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Terrific flights: world’s most daring airstrips

On the ice, in the canyons, among cliffs and mountains: land is not always easy and to be on board, in these cases, requires a lot of courage. From the Caribbean to Malaysia to the South Pole, here is the unknown routes with really scary landing strips.

PRINCESS JULIANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - SAINT MARTEEN (CARRIBEAN)

The runway is so short that airplanes should drop to very low altitudes well before landing, flying at about 10-20 meters high over the heads of sunbathers.

 

Source: Flickr / Takashi Ota

TENZING-HILLARY AIRPORT - LUKLA (NEPAL)

If you think that climbing Mount Everest is for braves, it is because you have never tried to land in Lukla. Short track, high mountains, weather does not always clear - we are at 2,860 meters above sea level - makes this track one of the scariest in the world.

 

Source:  Flickr / Frank Kehren

AIRPORT OF SAO PAULO - BRAZIL

The track of Congonhas Airport, in the city center, is certainly not among the easiest in the world: the pilots, before landing, must be careful and avoid 45 obstacles among buildings, trees and shopping centers. In 2007, a plane came out of the track and crashed against a hangar: 199 victims.

 

Source: Flickr / Zé Carlos Barretta

HECHI AIRPORT - CHINA

Inaugurated last August, and with its 677 meters of altitude, is the highest airport of the Guangxi region. Being a mountainous area, 60 hills were leveled to build it. There is no room for pilot error: the end of the track there is a sheer drop of a thousand feet.

 

BARRA - SCOTLAND

In this small Hebridean island the landing is directly on the beach. Waves and high tide, then, are the main risk for pilots, who must be very careful not to end up bogged down.

 

Source: Flickr / Wordshore

COURCHEVEL AIRPORT - FRANCE

Sunday trip in the French Alps? If you have a private plane you can land in this small airport clutching the side of a cliff at 2,006 meters above sea level. It has a very short runway, and even uphill, ending with a truly terrifying vertical drop. Famous for the Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies".

 

Source:  Flickr / Cédric Husler

JUANCHO E. YRAUSQUIN AIRPORT - SABA (CARIBBEAN)

Landing on this Caribbean island is not for everyone. The track is only 400 meters long. On one side the hills, on the other towering cliffs.

 

Source: Flickr / Patrick Hawks

TONCONTIN AIRPOT - HONDURAS

The most dangerous and difficult landing in the world is the one in Tegucigalpa. Very short runway and mountains around that put to the test even the most experienced pilots.

 

Source: Flickr / Enrique

ICE RUNWAY - SOUTH POLE

It is not the position of the track - and even the fact that instead of asphalt there is ice - making it complicated land on the Ice Runway, used to bring supplies to employees of McMurdo Station. Risky are the weather conditions, together with the possibility that the weight of the airplane breaks the ice.

 

Source: Flickr / Eli Duke

GUSTAF III AIRPORT - ST. BARTH (CARIBBEAN)

To land here pilots must follow a particular course. It is not easy to bring down the plane on a runway so short. Suffice to say that at take-off you fly few meters over the heads of sunbathers.

 

Source: Flickr / Jay Colbath

MATEKANE AIR STRIP - LESOTHO

The track is 416 meters long, around there are mountains that reach 2,303 meters in height. It is not easy to land in this canyon. That’s why Tom Clator, experienced pilot in these areas, recommends: "Better to fly downwind: the mountains of Lesotho are harder than pilots".

 

Source: Tom Claytor - www.claytor.com

PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - BUTHAN

Who's afraid of flying perhaps should not land in this airport of Bhutan, in the middle of the Himalayas. Before you fly between mountains and valleys, then descend on this small track, in the midst of so many homes and often with significant wind gusts. From 2009 to date are only ten the pilots authorized to perform these maneuvers.

 

Source: Flickr / Brentolson

SANGSTER AIRPORT - JAMAICA

It seems to land on the beach when you arrive in Montego Bay. The track (with the mainland) in fact, appears only at last. A show for the bathers on the beach that see the colossal air creatures above their heads.

 

Source: Panoramio

GILGIT AIRPORT - PAKISTAN

The runway of this airport is so short that can not even land the Boeing. Currently they are operating on this route the ATR-42.

 

Source: Flickr / Junaidrao

TIOMAN ISLAND AIRPORT - MALAYSIA

You want to relax on this beautiful Malaysian island? Prepare for landing, it is not for the faint of heart. Straight in the direction of a mountain, turn 90 degrees and down on one of the shortest strips in the world.

 

Source: Flickr / Sri Sentosa Tours & Travel

AIRPORT OF GIBRALTAR - UNITED KINGDOM

Other than open eyes: those landing to Gibraltar airport find themselves in the middle between the city and a great mountain. Not only, being 1,800 meters long, the trail intersects with Winston Churchill Avenue, the busiest street of Gibraltar, which is closed every time a plane lands or takes off.

 

Source: Flickr / Rob

LUGANO AIRPORT - SWITZERLAND

Last year has been lengthened to 1,420 meters long (before was 1,350) but that of Lugano remains one of the most incredible runaway in the world. For instrument flight, in particular, landing procedures are permitted only to crews owning a particular qualification.

 

CHITRAL AIRPORT - PAKISTAN

Who landed here tell that it was a thrill. The track of Chitral, bordering Afghanistan, as well as short is also surrounded by very high mountains.

 

Source: Facebook / Northern Areas of Pakistan

 Are you scarried about flying? Have you ever experienced a difficult landing or even an emergency landig? Comment bellow!

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