Flight Plan

My flight plan....to encourage, mentor, guide those pining for the sky. I'm also here to virtually open the flight deck door for those who want to take a peek at the many aspects of aviation.....enjoy!

...and welcome aboard!...


The latest "Readbacks"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stranger in a Strange Airport

Kansai (Osaka) Airport

Strange Airports

There are the busiest airports rated either by passengers carried or number of movements (take off and landings). Then there's the largest airports according to acreage, smallest and the most challenging. Here's a great site sent in by Jack M, the "Strangest Airports."


I've been to a few of them and I was surprised to KIX (Kansai, Osaka, Japan) turned up first. I flew there at least 20 times. It's an engineering marvel. The terminal, propped up on hydraulic jacks, is adjusted now and again due to subsidence.

One other unique airport I've flown to as a passenger was Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" it is home to numerous shipwrecks, aircraft and an oil rig. The island, about 22 miles long with it's widest point 3/4 mile, is a shifting sand bar. A Twin Islander lands on one of it's beaches. Home to wild horses from past shipwrecks it comes with many unique stories. I worked on the island for a month one university summer. It observes weather and is a launch site for upper air balloons under the identifier WSA and the airport (the island) is YSA.

Again Jack, thanks for sending along the site.

Captain Doug in Whistler, B.C.


Anonymous said...

Captain Doug,

Which airports on that unique list have you flown into?

BTW, finally managed to find your book at the local Chapters...great read so far!

Enjoy the rest of your well deserved break!

YYC Dispatcher

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC dispatcher. I flew into KIX (Kansai), HKG (Hong Kong), DEN (Denver) and we used Macau as an alternate when we flew to HKG.

Thanks for buying my book. Chapters usually carries one or two copies. It's frustrating trying to sell a book.

One would think the airport bookstores would want an aviation book geared for the flying public. But like my publisher said, "they are there to make money, not sell books." Yes, there is a difference.


Ian said...

Another checker board hill veteran eh Doug?

Kai Tak still tops my list - running round the IGS in a typical low cloud day. Can't believe it closed 12 years ago!

Also love the turn into SFO over the Bay...

Hope Whistler is/has been tons of fun.

Cheers: Ian

From the Flight Deck said...

Ian. I've been to the "old" Hong Kong (Kai Tok) only in the simulator. There we did the checker board approach. The check pilot was a little bored at the end
of the session so he wanted us to perform 50 foot low and overs in the A340. I believe the list mentions the new HKG (Chek Lap Kok) made the cut in unique airports.

SFO is always a bit of a gong show. You don't know what type of approach to expect and when. No wonder it's an airport where there is a higher occurrence of flap overspeeds.

I'm back home from Whistler. Usually our trips end with us struggling to get back on passes. Today it went without a hitch. We even managed to get on an earlier flight out of YVR. I'm home typing this still a little bewildered.

The trip went well. No one got hurt.


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