Most Extreme Airports on the History Channel

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by mikea, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Messages:
    16,889
    Location:
    Lake County, IL

    Display name:
    iWin
    Most Extreme Airports just premiered on the History Channel and History HD.

    It will be repeated throughout July:
    http://www.history.com/schedule?search-term=airports

    It had me on the edge of the TV chair, even though it starts off with Lindbergh in San Diego and the PSA crash where "the Cessna cut right across the path of the jet..." *sigh* We kinna win.

    "Now there's a TCA so it can't happen again." Uh, huh.
     
  2. Snaggletooth

    Snaggletooth Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Messages:
    665
    Location:
    Texas

    Display name:
    Dustin
    I watched it. Pretty good show, and just as you said, it had me on the edge of my seat.
     
  3. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    31,266
    A TCA (the old name for Class B airspace, all you young whippersnappers) can't save a crew from hitting the traffic they've called "in sight" after they lose sight of it, tell the controller they still have it, and then laugh about what they said. I switched over to Warehouse 13.
     
  4. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Green Lane, PA

    Display name:
    CLR2TKF
    I am glad I DVR'd it, so I could fast forward not only through the commercials, but each time the repeated the countdown list after each commercial. :rolleyes2:

    Pretty neat though. Would be cool to get some of those back-country GA airports in there though too.
     
  5. t0r0nad0

    t0r0nad0 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    Messages:
    2,079
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Display name:
    PJ Gustafson
    I enjoyed it. I made the list so that I can fly to all those airports in flight sim. Here's the list of airports and why they were on the list:

    10. KSAN - San Diego, CA - Congested airspace, busy single-runway airport - however, no mention of the 3 busy GA airports or 2 Naval Air Stations nearby - just talked about airline traffic to/from KSAN
    9. LPMA - Madeira, Portugal - Location on island, wind conditions, runway built out into ocean on stilts.
    8. KEGE - Vail, CO - Altitude and approach/departure through terrain
    7. LFLJ - Courchevel, France - Altitude, approach through valleys, short runway with an 18.5% grade
    6. VHHH - Hong Kong Kai Tak - Approach between tall buildings, make sharp turn to final at 300ft AGL
    5. LXGB - Gibraltar - Spain won't allow departures/arrivals through their airspace, so makes the approach/departure pretty interesting, highway goes across runway
    4. TNCM - St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles - Short-ish runway, high terrain on departure end, proximity to beach on approach end, crazy people "riding the fence" when heavies power up to take off (I want to try that!)
    3. TFFJ - St. Barth's - Short, downhill runway, slam-dunk approach over a hill with automotive traffic at the top
    2. MHTG - Tegucigalpa, Honduras - High altitude, short runway, approach through surrounding terrain
    1. VNLK - Lukla, Nepal - High Altitude, 1700ft. runway with 12% grade

    Just for the sake of conversation - what's the most extreme airport you've flown into and what made it extreme, in your opinion?
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  6. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Green Lane, PA

    Display name:
    CLR2TKF
    Butter Valley, PA -- Small paved area inset (24x1535) into a grass runway, on a golf course. Has a unique slope to it, golf cart crossing, and small hills surrounding on Base leg at the one end. Fun place though. Good for Short Field landings and take offs, and since I had a CFI on board, the required Engine Out. Most challenging that I have been into in the past 3 years of flying. I managed to only use the pavement too,.. no rolloff into the grass.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  7. Snaggletooth

    Snaggletooth Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Messages:
    665
    Location:
    Texas

    Display name:
    Dustin
    I was thinking the same thing!! I want to fly in to some of them airports in FSX, too!

    Do you fly on VATSIM, by chance?
     
  8. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,004
    Location:
    Annapolis MD

    Display name:
    PittsDriver
    Mathis near Atlanta Georgia. It's a private runway 1500x30 with hangar buildings built up close to the runway on both sides. It's on a small plateau with drop offs at both ends and the locals call it "Carrier Mathis". I learned to fly at W00 (2400x30) so it normally wouldn't be that extreme to use Mathis but I landed there in my Pitts S2C that comes over the numbers at 95 mph. A friend of mine had invited me to stay overnight with him there at Mathis but neglected to tell me that it was short. I usually made the mid-field turn off at FME which is 1500' so I figured it was worth an attempt. The great thing about a Pitts is that the throttle will get you up and out of any kind of landing spot.

    The first attempt didn't get it down until I'd used a few hundred feet of it so I went around. The second attempt I flew a steep final at 90 and rolled it on the numbers with no float and stopped with about 200' left. That's when I noticed the crowd of spectators with video cameras who later told me that no one had ever landed anything like a Pitts there before. I looked around and it was mostly RANS and ultralights sitting around.
     
  9. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    31,266
    USS Lexington (CVT-16). :D Short, narrow, and moving.

    Seriously...

    One would be the old (now-closed) Hazard KY airport. Short, narrow, and one-way due to terrain, and also due to terrain, invisible to aircraft on base (and conversely, with base traffic invisible to aircraft departing the other way). The old (now-closed) Pikeville KY airport was a close second -- down in a twisting river valley, and also short and narrow.

