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  • this video was made possible by curiosity Stream.

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  • At curiosity stream dot com slash real life floor under normal non pandemic circumstances, traveling by airplane is, for most people, the quickest way to travel from one point of the world to another, especially when you consider the over 17,000 airports located at various points across the planet.

  • But out of these thousands of airports, there is one in particular that is considered by many to be more dangerous than all the others.

  • There's many different factors that can cause an airport to be considered, especially dangerousness like inclement weather, poor visibility and high altitudes, which can cause the planes to fly differently than under normal circumstances.

  • Most airports that are considered dangerous have one of these factors present at its location that could make landing and taking off quite difficult.

  • But one airport in the world has not one or two of these factors, but all of them and even Mawr.

  • This airport is the Tenzing Hillary Airport or Lukla airport in Lukla, Nepal.

  • The airport is located 2845 m and altitude and is the primary destination airport from mountaineers to fly into who want to reach the base camp from Mount Everest.

  • Climbing Mount Everest is one of the most dangerous goals a human could dio, but just getting there and leaving is itself of substantial risk.

  • The airport was created back in 1964 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who are the first people confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.

  • Hillary's intention was to have the airport built on the flat farmlands beneath Everest.

  • But after talking with the farmers, they weren't willing to sell in their land.

  • Hillary, determined to build an airport at the base of Everest, then talked with the local Sherpas to see if there was any land that they were willing to sell to him.

  • Fortunately for him, there was some and they sold him a piece of land that was on a plateau in the mountains for $2650.

  • About $26,000 in today's money but lacking any kind of decent construction equipment.

  • High up in the remote mountains of Nepal, Hillary had to come up with another strategy to build the runway.

  • After purchasing the land, he followed it up by buying a bunch of local liquor and gave it to the local Sherpas in exchange that they all perform a foot stomping dance to flatten out the land for a runway, sort of like a big drunken haka dance to make the land as flat as possible.

  • In the end, the runway came out to be 527 m long and 30 m wide, which might sound quite large.

  • But it's really not.

  • An average commercial runway at a regular airport is 1800 m in length, meaning that Tenzing Hillary's runway is less than one third of the average length.

  • The runway also has a Grady int of 11.7% which is actually used to help slow planes down as they're landing on the short runway by making them travel gradually uphill, this unusually short runway Onley allows small fixed wing short take off and landing aircraft and helicopters to land at the airport like the DHC six Twin Otter and Tornado 2 to 8, and it wasn't even paved with asphalt until 2001.

  • But the short runway distance is just one of the many dangerous challenges that pilots face while landing at Lukla airport.

  • Since the airport was built on a plateau in the mountains, it means that the north end of the runway faces directly into the face of a mountain, and the southern end dramatically plunges off a cliff 600 m down into the valley below.

  • A steeper drop off than the one World Trade Center in New York City is tall.

  • Basically, the airport pretty much looks like the entrance to the layer of a mad supervillain with a dangerous mountainous terrain on either side of the runway.

  • It also means that there are no go around procedures for the airport, which are normally used when an airplane needs to aboard a landing attempt after making its final approach to the runway.

  • So once a plane begins its descent into Lukla airport, it has no other choice than tow land the plane, regardless of anything else that might happen and another major problem that pilots face when flying into Lukla airport is the rapidly changing weather patterns that afflict the area.

  • All of the flights to Lukla airport come from Kathmandu airport, which is only 140 kilometers away.

  • The flight time between the airport is only 40 minutes, but in that short time the weather it Lukla airport can rapidly change from clear skies, too dense fog.

  • In 2011, dozens of mountaineers became stranded in Lukla due to a dense fog that covered the entire area for a whole week.

  • Flights between the airports are available year round but are canceled about 50% of the time due to inclement weather, so it could be quite difficult to actually manage getting a flight in in the first place.

  • One of the more recent crashes that took place at the airport was in 2019 when a L 4 10 turbo let aircraft with only the crew onboard veered off the runway during takeoff and crashed into a helicopter 50 m off from the runway.

  • Three people were tragically killed and another five were severely injured.

  • Another accident took place in 2017, where another L 4 10 ter bullet was performing a freight flight and try to make a landing during poor visibility, lost altitude from coming into slow and clipped a tree with its landing year just short of the runway.

  • It then hit the ground 3 m beneath the runway and slid down the slope 200 m before finally coming to arrest.

  • Two out of the three crew members died from this incident, but the worst crash that happened at the airport took place back in 2000 and eight, when a DHC six twin honor had a similar incident as the previous crash, where the plane came into low and struck the ground before the runway and also slid down the mountain side 200 m.

  • 19 people were on board that flight, including the crew, and 18 of them lost their lives.

  • The only survivor was miraculously the planes captain and after this particular tragic incident, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal set much higher standards for pilots who were landing at Lukla airport in order to now be authorized to land at the airport.

  • Today, a pilot must have at least 100 short take off and landing missions, with over a year of them taking place in Nepal and they must have completed at least 10 separate, successful landings at Lukla Airport itself with a certified instructor.

  • But even with all of these dangers that the world's most dangerous airport over 100,000 people still make the trip every year, and only about a dozen major incidents have occurred at the airport since it was built.

  • It may be dangerous, but the men and women who land and take off here are damn good at what they dio.

  • But no matter how great a pilot ISS, nobody is capable of landing something bigger.

  • Like an Airbus A 3 80 at Lukla Airport.

  • The wing of the A 3 80 is the largest ever produced for a civil airliner, and the total length of it from end to end is nearly triple the width of the runway at Lukla, which is kind of absurd.

  • The process of constructing the absurd, A 3 80 is one of the greatest engineering marvels of the 21st century, and you can learn all about the process next by heading over to curiosity stream and watching the incredibly in depth documentary How to Build a Super Jumbo Wing, which discusses the process in the A 3 80.

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What Landing at the World's Most Dangerous Airport is Like

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/30
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