Landing at Wellington International Airport, in NZ, can be *interesting* at times.
The airport is on a narrow isthmus between the *mainland* and what was once an island, before a major earthquake, in the 1800's, joined them together. In the 50's a rather insane decision, was made by the city fathers, to place Wellington's airport on the isthmus. It was finally opened in 1959 after a major engineering and reclamation effort.
Wellington is not known as 'The Windy City' for nothing. At the airport you can get some strong wind gusts, especially side gusts. This makes for some spectacular take offs and landings. The wind problems are further compounded by the fact that the run ways are short. There is really no safety margin for mistakes at either end of the airport, just the sea. A pilot once told me that is you can land and take off from WIA, than you can land and takeoff anywhere.
I've been a passenger on flights, coming into Wellington, where the whole cabin has given the pilots a standing ovation,once we've landed ... it can be that hairy!! I also lived right next to he airport, so I had a ringside seat to some of the shenanigans. Despite all this, the airport has an extremely good safety record, which is a tribute to the flying skills of the pilots landing there..
This video was made by the airport's fire service. Shows their machines and some of their training. The last part of the video, from 2:26 onwards, shows some of the take offs and landings, that I'm talking about !!!
A near miss at WIA. Look how close to the ground the plane is, before the pilot aborts the landing . Been on one of those types of flights, as well !!
1 hour ago