    Another would be the old (now-closed) McEnnan Airport in Ypsilanti MI. The long runway was 2300 feet of turf (measured from the base of the telephone poles at one end to the base of the 50-75 foot trees at the other). The short one was 1700 feet of turf (measured from the base of the big transmission line towers at one end to the base of the 50-75 foot trees at the other).
     
  10. t0r0nad0

    t0r0nad0 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    Messages:
    2,079
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Display name:
    PJ Gustafson
    I do, on occasion. Perhaps we'll have to set up some multiplayer sessions to hit some of these airports (with or without VATSIM). Nick, are you in for this too?

    You served on the Lex? You'll have to let me know if you're ever in the SE Texas area - I'd love to go to Corpus Christi and walk around that ship with you. I love visiting the vessels that are now floating museums, but every time I'm aboard one, I just keep thinking about how cool it would be to walk around it with someone who actually served on that ship.
     
  11. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    31,266
    Only for a few days. Our squadron went down to P-cola for carquals while our carrier (Kitty Hawk) was in an extended yard period.

    I'd probably get lost immediately. I know I did a couple of times while aboard those few days in 1976.
     
  12. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Messages:
    29,117

    Display name:
    Everskyward
    Interesting that they include KEGE since I've been there a lot we're going there tomorrow. It doesn't even come to mind when I think of "extreme".

    The thing that is eye-opening about KSAN is the parking garage on the LOC 27, that and the fact that it's a localizer with step-downs and not a ILS. I don't think that's too common for airports which have a lot of airline traffic. There is an ILS coming in from the west but I don't think they use that runway unless they really need to use it because of noise and climb gradient reasons.

    It would have to be that airport I went with Bob B. near Gastons. Good thing I wasn't the one that was flying! :rofl:

    Other than that I'm thinking this place...

    [​IMG]


    WY11 near Encampment, WY. The interesting things are the slope which makes it obviously one way and the road which crosses it. I would try not to be going too fast until I got to this point of the runway where I could see the road. No I didn't land here in the Twin Cessna but I did in the Twin Beech...

    [​IMG]

    Here I am waiting for passengers, just me and the airplane, alone in the early morning...
     
  13. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    14,250

    Display name:
    Freiburgfan31
    Telluride in a driving snow squall. Talk about corkscrewing down final!
     
  14. t0r0nad0

    t0r0nad0 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    Messages:
    2,079
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Display name:
    PJ Gustafson
    They did devote a fair amount of air time talking about that parking garage and mentioned the step-down LOC approach. I would think that the bigger problem with using runway 9 would be the prevailing winds coming in from the ocean, more than climb gradient/noise abatement issues...
     
  15. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Messages:
    29,117

    Display name:
    Everskyward
    I'm sure the wind is also part of it. I was there once when half the airplanes were missing the LOC 27 so they turned it around to use the ILS 9. I don't remember what the winds were that day.
     
  16. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,062
    Location:
    DC Suburbs

    Display name:
    Bill S.
    I saw part of the show - it started dragging. It was probably twice as long as it needed to be.

    I've been into EGE a couple of times, I wouldn't consider that extreme ('course once was in a JetRanger). The old Vail airport, on the other hand....
     
  17. stagecoachco

    stagecoachco Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    516
    Location:
    Steamboat Springs, CO

    Display name:
    Tony B
  18. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Messages:
    29,117

    Display name:
    Everskyward
    My memory of Avon Airport is being up on the slopes of what was to become the Beaver Creek ski area with some surveyors in ATVs and seeing an airplane make its approach below us. I guess I am dating myself... :redface:
     
  19. Snaggletooth

    Snaggletooth Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Messages:
    665
    Location:
    Texas

    Display name:
    Dustin
    Count me in. Shoot me a PM and we'll go up sometime and do some multiplayer flights!
     
  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    19,266
    Location:
    Paola, KS

    Display name:
    iFlyTwins
    Never landed at any of them, but sounds interesting.

    Can't say I've landed at anyplace I considered to be extreme. If I really thought it was extreme, chances are I chose to land somewhere else. WV62's runway is pretty cool, being about the same width as my Aztec's wingspan with obstacles and a road crossing the middle.

    I like Mari's submission, that one looks neat!
     
  21. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Messages:
    29,117

    Display name:
    Everskyward
    Telluride is interesting too...
     
  22. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    19,266
    Location:
    Paola, KS

    Display name:
    iFlyTwins
    Just looked it up. Now that looks cool!
     
  23. TknoFlyer

    TknoFlyer Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA - KJYO

    Display name:
    John T
    This is probably my most extreme landing:
    http://tinyurl.com/26vh4y

    Be sure to download the video. :)
     
  24. colomtnflyer

    colomtnflyer Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,008
    Location:
    Guess it depends on what week it is!

    Display name:
    iAM in AK!

