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Most difficult landing in the world - Bhutan?

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Paro, Bhutan in a A320. (www.youtube.com) Ещё...

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alistairm
alistairm 0
I would say that this is not as hair raising as Kai Tak was!
preacher1
preacher1 0
I would have to agree but at least at Kai Tak, you had the checkerboard, and if you couldn't see it, it was time to leave. What gets me here is that 45 right there at the last and then a 180 on the active.lol
dbrooks84
David Brooks 0
There are a couple of others that come to my mind. The is San Saba airport (on Saba Island in the Caribbean) which has a 1300' runway with 70 foot drop of cliffs on each end. The other is Saint Barthelemy (Saint Barthelemy Island in the Caribbean) with a 2000' runway and the approach is really exciting as you have to essentially dive to the runway, pull and flare out in about 300' and if you overrun, your in the water. The reported Paro Airport in Bhutan is a difficult approach but has had regular air service with A319s and RJ146s. One of the really difficult airfields is Lukla, Khumbu (Everest) Region in Nepal which is up slop - land up and take off going down! Many cracks up have occurred there over the years.
dbrooks84
David Brooks 0
There are a couple of others that come to my mind. The is San Saba airport (on Saba Island in the Caribbean) which has a 1300' runway with 70 foot drop off cliffs on each end. The other is Saint Barthelemy (Saint Barthelemy Island in the Caribbean) with a 2000' runway and the approach is really exciting as you have to essentially dive to the runway, pull and flare out in about 300' and if you overrun, your in the water. The reported Paro Airport in Bhutan is a difficult approach but has had regular air service with A319s and RJ146s. One of the really difficult airfields is Lukla, Khumbu (Everest) Region in Nepal which is up slop - land up and take off going down! Many cracks up have occurred there over the years.
ismamal
Isma Mal 0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIuS4qx9WE4

I agree with David :) San Saba airport is the most challenging one
preacher1
preacher1 0
Well, ther are a whole lot of small fields and commuter airports that would probably fall into this category; while not tooting the horn of a big iron pilot, I think that this was the point of the video, just to show what they come up against sometimes. Some of these places, as you say may have scheduled service with a full jet of some type and shouldn't see anything bigger than a King Air. These guys also sounded like they either hadn't been there before or one was being trained/qualified to go in there. whether it's a C-150 or a 747, you just need to know how to FLY THE PLANE.
dbrooks84
David Brooks 0
Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was responsible for flight testing which included real low flying. I went through 3 flight engineers and one pilot... First we were using a Queen Air and following the nape of the earth, you worry about what you do if while climbing over a small hill in front, one engine quits! Upgraded to King Airs and Lear jets. There were a number of pilots, engineers and observers where barely able to stand as they had the shakes. One observer happened to look out to see the aircraft was just about to fly into a tall TV antennae - the guy wires can slice through and airframe real easy. Fortunately, the pilot pulled a hard turn and missed.
dbrooks84
David Brooks 0
I think it was National Geographic (but could be wrong) did a documentary on the worst airports in the world. The #1 was Lukla. Yes, Kai Tak was listed too. St. Barthelemy also made the list but a number of others were there too. I wish I would recall all, but it included MHTG/TGU (you have to look for a house to know when to turn!). One thing that most of this airports had in common that pilots have to be qualified to land at them and all have difficult approaches or departures. I think the list included EGE on account of both approach and departures.

Sometimes, it is more than just knowing how to fly the plane, you need to know what you are getting into when landing at some of these airfields with real hazards associated with them.
tyketto
Brad Littlejohn 0
The thing about VQPR is that while there is a VOR not too far from the airport, there are no instrument landing or departure procedures from there. In short, if the field isn't VMC, it isn't open.

that said, VNLK (Tenzing/Hilary, nee Lukla) I think outdoes VQPR by a long shot. Though I think St. Barts had a challenging one, because of the steep drop right before the displaced threshold. Something about the landing gear coming within 3 - 4 feet of someone's head as they were spotting above the runway?

