The Five Most Treacherous Airports to Land a Plane

by Jared Wade on October 24, 2012 · 0 comments

Flight, a movie starring Denzel Washington as a pilot who makes a harrowing landing to save a planeload of a passengers, will open nationwide on November 2. While the inspiration for the Robert Zemeckis-directed film was certainly Sully Sullenberger’s famous landing in the Hudson, the movie is fiction and fortunately threatened the lives of no fliers.

But even though the miracle of flight happens thousands of times everyday across the globe, it remains dangerous. Just check out what pilots had to confront one day in Spain.

To former pilot Guy Hirst, who spent 34 years with British Airways, the five scariest airports to land a plane at are Mexico City, Hong Kong, Salzburg, Gibralter and New York’s JFK. Each poses its own challenges — from visibility and wind conditions to air-space restrictions and nearby mountains — but when he thinks about each of these locations, he just seems happy to be retired.

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Jared Wade is a freelance writer and former editor of the Risk Management Monitor and senior editor of Risk Management magazine. You can find more of his writing at JaredWade.com.

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