Monday, December 6, 2010

Carving Away the Dangerous Mountain

I have a few "go to" search phrases when I'm looking to get a good fix. While my favorite is probably "TV Bloopers", another that gets a frequent search from me is "Crazy Airport Landing". It's a good way to familiarize oneself with some famous, or rather infamous international airports.

This past weekend the History Channel replayed a show they produced called Most Extreme Airports which ranked the top 10 "MOST EXTREME" airports.

It was a fascinating show and I recognized several of the airports from youtube, most notably St. Maarten and Toncontin in Tegucigalpa.

I've included my favorite video from St. Maarten and Toncontin below.

St. Maarten


For reference, here is the list of the ten most extreme airports as ranked by the History Channel.

10. KSAN - San Diego, CA
9. LPMA - Madeira, Portugal
8. KEGE - Vail, CO
7. LFLJ - Courchevel, France
6. VHHH - Hong Kong Kai Tak
5. LXGB - Gibraltar
4. TNCM - St. Maarten
3. TFFJ - St. Barth's
2. MHTG - Tegucigalpa, Honduras
1. VNLK - Lukla, Nepal

I had read that improvements had been made at Toncontin which extended the runway and carved out a piece of the mountain for approaches from the south. I took to Google Earth to look at the change over time. It's pretty cool to see the south west portion of the landing stip before and after the safety improvements.

Toncontin before

Toncontin after

Time to add Tegucigalpa to the ever growing vacation list!

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