    If you have ever looked down on an aircraft... WHILE IT WAS FLYING... you might be from Colorado! :crazy:
     
  25. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Green Lane, PA

    Display name:
    CLR2TKF
    Wow,.. that's wild. Good audio on the video, can you PM me with details of your setup?
     
  26. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    31,266
    Or Scotland. We used to run down Loch Ness below the road level. Folks were always watching and waving. Lotta fun. And thanks, taxpayers, for funding us.:wink2:
     
  27. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,239
    Location:
    Alpine, TX

    Display name:
    Jeanie
    I read the write up but not sure about the video... was it the long link at the bottom of the page? For some reason it wouldn't download...
     
  28. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,239
    Location:
    Alpine, TX

    Display name:
    Jeanie
    Nevermind, I got it to download now... Jeepers, talk about black as pitch...
     
  29. TknoFlyer

    TknoFlyer Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA - KJYO

    Display name:
    John T
    "Can you land in the dark?" :thumbsup:
     
  30. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Messages:
    16,889
    Location:
    Lake County, IL

    Display name:
    iWin
    Why not? Ed Fred did it at Gastons, only without anybody lighting the runway.
     
  31. TknoFlyer

    TknoFlyer Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA - KJYO

    Display name:
    John T
    And I'm sure his reaction was similar to mine: "Yes."

    This isn't a comparison of skill. It's simply my most challenging landing. :rolleyes2:
     
  32. Sojourner

    Sojourner Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    by KPAE

    Display name:
    Sojo
    Greetings, n00b here and armchair pilot, been a very long time since I was airborne in anything other than a long aluminum tube at 500 knots...read PJ Gustafson's post and wanted to comment...

    The most extreme airport in my experience? Well, I got 2...

    (1) KPHX. Every time I fly in, we end up way right of center and stabbing the rudder hard on touchdown. It's scary looking down and seeing terrain other than runway!

    (2) WA25. It's presently a 1,470-foot grass strip (new owner is realigning and lengthening it), Runway 12/30. Trees on the west, hangars on the east, barbed wire fences on both ends. What made it relatively extreme were (a) the occasional downdraft which dropped us 25 feet onto Runway 30 and (b) the perpetually psychiatric farmer who'd park farm equipment smack in front of the runway on the access roads. We complained to the FAA and they threatened him enough to the point where he stopped the activity. He died shortly thereafter...dang, that must've been all he had to live for!

    Pretty vanilla all in all. I did land on a sand bar outside of Anchorage once!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  33. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    12,868
    Location:
    Romeoville, IL

    Display name:
    Grant Prellwitz
    Welcome, Sojourner!

    Haven't done a sand bar, but landing on Big Beach in New Zealand was fun! :)
     
  34. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    32,487
    Location:
    Denver, CO

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    KGWS. The base leg around a mountain to a short runway at high altitude is a challenge.
     
  35. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,541
    Location:
    Massachusetts

    Display name:
    ~John
    History today (2PM). Great show.
     
  36. 982500h

    982500h Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1

    Display name:
    Bill
    In no particular order:
    1. Toncontin/Tegucigalpa: Flew in there to pick-up the investigators of the Air Force crash mentioned in the show.
    2. Guantanamo, Cuba: Before Cuba let us overfly their airspace, it required a tight base turn resulting in about a quarter mile final--tight for a heavy jet.
    3. Patuca, Equador (Equador-Peru DMZ): Before it was improved for Brazilian C-130s, it was a 2000' dirt strip in a narrow valley with trees at one end.
    4. La Paz/JFK, Bolivia: Long runway, but at 13,000' MSL the TAS is high and excess thrust is minimal.
    5. Midway Island: Dodging all the birds!
    6. Mogadishu/Balad/Bagram: Unregulated fireworks....:thumbsup:
     
  37. COFlyBoy

    COFlyBoy Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Messages:
    905
    Location:
    Aurora, CO

    Display name:
    COFlyBoy
    KTHP Thermopolis, WY. Pattern is outside a mountain and the rwy has almost a 2 degree slope.
     
  38. airbornejohnny

    airbornejohnny Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    846
    Location:
    New Jersey

    Display name:
    Lawn Dart
    LOL yeah its lots of fun squeezed in a 130 and ya cant see whats goin on that made the pilot jink:hairraise:
     
  39. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Messages:
    29,117

    Display name:
    Everskyward
    Hmm, I remember Glenwood being more challenging than Thermopolis. The only thing I remember about Thermopolis is that I called on the phone in advance to make sure the runway was plowed. I think their idea of plowed is different than mine.
     
  40. COFlyBoy

    COFlyBoy Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Messages:
    905
    Location:
    Aurora, CO

    Display name:
    COFlyBoy
    Haven't done Glennwood myself yet. I've been in there when I was a kid, but I was sitting in the back.
    THP has cliffs at both ends, so there's nothing to clear when you're departing and there's a big wide valley to climb out in. However, the runway slope makes for a wierd sight picture on final, and the mountain makes it hard to find the runway the first time you go.