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Coolest place anyone has flown into?

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I was curious to hear some of the cool places you've flown into.

I worked at Eagle before being furloughed and was based out of San Juan. I saw some pretty cool places. The funnest airport I flew into was on the Island of Dominica. The airport sits in the bottom of a canyon right on the ocean. The runway runs parralell with the canyon and ends right on the beach. Because of the terrain, you can only land heading out towards sea. A go around would be almost impossible if you tried to approach it going inland.

You don't actually see the airport until you turn onto final. So to get to final you use landmarks to set the approach up. I only flew in there twice and both times we set up on an extended base. The captain did the landings. He aimed for a shack up on top of a ridgeline and started to turn onto final about the time we crossed over it. I don't know how high AGL we were above it but your close, and descending. About that time the runway starts to come into view down at the bottom of the canyon. He pulled the power levers back to flight idle and we settled down into the canyon and followed it down to the runway.

The thing that impressed me the most was how beautiful the approach was. On both sides of you are lush, green canyon walls. You are literally right down in the canyon. The view in front of you is the runway with the tropical ocean right behind it.

If I remember right all new captains have to fly in there with a check airman during their IOE. I also heard that a cargo company use to take a 727 in there. The runway isn't that long either. I think it's just over 5,000 feet.

Anyways, anyone else got anything to share?
 

boscenter

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Not as exotic, but I'm sure many would agree that rwy 19 visual into DCA is a blast... :)
 

chperplt

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ILS 15R with a visual transition to 4L in BOS is pretty fun!
 
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Fr8DoggyStyle

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Roatan, Honduras

Flew in there in a Metro to drop off replacement rotor blades for Paul Allen's MD900 that was on the back of his yacht anchored there. We navigated across the gulf of mexico using a handheld GPS- it was a little spooky but it worked. Got to stay in huts ON the beach for only 1 night. My only regret is not breaking the airplane so we could stay longer. ;)
 

Airline Pilot27

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Your right about the 727 in Dominica. I saw a 727 there once but unfortunately it had 2 blown tires. They also used to fly them into St. Vincent....pretty scary if you ask me. If I had to choose a favorite airport/place I've been to, it would be Exuma, Bahamas or my base at the end of a trip:)
 

alimaui

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Has anyone present actually flown into that infamous airport in St Maarten (sp?)? Has anyone flown in a similar sitch?

Ali
 

AWACoff

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I just got back from Oahu where I rented a C172 out of HNL. I flew up the coastline past Diamond Head and over the Marine base. From there we proceeded to fly up and down some of the moutain valleys at about 500AGL. There were the typical cumulus clouds obscuring the tops of the mountains and we passed through some saddles at "500 ft below" the bottoms of the clouds. Some of the footage for Jurrasic Park was filmed in these valleys (some on Maui as well). The craggy peaks/thick luscious jungle combo has to be seen to be believed. That was the best $140 I have spent. Seeing some humpback whales surfacing by Twin Peaks just made it that much better.
 
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St. Maarten

Eagle also flies into St. Maarten. I flew in there quite a few times but never actually saw the Air France 747 land. It was there on the ramp once while I was there but that was it. The beach is right off the approach end of the runway.
 

Sppedmode

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Spectacular Approaches!!!

I think these are the pics you are talking about. I heard that this airport is shutdown now...anyone know?

Also...click on the stories about these approaches...pretty funny!
 
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WIDGETBOY

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My vote is for Dominica. The only bad thing is that I only got to do it once. And as far as a tight visual approach I think the bridge visual into San Jaun was a little tighter but the 15r circle to 4L was a little more interesting due to the fact that you were looking into the office buildings in downtown Boston.
 

frenchy

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You should try to land a DC3 in St Barthelemy.
you have to approach from the ocean making a steep turn and land facing the mountains with no other option but land on a 1700 ft runway.
 

bigsky

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I will admit it has been a few years, and I dont have an approach plate in front of me- but if I remember correctly Boston 15r< circling is prohibited to South--at least I seem to remember that on the Jepps. Anyways it is questionable whether that is a stabaized approach-at least the ways Ive often seen it performed!

I am unfamiliar with much of the carribean but have found many of the airports in S. America to be quite challenging. Places like Guatemala, Bogota,Lima, and QUITO which all have HIGH terrain coupled with some of the controllers who have been known- well put it this way we are pretty spoiled flying around the US with radar everywhere!
 

AK737FO

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Two good ones:

LDA into Valdez. Always sporting.

Special VOR Kodiak, circle rwy 36, at night with wind and snow for added fun.
 

capnflyright

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By far, the Idaho backcountry strips have the most radical approaches even though they are VFR. Here are a few sporty ones:

Shepp Ranch
Soldier Bar
Lower Loon
Pistol Creek
Wilson Bar
Thomas Creek
and the infamous

Mile High- 560 feet of usable runway, 20 upslope, no go around.
 

pilot141

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Two (OK, actually three) submissions here - the first is Swan Island, owned by Honduras. Anyone who has flown into Roatan or flown into Honduras, El Salvador or Nicaragua has probably flown over it - it is "Cisne", as in "Isla de Cisne" on the charts. Nothing but a short (1,500 ft) coral strip and at one time a radar site for tracking the druggie traffic. The island has the highest population of iguanas per square mile than anywhere else on earth. On landing you'd squash at least 3 or 4 of 'em. While we were on the ground we'd go snorkeling - talk about an "undiscovered" coral reef! After seeing our fill of tropical fish we'd load up and head out. It was like flying onto Gilligan's Island.
For actual instrument approach fun, I say the now defunct Hong Kong curve. Nothing like flying an ILS to the top of a building and then turning at the checkerboard to line up on the always-with-a-strong-crosswind runway.
Finally, for absolute "What the f***?", it has to be Grand Cayman, and in about two weeks or so. Sometime in the late spring it becomes crab mating/migration/block party season, and the runway and taxiways are covered in crabs. Literally. On taxi out you can hear and feel them getting crushed under the nosewheel. There are thousands of them on the runway, so there is no way to avoid them. As we barrelled down the fairly short runway in our trusty 727 and approached V1 I wondered if anyone had figured out what the RCR of crab guts on the runway is. From my experience the inside of a crab is pretty slimy, and slimy means an RCR of about 1. I pictured us losing an engine and skidding into the water at the end of the runway, only to be asked later if we had taken the crab guts into account in our takeoff planning.
 

trainerjet

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The NDB/DME to Dutch Harbor, AK was always fun. Most of the airports in Southeast--Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka...spectacular when the wx is nice.
 

DC4boy

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Loaded landings at Grangeville, Chester Ca, the dirt runway, Rhonerville Ca.
 

Bad-Andy

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FGBT -- Bata, Equatorial Guinea... No lights, no markings, no approaches, no radar, and one blind controller that speaks broken English. Just a chunk of asphault surrounded by jungle on 3 sides and ocean on the other. Pretty cool, especially during rainy season.....
 
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