The world’s most dangerous airports

(CNN) — When an airport was built on the mid-Atlantic island of St. Helena (above), has previously been called the “world’s cheapest” airport. That’s because wind shear on the side of the cliff makes landing dangerous.

Today the plane is flying, but it is a category C, which means that the pilots have to have special training to land there. That’s not all – here are some of the coolest (but also scary) airports around the world.

Madeira, Portugal

Madeira is famous for its bumpy landings -- avgeeks love to check it out.

Madeira is famous for its bumpy landings — avgeeks love to check it out.

Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Those who go on holiday to Madeira know that the island is famous for its difficult landings – sometimes there are no landings at all. The airport’s connection to the highlands means chaos and wind shear – sometimes difficult – on the final approach. The runway ends on a steep slope on either side — but thankfully it’s a low-level path, with a path below. Avgeeks love Madeira so much that the airport built a runway-side stand to watch the pilots give it their best shot.

Leh, India

Trips to Leh are only planned for the morning.

Trips to Leh are only planned for the morning.

Alamy

The 23rd highest airport in the world doesn’t sound too high… until you realize that Leh airport is at 10,682 feet above sea level. Surrounded by mountains, with a short runway, it is affected by strong winds in the afternoon, which means that trips are limited to mornings only. Large and heavy aircraft are not allowed, and all pilots who land here receive special training.

Sint Maarten

Beachgoers can see planes landing in Sint Maarten.

Beachgoers can see planes landing in Sint Maarten.

Philipp Laage/photo group/Getty Images

You don’t have to be an avgeek to watch videos of planes landing in Sint Maarten — the media is full of pictures of planes landing in the Caribbean. That’s because the runway goes straight back to the beach, which means planes can land right on it. While it’s fun, it’s tragic – in 2017, a woman was killed when a jet exploded while she was hanging out on the plane’s deck with a group of swimming tourists. For those on board, the takeoff is more terrifying than the landing — especially when you’re heading straight for the mountain that rises behind the airport.

Paro, Bhutan

Airplanes can land only during the day at Paro.

Airplanes can land only during the day at Paro.

Andrew Bain/Alamy

At 7,364 feet above sea level, Paro is Bhutan’s only international airport – but few pilots are flown there, so the approach is difficult. Landing is allowed in good visibility conditions (for starters, the sun) because there is no radar, so the planes have to do a manual approach. They had to weave between hills and over buildings before moving onto the road.

London, UK

Planes fly around Canary Wharf before landing in the City of London.

Planes fly around Canary Wharf before landing in the City of London.

David Goddard/Getty Images

Flying over a big city and landing in the country is a strange idea these days, but when you land in the city of London you will fly around the skyscrapers of the city of London, the bank and around Canary Wharf, and land at a high angle where the feeling of being in place. helicopter. Delivery is equally effective.

Reagan National Airport, USA

Airplanes fly over the DC sky as they land at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Airplanes fly over the DC sky as they land at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

In June 2021, when a Frontier Airlines flight skidded off the runway at DC’s Ronald Reagan International Airport, a passenger described it as “a little scary.” But you don’t have to participate in an event to get the reptiles here – the best search planes that fly close to the Potomac River line up with the runway, avoiding the no-fly zones. in the middle of the city, spend this. difficult for pilots.

Innsbruck, Austria

Landing in Innsbruck is more difficult than most passengers realize.

Landing in Innsbruck is more difficult than most passengers realize.

Robert Buchel/Alamy

Surrounded by mountains, the capital of Tyrol is a top ski destination – and a beautiful flight into it. Or rather, thoughts. The challenge for pilots is beautiful in a different way. Airplanes must dive above an altitude of nearly 8,000 feet, subject to wind shear coming off the mountains, and, depending on the direction of the wind, may need to hold tight to steer. where it lands in the valley.

Congonhas, Brazil

Congonhas lives in the center of São Paulo.

Congonhas lives in the center of São Paulo.

Pulsar Images/Alamy

The São Paulo airport had a problem with flooding – the most serious of which was the death in 2007. After that, the road was reopened to solve the problem, but Landing here can be very hairy. Just a few miles from downtown — even in São Paulo it’s right in the middle of the city — the single track, which started in the 1930s, is surrounded by urban sprawl, which is , you will be jumping over building blocks and buildings. right up until the last moment.

Lukla, Nepal

With its short runway and a tragic fall at the end, Lukla is popular.

With its short runway and a tragic fall at the end, Lukla is popular.

Markus Thomenius/Alamy

Mountains, winds and short trails — Lukla has it all. Often called the most dangerous airport in the world, the gateway to Everest, in the mountains of Nepal, its runway is placed on the steep side between the mountains – only 1,729 feet – to fall right into the deep end. To help the planes slow down, they are tilted upwards. There’s no room for cars, either — if the plane goes down late, it has to land. Of course, the mountain views on the way down are amazing.

St. Helen

St.  Helena airport made headlines when it was discovered that wind shear on its steep slopes made it difficult for planes to land.

St. Helena airport made headlines when it was discovered that wind shear on its steep slopes made it difficult for planes to land.

Simon Benjamin/Alamy

Maybe you’re going on a cruise that lands in St. Helen. The wind shear combined with an airfield on a cliff side meant that planes were given a good deal of time to land. Feast your eyes on the view of Longwood Plain, where Napoleon was taken prisoner, and the small capital Jamestown, built in a rift canyon with a single harbor. Originally designed for small planes, the runway was expanded to accommodate a 757.

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