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Next time you feel like complaining about the lack of in-flight entertainment on your flight to London, just remember things could be worse… much, much worse.
A truly frightening aircraft experience worthy of some proper expletives would be if your plane were to lose both engines and the pilot, who just happened to have one eye, was forced to land a plummeting Boeing 747 on an icy crevasse. Now that would be something worth complaining about. The following are some of the craziest airplane landings from around the world caught on camera.
(And just as a side note: judging by the sheer volume of Youtube videos of this ilk it would seem there’s a shitload of people who don’t have day jobs). Luckily we’ve condensed it all to the best and craziest.
A Normal Day in Bhutan
Only eight pilots in the entire world are qualified to land in Bhutan, and between the towering mountains of the Himalayas, steep turns and rapid descents, you can see why. According to Colin Cren, avid plane-landing videographer and general aviation guy, the best part about landing in Bhutan is when the captain comes on the radio and says “We are going to come very close to the monastery out the right side windows, but do not worry, this is normal.” Ah, oook.
Avro 146 At London City Airport
And this is what industry peeps call a “hard landing” folks. If you ever feel like your pilot’s having a field day with the throttle when coming in to land, just remember that you’ve seen this video and you know the landing gear can take it!
Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington has exceptionally difficult conditions for approach most of the year. Blame it on the frightening cocktail of tiny runway, tricky approach through hilly landscapes and death-defying crosswinds. The landings are 120 seconds of sheer turbulent terror the passengers on these flights will never get back.
Toncontin International Airport, Honduras
Hondoras is still the “holy fuck” of airplane landings due to the excruciatingly short runway. In 2007, work commenced to remove part of the hillside at the end of the runway, but that still didn’t stop the blanket ban for large aircraft to land here after an Airbus A320 over-shot the runway and ploughed into a nearby street.
Lufthansa Airlines, Miami Airport
When you think of an Airbus A380 you don’t really imagine the beast of an airplane being thrust horizontally and from side-to-side like a ragdoll because of freak crosswinds. But yeah, as you can see at Miami airport, it happens.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, takeoffs from Matekane’s bumpy airstrip is “relatively bracing” at best. At the end of the super-short runway is a 2000ft drop, and many-a-plane have been known not to make it into ascent before reaching the end.