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Scary Moment Plane Lands At ‘Most Dangerous Airport on Earth’

Trial User-twelve

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Scary Moment Plane Lands At ‘Most Dangerous Airport on Earth’

Featured Image Credit: Alberto-g-rovi (Creative Commons)

Had enough for your daily fix of nervy moments? No? Well, here you go - watch this nail-biting footage of a plane landing at the 'most dangerous airport on Earth'.


The airport is the Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport on the island of Madeira, Portugal, and the clip shows the airport's extreme cliff location.

As the video makes clear, this location makes it subject to 'heavy turbulence, wind changes and sheers close to the ground, due to surrounding hills'.

The video shows the view from the plane's cockpit as the plane approaches the airport. A voiceover explains: "You have to fly very close to the terrain during the approach.

"Below 500 feet, the wind starts becoming turbulent and so only trained captains are allowed to land at the airport."

Unsurprisingly, the now-viral clip has prompted quite the reaction over on TikTok, with one user praising the pilot. They wrote: "Smooth landing Capt."

The runway at Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport. Credit: Richard Bartz (Creative Commons)
The runway at Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport. Credit: Richard Bartz (Creative Commons)

Meanwhile, others agreed with how dangerous it looked, with another user saying: "This just gave me insane anxiety."

An eagle-eyed user queried the use of the phrase 'only trained captains', asking: "Aren't all captains trained?"

A Roots Travler article cites two main reasons why the airport is so dangerous; namely short runways and wind.

The length of the runway caused an accident in 1977, as a Boeing 727-282 overran the runway and crashed onto the beach. The plane then exploded, killing 131 of the 164 people on board.

While the runway has been extended since, the ability to do so was limited due to the airport's cliff-side location.

Strong and harsh weather conditions have also resulted in the airport's dangerous reputation, with poor wind conditions and the reported crash of a Sud-Aviation SE-210 Caravelle 10R - also in 1977 - resulting in only experienced pilots being allowed to fly into Madeira.

'Most dangerous airport in world'
'Most dangerous airport in world'

Despite the video's claim that the Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport is the 'most dangerous airport on Earth', the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Nepal has been frequently referred to as taking the title.

In an Economic Times article on the subject, Tenzing-Hillary came out on top, with the Cristiano Ronaldo coming out in third.

Also known as Lukla Airport, Tenzing-Hillary was considered most dangerous due to its altitude of nearly 9,500 feet, combined with Himalayan weather and a sheer drop.

It's also worth noting Rootstravler's report from 2020 that there has been no accident in Madeira caused by the airport since 1977.

It adds: "Statistically, your chances of being in a fatal plane crash are extremely low, better than one in 12 million, according to some estimates."

Copy: Poppy Bilderbeck

Topics: Viral, Airport, Portugal, Aeroplane, TikTok

Trial User-twelve
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