boiler033
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:03 am

Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:07 am

What are some of the coolest approaches to fly across the globe? What are some of the most difficult? Why? I heard that airports like Courchevel, St. Barts, and Lukla are up there. Is this true? Thanks for the responses.
 
FriscoHeavy
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:13 am

Yes, those are true and up there as some of the most difficult
Whatever
 
29erUSA187
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:17 am

Not very difficult compared to the ones mentioned, but i live in SAN and fly that approach 8-10 times a year and it never gets old. Fast, High and steep! Must be a wake up call for the JL and BA pilots after the long flights!  . Another one I fly commonly is SFO (only when its foggy) its a relatively easy instrument approach, but oh man as a pax it surprises you when the runway pops out!
 
e38
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:25 am

LaGuardia Expressway Visual Runway 31 approach.

e38
 
bluejuice
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:41 am

I'll toss in LCY and the now gone Kai Tak.
Not biased against vacuum flush.
 
skyhawkmatthew
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:45 am

The Queenstown RNP approach has to be up there... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mxmFCw-Dig

Lord Howe Island is well known as a challenging visual approach due to the very short runway and often quite turbulent conditions.
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bpat777
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:47 am

There's an approach into MDW thats full of low turns before slamming onto the runway in the usual WN style.
 
HNL
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:56 am

TGU - even with the runway extension is still a heart stopper
HNL - There's no place like it!
 
mugler
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:59 am

A few come to mind: TGU, FNC, NRT (those crosswinds!!!), SXM (overrated IMO)
 
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hOMSaR
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:04 am

I flew into PBH (Paro, Bhutan, since the auto-airport code thingy doesn't seem to want to work, and I'm not going to just throw out some obscure airport code with the expectation that people will automatically know where it is) earlier this year. That was pretty awesome.

There are a number of videos online of that approach and landing.
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Caspian27
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:07 am

River visual DCA, Expressway visual LGA, and any approach into ASE are my favorites.
Meanwhile, somewhere 35,000 ft above your head...
 
roseflyer
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:13 am

Most impressive that I have seen as a passenger is Rio de Janeiro santos dumont. There is the famous sugarloaf mountain a few miles before the runway which requires a tight final approach 135 degree turn. All that is done landing a 737-800 or A319 on the shortest commercial runway of just 4300 ft. It is a big thrill with no ILS to help.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-9jcZCSjiSE
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NC1844V
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:39 am

Between the mountains into Juneau Alaska is pretty awesome. Just my 2 cents.
Steven
 
PWMRamper
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:48 am

Fun (and easy) is the Harbor Visual in PWM, following the lighthouses in.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OOHHMkUmO8

Pilots I've talked to rank it near the top of their list.
 
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notaxonrotax
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:59 am

I always enjoyed flying this approach, not difficult; but be aware of these cables just before the threshold:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuQGUg4C98k&feature=youtu.be


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aklrno
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:01 am

Flying into Queenstown NZ is always interesting as your aircraft follows the curves through canyons.

If you just like a wild ride, try landing in Reno on a windy day (most of them) . The pilots show their skills all the way down to the deck. Watch your fellow passengers stop talking and get very pale. It smooths out just as the ground effect builds before touchdown. It is quite similar at Wellington. Landing in a Cessna Caravan on Sounds Air is a treat, especially when you seem to be looking right down the runway and realize you are looking out a side window.

For large airports I don't think anything will ever be as good as the old Kai Tak. I don't think anyone would ever allow something like that to be built today. I could sit in a departure lounge for an hour or two watching the 747s flying between the high-rise apartments, and touching down just a few seconds after the wings level out.
 
ElpinDAB
Posts: 444
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:00 am

RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:47 am

US East Coast approaches are fun for other reasons than those with terrain...

I have flown jets into MDW ILS circle for a runway 90 degrees off, PWM Harbor Vis, DCA River Vis 19, and LGA Expressway Vis 31. All are really fun! I have not flown a jet into Jackson Hole, Aspen, or Telluride, but I'd imagine they would be more fun than anything I've flown into these airports. I have had more fun flying visuals into Duluth at night than any of the established visuals since I was able to manage my descent and go throttles idle from over FL300 to just over 1000AGL and configured, rolling out onto final in my own managed approach into the lesser traveled airports...

That's when you really get to fly the airplane...

But, flying the aircraft for the approaches above are times when pilots can really exhibit their skills. I love every one of those approaches. PWM Harbor visual is really just an excuse to avoid populated areas, and for pilots to bank the aircraft on final. It's fun and scenic. River Vis 19 is only to avoid the Prohibited areas and noise-sensitive areas. But, it results in a fun approach for pilots, and the second-to-last turn is basically headed straight towards the prohibited areas that include the monuments and White House...the PM is just watching and waiting for the PF to make that right turn away, and at the right altitude to line up for the 7,000ft runway 19...

Nobody wants to violate the Prohibited Areas!

LGA Expressway Vis 31...Descent planning from the "Tanks" is essential for a stable approach for airline standards. This approach is alot of fun too. On rare occasions, LGA can provide some really rare approaches too, more non-standard than the Expressway Vis 31.

That said, I think anything with terrain vastly outweighs any of the approaches I just named....I'd rather violate a restricted area than run into a mountain, but pre-flight planning typically prevails, and we plan to avoid both...
 
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SRQKEF
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:10 pm

IFJ (Isafjordur, Iceland) is a really fun one! Not only you have to do an almost 270° turn along the mountains in the fjord, but the mountains all along it also cause a sort of whirlwind wind conditions inside the fjord which makes for a lot of bumps! Flown it a few times, always fun.

videos:
Outside: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv_c6vA8DXE
Cockpit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBDt-7Jegs0

regards!
Sveinn  
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TUGMASTER
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RE: Most Fun And/or Difficult Approaches

Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:01 pm

Flew into AJA on a Corsair 744 this summer.....
That's on par most of the above.
The mountain approach of course.....

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