There was a dangerous airports show on one of the NatGeo/Discovery channels a short while ago. IIRC, VHHX was #5. VQPR came in at #2. VNLK came in at #1.
malinoff112
Donny Malinoff 0
BenKFIT
Ben Lillie 0
Wow, They barely had enough time to turn final
preacher1
preacher1 0
That's what I was looking at and then that 180 on the active. At least at Kai Tak, if you couldn't see the checkerboard, complete your turn and power out.lol No checkerboard here. I guess it's just a control or what you're used to thing but that is what I don't like about the Airbus. Especially in a situation like that, I like that yoke between my legs and that feeling of control.
whip5209
Ken McIntyre 0
Great, great video. I love vicariously following difficult approaches. This has got to be one of most difficult and interesting I've seen for a passenger jet. But, there are some very difficult approaches in the Idaho back country. I'll youtube post the approach and landing to University of Idaho's Taylor Ranch (see still pictures on my profile) this weekend. You can't see the full length of the runway until 10 seconds before touchdown.
aetty
anthony geinopolos 0
BenKFIT
Ben Lillie 0
I know, I do those kinds of things on flight simulator but usually I end up
missing the runway.
FedExCargoPilot
FedExCargoPilot 0
I don't think they did that bad, but I thought the airport would be more along that creek, that mountain really hid the airport. What airline was this? Noise restrictions not an issue? The plane flew literally 50 feet above that guy's house. Can you land there at night in VMC?
preacher1
preacher1 0
I know one thing. I don't think I'd want to try it.lol
preacher1
preacher1 0
I'd kinda be intereted in seeing a takeoff out of there. Talk about a climb and turn. If that fog was in there below those mountaintops, you'd definitely have to fly a plate out of there and pray.
tyketto
Brad Littlejohn 0
That's the problem. There isn't any sort of SID or departure procedure there. That's why if the airport isn't in VMC conditions, the airport isn't open, and flights can't get in or out..
southwestLUV
southwestLUV 0
Most likely the airline is Druk Air, as it is the most common airline that flies to Paro. It also could be Buddah Air too, however. And no, you can't land at Paro Airport at night. It shuts down between sunset and sunrise. I got all my info from the Wikipedia page on Paro Airport. Hope I helped! :D
tooblack
H R Martin Phills 0
MHTG is equally trilling/dreadful
tooblack
H R Martin Phills 0
dbrooks84
David Brooks 0
I agree. They finally lengthened the runway a bit after TACA went off the end and down into a ravine. Approach is wild.
smoki
smoki 0
Naaah! Trust me on this one. The most difficult landing in the world is aboard USS Boat on a dark and stormy night with low ceiling and vis, no ACLS/no APC/no needles, a rough/rolling sea and a pitching deck. The landing area is only a couple hundred feet (plus or minus) with limited illumination which in such weather conditions you can't make out until a half mile or less on final. I'm talking lots of water, deep water, with a sudden drop off (90 degree steel wall) on both ends of this very short runway, albeit with 4 cables to snag with a tailhook. You're down to bingo/land-base-divert fuel, if applicable, and some of your mates have already boltered twice (failed to catch a wire) and been sent to the overhead tanker which they're having difficulty finding and rendezvousing with in the weather. Once visual, you have to fight the temptation to chase the "ball" (Fresnel Lens optical landing aid with limited gyro stabilization). You especially don't want to ease gun in close and correct too much (nose down) for a high ball condition with a pitching deck (hello hard/damaged landing) or add power and correct too much nose up for a low/red ball (hello bolter). Pick your poison.

Do ya think there might be just a little pucker factor involved here? And the pay? Ha! Even so, to my knowledge there's never been a shortage of volunteers and even the girls (an exceptional few) are doing it now in the latest tactical jet equipment.

For what its worth, this kind of approach and landing is not so exceptional during a carrier cruise and is something all naval aviators are equipped/trained to handle. I've landed at Kai Tak several times in years past, both directions, night and day, in the "Diesel Eight" in weather and crosswinds. Compared to this, it was a piece of cake.

I have no idea what all in the way of bells and whistles today's tactical jet naval aircraft possess but of one thing I'm certain. Sooner or later those techno-luster gadgets fail and you're reduced to the basics of scanning meatball, lineup, angle of attack, while applying corrections with stick, rudder and throttle. You're 100% in the loop. You become an extension of the machine or vice-versa unlike today's commercial machines in which by design the pilot has become more of a systems monitor flipping switches and pushing buttons to drive the machine than a hands-on in-the-loop driver. Some unnecessary fatal commercial accidents attest to that fact.
dbrooks84
David Brooks 0
Yup! I have hired some ex Navy carrier folks that threw in the towel after running low on fuel, bad weather, and several missed approaches. Real pucker power then.
preacher1
preacher1 0
I really was just wondering how long it was gonna take some ex-navy jock to weigh in here.lol Paul, I agree 100% on FLYING THE PLANE. While all the bells and whistles are nice and make life easier, they can lull one into complacency if you are not careful. Problem is, the bells and whistles are all some of these younger guys know and when they lose that stick and rudder basic, they are in trouble and those are usually the ones we read about.It is just simply amazing to know the cockpit of a 707 25 years ago and then climbing in a brand new 767 earlier this year, but in getting it off and on the ground, aerodynamics are still the same and for learning those, I am thankful.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
That was interesting. Would be fun in the cockpit-not so much in the rear.
It's one thing to land a light plane on a tight strip, another to wiggle an airliner between mountain tops then dive and turn for the runway. I know a little about landing in confined areas, but I was a helicopter pilot in the days. we had the added excitement of bullets.
Navy guy gets the trophy, but it's all hairy.
quitty123456789
Jordan Welch 0
I thought that Lukla Airport in Nepal was the most difficult...

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