters, the air over the British Isles was very, very turbulent! Second, because of the poor weather, flights into Heathrow were delayed and we had to "queue" up to land (keep in mind this was in extremely poor weather!).

On our approach we hit the worst turbulence I have ever encountered in my life. The overhead bins were rattling so badly I thought they would tear away from the fusleage (many did, in fact, pop open and spill their contents). At this point I had my seat belt secured so tightly I thought I'd cut myself in half. Anyways, we seemed to land on one set of landing gear only, hitting the runway very hard, and then bounced about for what seemed like an eternity before the pilot could finally "right' the aircraft. When the nose came down I thought we were going to slam through the runway! Let me tell you, by the time we reached the gate, I seriously thought they were going to have to surgically remove me from my seat because of my super-duper death grip. I nearly s#!t my pants!

Unfortunately, the on-ground experience wasn't much better that day with HUGE delays at Customs and numerous security alerts all around London as the IRA was on particularly nasty rampage at the time.....

SEA nw DC10
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 9:41 am

NW DC-10's being my favorite plane, while flying in one in July, '96, enroute from DTW-SEA, I had a crappy landing. The entire flight was delayed because after pushback at DTW the captain realized the ground crew shorted us 12,000 lbs of fuel, so we had to go back....after 2 hrs late, we are flying over the Cascades, the plane is low over the mountains scaring the crap out of me, the plane inside was boiling hot, babies crying, lights flickering, etc. We turn and twist around by Tacoma, WA about to land to the north when the pattern is switched to arrivals towards the south. We then make a shaaaaaaaarp turn away from the airport, meanwhile the captain and crew don't bother telling us what the hell's going on, and we descend towards Seattle. We make a series of sharp turns, the last of which I saw the airport, and wondered how the hell we will be able to land becaue we were so close but not lined up. So he finally lines us upa nd we crash down on the runway bouncing a few times and then finally stopping, taxiing for 20+ minutes, and finally arriving at gate S1. What a joke!

RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 10:37 am

It has got to be the first landing that my instructor let me do on my own when I did my private.

It was on a Cessna 150. These planes are really tough!

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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 11:50 am

My scariest landing was on CX710 from SIN-HKG. We were landing in near typhoon conditions at Kaitak in the B747-300. With the approach to Hong Kong being dangerous and typhoon like winds, there was a lot of turbulence, but the pilot executed a good firm landing on runway 13.

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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 12:02 pm

My scariest landing was on a Royal Airlines flight from Toronto to Trinidad on their 727-200. The pilot was coming in really low and then we gained altitude and droped again. We were really low to the water.
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 12:35 pm

A couple of years ago, my family and I were flying back from Denver on an AA MD-80 after our spring break ski trip. Remember, North Texas weather in the Spring is notorious for its spontanaeity, and that night was no exemption from the rule. A normal 1 hour and a half DEN-DFW flight had turned into five hours, as DFW was being bombarded by a major storm system with hail, lightning, tornado warnings etc. We ended up circling Wichita Falls three times, and finally we made a nose first landing in a small break in the weather on a slick runway.
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:25 pm

A few months ago I took a short flight from Frankfurt to Munster/Osnabruck on a Lufthansa 737-500. The take-off and climb out were OK but as soon as the drinks trolleys appeared we hit bad turbulence and they retreated from whence they came. The rest of the 35 minute flight was like being on a roller coaster. During the descent and approach things were just as bad and we slammed onto the runway extremely hard. I was very surprised we didn't bounce. As we taxied to the gate the crew announced we should take extra care when opening the overhead bins as there was a higher than usual chance that our hand luggage might have shifted in flight. Who says the Germans have no sense of humour?
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:38 pm

The scariest I've been on was a nice drop just before landing at Vestmaneyar on Iceland. Wasn't so scary but it tells a lot about my other landings, all other have been fine.

Just like birdwatching - without having to be so damned quiet!
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 8:51 pm

It was early August 1985 on a flight from LAX to DFW on an American DC-10. My flight was picture perfect, but the sight of the charred remains of a Delta L-1011 as we approached had me holding my breath all the way into touchdown. Luckily for us, the weather was perfect and the wind shear conditions that had downed the Delta flight were non-existent.
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 8:52 pm

My scariest landing was from Birmingham to Dublin. It was a small plane, 20 passengers, it was windy, raining, dark etc. and the plane was wobbling, and with a bang we landed. All the lights went out, but they came back on. All the kids were screaming and crying.

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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 10:51 pm

Hi !

I have never experienced a scary landing but I think this is scary. Look at the video (some of you probably know it) ! http://

Regards ,

When I joined it was still free, haha ;).
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Kai Tak

Sat Apr 21, 2001 10:53 pm

A normal landing into Kai tak airport ( Hong Kong) was quite scary.

the plane (cx 744) banked hard right and aproached between tower blocks then touched down- left wheels first- on the runway with the ocean on the right hand side

I once made an emergency landing in a Britania 757 after an engine surgre- we were over weight and had all the emergency services lined up-but the HKG landing was worse
Posts: 541
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 3:02 am

RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 11:05 pm

sorry spelling mistake in the link !

heres the correct :
When I joined it was still free, haha ;).
Victor Hotel
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 11:13 pm

My scariest landing, or approach really, so far was into Penang on a Malaysia Airlines A333. We had to fly right through a huge storm, then the plane hit really heavy turbulence. Along with the turbulence the plane dropped several times and it was not just quick little drops, but ones that lasted several secconds, and had all the passengers gasping. The aircraft then pulled up extreamly sharply, which really could be felt in the cabin. The actual landing was fine though. It didnt didnt scare me too much, but I was holding the seat very tightly. We then had to take off a few hours later through a portion of the storm on a 734, we only had a little turbulence then, and no where nearly as bad as the approach.
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sat Apr 21, 2001 11:55 pm

Mine had to be on a UA DC-8-61 on a flight from GRR to ORD. It was at night, a clear full moon type of night. We were on final to 27L at ORD and I noticed that the wings were starting to oscilate. This motion just got worse as we got closer to the runway. When we got to the end of the runway, it seems we floated forever and then bounced a few times with the left wing dipping at the top of one of the bounces. I was in the row of seats behind the F/A's who are seated in the middle of the plane and they had a look of absoloute horror on their faces when that wing dipped. All at once, it seemed like the plane snapped into level flight and touched down smoothly. Needless to say the thrust reversers worked overtime stopping us before the end of the runway. When we stopped the Captain came on and said "sorry for the rough landing, you gotta give the other guy a chance now and then." I remember thinking that I hope they checked that plane out for structural damage before its next flight!
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
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RE: Your Scariest Landing?

Sun Apr 22, 2001 12:59 am

Well I have three landings...

One, landing at PHL which was completely socked in...I had no idea where we were until we hit the scared a lot of people...

Two, another landing at PHL so hard the front lav door opened on touchdown, swung around and hit the cockpit door...that made a loud noise and scared a lot of people.

Three, a landing at FLL with a negligible was the tricycle gear equivlent of a three-point landing...

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