Have I got a treat for all my aviation enthusiast friends! I hope you enjoyed Awesome Aircraft, part 1 of this 2 part series on The Journey Itself. Let’s kick it up a notch today and watch specially-selected videos of airplanes behaving badly.
Perhaps it’s a nasty crosswind, perhaps it’s a too short-of-an-approach runway… but what goes up must come down, and in these cases, it’s pretty spectacular!
None of the embedded videos feature any actual airplane crashes, although there are some in the final “Ten Most Extreme Airports” video. Accordingly, anyone with a fear of flying may want to seek entertainment elsewhere.
The Last Hurrah for Plane Spotters at Kai Tak Hong Kong Airport
July, 1998 saw the end of an era in Hong Kong. Its airport, Kai Tak, was a real doozy. Only pilots with years of experience were allowed to land there due to the tricky navigation required through the throngs of Hong Kong Skyscrapers blocking final approach. Watch the video and it will be no surprise that the airport suffered over a dozen major accidents in its day.
Crosswind Landings during a Storm, Aborted Landings and Extreme Low Pass
Crosswind landings must be so challenging. Pilots have to “crab” the aircraft – think of how a crab moves laterally, not just straight ahead – to mitigate the effects of wind blowing perpendicular to the runway. Watch this video and marvel at some successful, and not so successful, crosswind landings.
St. Maarten Airport – Landings and Takeoffs
Is there any greater paradise for your average plane spotter than sipping a cool drink on a sandy Caribbean beach near a busy airport? Such an idyllic locale, known as Maho Beach, does exist! Located directly adjacent to the final approach of Sint Maarten’s (SXM) runway, the beach teems with daredevils standing mere feet underneath approaching aircraft coming in for a landing. Many daredevils love dangling precariously onto the airport perimeter fence, anticipating the sensation of soon-to-be-taking-off aircraft spewing massive amounts of jet exhaust at them.
KLM 747 Extreme Jet Blast blowing People away at Maho Beach, St. Maarten
Sadly for death-defying plane spotters everywhere, KLM discontinued 747 service into SXM as of October, 2016. Luckily for us, some brave soul shot this cool HD video of the massive bird pleasing brave vacationers on one of its final take offs from the island.
Ten Most Extreme Airports
Unfortunately I cannot embed this awesome History Channel program which counts down the craziest airports in the world. Watch airplanes narrowly escape falling off a cliff edge, stopping for busy vehicular traffic crossing the runway, and more! Please click on the link and enjoy!
If you’ve enjoyed these videos, why not check out Maho Beach’s live webcam?
Per the website, “Don’t miss the four-engined Airbus A340 from Air France when they roar over Maho Beach, gear down and tourists watching in awe. Also smaller jets from Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue and more. Hear those engines scream as full thrust takeoffs accelerate past our camera!”