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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Most Terrifying Plane Landings

HOLD on to your seats and be thankful you weren't onboard these terrifying flights as we take a look at some of the scariest plane landings ever.

From nearly hitting the heads of beachgoers to swinging violently from side to side, these videos show some extreme and amazing landings. 

Princess Juliana airport, St Maarten, Caribbean:
Beachgoers at St Maarten have a near miss as a plane comes in for landing perilously low over their heads at Princess Juliana International airport.

The Caribbean island airport is famous for its very short runway, which is just over 2,000 metres long. This forces planes to fly very low over the heads of tourists on Maho beach while approaching the runway.

Princess Juliana was rated the second most terrifying runway in Travel + Leisure website’s pick of the world’s scariest runways.

Lisbon airport, Portugal:
A pilot strikes fear into the heart of his passengers while attempting to land at Portugal’s Lisbon airport. The plane is tossed side to side as it bears down on the runway in poor weather, with the pilot eventually aborting the landing. The bad weather and thus poor visibility is no doubt a factor in the failed landing.

Lisbon airport is situated seven kilometres from the Portuguese capital and is one of the largest airports in Southern Europe. It has been expanded since its opening in 1942, and now has six jetways.

Several videos of extreme plane landings at the airport have been posted online, so this was not an isolated incident.

Toncontin airport, Honduras:
A plane just misses the heads of a group of onlookers as it comes in for a smoky landing at Toncontin airport in Honduras.

Pilots must execute a dramatic 45 degree turn to the left just minutes prior to touching down in a bowl-shaped valley - after negotiating the mountainous terrain.

The airport cannot accommodate aircraft larger than Boeing 757's and the Honduran government has announced plans to relocate commercial airline traffic to Soto Cano Air Base.

Toncontin airport came in at number seven in the world’s scariest runways list.

Zurich airport, Switzerland:
It was another scary sideways landing, this time at Zurich airport in Switzerland. The plane drifts closer and closer to the runway while on an extreme angle, landing with a thud.

Skiathos airport, Greece:
A jet flies very low as it approaches Skiathos airport’s runway in Greece.
The airport was built in the 1970s and receives regular charter flights from around the world.

Kai Tak airport, Hong Kong:
Have pity for pilots who had to land at Kai Tak airport, Hong Kong. Closed in 1998, the airport was the main international airport of Hong Kong for 70 years. Its single runway was located near the harbour, amid a number of tall buildings and mountains. There was also a problematic crosswind, making it very difficult for pilots to land.

These videos show just how close the planes were forced to fly to the top of the buildings. 


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