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The World's Ten Scariest Runways

I've only flown into three of these, but as I was reading, I wondered if they would mention Saba. Sure enough, it's number ten. I don't recall either JFK or St. Maarten being that scary, from a passenger perspective, but we flew into there on our way to Saba, which is quite an experience. As noted, it is a very short runway, with a dropoff over a cliff into the ocean if you don't stop on time. They fly very short takeoff/land planes in there. We flew in with a naval aviator and his wife who were stationed at Rosie Roads in Puerto Rico, and he said that it would be good training for a carrier landing, except that it was a lot more stable.

Anyway, it was worth it. A very quaint little Dutch tropical island, with a couple nice hiking trails around and up the mountain, with great views of Anguilla, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Nevis and other northern windward islands. And a marine preserve, for great diving.


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Jay Manifold wrote:

I'd have put Midway on that list (scroll down to "aerial photo").

Dennis Ray Wingo wrote:

Try Midway Airport in Chicago in a 757. I swear there are tire prints on the roof of the last line of houses by the fence.

South Lake Tahoe is also quite a hoot and puckering event.


Billy Beck wrote:

I'm just sorry that I never got to fly into Kai Tak (Hong Kong). That looked pretty sporty.

ken anthony wrote:

Once, coming from Europe the landing at JFK was so bad you would have bounce off the ceiling if not seatbelted in. The passengers and attendants burst out in cheer once the wheels touched the ground. I think it's because the approach goes over swampland and the weather conditions have to be right.

I also saw a plane crash with flames at JFK from my apartment (16th floor in Starrett City) which would not have been viewable 10 years later because the landfill between my building and JFK was so built up.

If you have to go to NYC, the Newark airport is the best way to go. Connecting I'd take JFK because a free shuttle will take you back and forth to the international terminal.

Of course, I haven't been to NY in many years, so things may have changed since then.

Edward Wright wrote:
Dennis Ray Wingo wrote:

Kai Tak does not exist anymore. The new airport is way boring to land on.

rjschwarz wrote:

I flew into the old Hong Kong airport and remembr thinking "what's the big deal, yeah those apartments are close but come on..." then the plane took a hard right at the end of a row of highrises and went into the runway. Scared the crap out of me because I'd assumed we'd be coming in straight like usual.

Aleta wrote:

What, they didn't include Cuzco, Peru? Yikes, talk about density altitude (there isn't any, or so it seems) and the 707 I was a passenger on used every millimeter of runway. >shudder

But I gotta tell you, flying in from the east to Deer Valley (Phoenix) wasn't fun, either. There's a mound of lava at the east end, just begging for planes to impact on.

Fidel, MD wrote:

Eh, St. Maartens is only dangerous for the morons on the beach who WANT to get blown over.

I've got over 11,000 hours of flight time (military and civilian) and I'd never want to land at Saba in anything but a WinAir Twin-Otter. Those guys are incredible.

Reagan National, JFK, etc.....the only tough part is the traffic.

Gib can be interesting - when BOTH ends of the runway are under water....

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on April 14, 2008 8:08 AM.

Rocket Racing Competition was the previous entry in this blog.

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