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Worst Airport in the World?

World's worst airport


  • Total voters
    27
Not on my recommendation (I wouldn't know whether a tractor or dinky toy tyre was suitable for a Citation or not) but on the incumbent Captain's, who when I innocently asked during a Quarterly Business Report meeting whether it would be capable of taking our VP out of the mine site to any nearby airstrip for safety in the event of unhappiness at the Mauritania mine, responded that it would probably not be. Thoughtful expression on the VP's mug. A few days later, it was flown back to Shitkickersville in Canada for a major upgrade of the landing gear, to include big rubber, bouncy springs and fück-off shocks. It reappeared a couple of weeks later, looking a bit wobbly, but good to get me direct to Kumasi from Las Palmas, instead of a round-trip through Europe to Ghana on commercial airlines. So dreary, dear.

Might still end up trying to dig it out under fire if it's not a Twotter. Doesn't have massive range but will get you out of the shit when needed.
 
Was the place the upgrade was done in British Columbia? Viking Air bought all the de Havilland Canada assets from Bombardier and manufacture the Twin Otter plus service all the other DHC products. The cockpit of the current model Twin Otter would probably make Lardbeast weep, with the modern screens and electronics.

Older Otters can be upgraded to a turboprop, replacing the big radial. They have also talked about putting an upgraded version of the Buffalo back into production. They also took over the Canadair water bombers, and make those as well.

The big tires are commonly called "tundra tires", although there's a more formal name for them that I can't recall. I've flown in Otters, Twin Otters, and Beavers, mainly float plane versions, being taken to and from mining exploration jobs. We would get dropped off at a lake in the morning with our gear and picked up at the end of the day.

The pilots are amazing in how they can position the planes at the shore of a lake so you can jump off the floats onto shore without getting your feet wet. They can judge it finely enough to drift into shore, turn the plane, and come to a stop before they could hit the rocks. They had paddles to manoeuvre close to shore, but I don't recall ever seeing them need them unless it was windy. If it was me driving I'm pretty sure I would have crashed into the rocks and sunk the plane.

I don't have any tales of bad airports I'm afraid, but then my expectations tend to revolve around how quickly I can pass through them.

Not sure WB is talking of a Twotter if it can get from there to Las Palmas.

I did the differences rating in Calgary for the upgraded -400. Not overly impressed by the gimcrackery and I think they've sacrificed some redundancy for shiny screens and flashing lights. It's also been dumbed down somewhat with lots of little warnings that are superfluous in many cases and an irritation in others for those who know the type. It comes across as a bit of an arse covering exercise to keep stupid people off Darwin's list while sacrificing capability to bells and whistles.

They're building them in Calgary and completing in BC AFAIK, or is that the other way round? You see airframes moving on the line in Calgary and out the back from the walkway at the sim faciity at Pacific Sky. Strict no photography policy due to some keeni-meeni US mil stuff going in.

Under the skin it's still a Twotter and if you ignore the electronic tantrums it'll still do what you want safely and efficiently. All the flashing red lights will scare the shit out of your pax though, so expect a barrage of whining from the uneducated on landing. It's OTT for what it is, in my opinion. Also, the fittings seem to be a bit cheap and nasty. If it's an attempt to save weight, they did a shit job as they're actually heavier than the old ones and the non folding seats are a fucking pain to remove and replace for medevacs.

The tyres are normal gear, medium flotation gear or high flotation gear. Medium flotation is what you see in the muddy shot. It's even more efficient slightly deflated. High flotation gear is basically medium flotation nose gear in an enlarged fork, and the main gear is a pair of shaved, under inflated DC3 tyres standing slightly higher than waist high on the ground. Soft sand, swamps, tundra, you name it, the beastie eats it up.

I know Viking have the licences for all the great old types, but not sure they're going to build them all again. Hope they do though, especially the Buffalo. Upgrade the flight deck to be a bit more comfortable, but keep the steam instruments and chuck out those dodgy GE engines. PW120s or 123s will make it an absolute dream. I'm sure there's a market there for coastal surveillance and SAR. The ramp makes it versatile as hell, it can land on a beach and the upgraded engines will give it much better endurance. If Oz is serious about their coastal resources and tracking illegal immigrants, they'll be all over this.

SP (122).JPG
 
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I'm voting for this to be moved to Best of thread.
If I knew how to vote etc
Yup, hats of to @Oyibo for this & hotel thread. Top quality dit’s from some serious mentalists who plainly have little concern for their personal well being.

ive made it a personal ambition never to set foot in Africa & these two threads have only confirmed I was right to do so:p
 

Sgt_Steiner

War Hero
It's not by any means a contender for worst airport in the world but I was shocked in February this year when I drove up to Belfast Intl from Dublin to get a cheap flight to Manchester. It looked exactly the same (even the flaking blue paint on the doors) as the first time I flew in there on posting to HQNI & 15th Signal Regiment in August 1998. I had a real sense of Deja-Vu. I also managed to pick up 3 (NI) penalty points & a GBP 60.00 fine for speeding on the A1 near Banbridge.
 
Hurgada around the year 2000... you would think a civil war was under way. Trashed migs/Hips off the runways and an arrival Lounge out of wild geese. To be honest, It wasn’t just the airport. Once away from the harbor/town center there seemed to be a good chance of being chopped up and left in the desert.

Hasn't changed much
 
There was some kind of diamond strike in Western Zaire last I was there ( some time back) but the stones were being shipped/smuggled across the Rwanda border and Zaire wasn’t getting its cut.

There was a big fuss in the west when it came out and such stones were dramatically called “blood diamonds” for a while as though this was a new and shocking thing. Quite a lot of white middle class people got on the outrage bus as you may remember.

World champion kleptocrat and all round uttershit Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire and it’s main reason for the total destitution of its population, decided to send in the Zairois army, a more useless gang of rag tag military clowns you have yet to see, to ensure he got his just dues.

The cunning plan didn’t work of course. The army deserted en masse instantly, sold its rifles, bought shovels and started digging.

“T.I.A.” As we used to say: This Is Africa.
Edited after rereading: Eastern Zaire! Not Western. What’s going on with my brain these days ?
 
Anywhere RLC movers get involved makes life painful.

Coming back for some R&R on Telic 12 and some young lance jack mover did the old "scuse rank gents"

"Storrie.....Storrie....where is Storrie?Come on guys, nobody is getting on the flight till I have all the names"

Brigadier Storrie had a sense of humour failure.
 
Edited after rereading: Eastern Zaire! Not Western. What’s going on with my brain these days ?

Yup. Wondered about that, but there are some good diamond strikes in western DRC and Angola. The east is mainly known for rare earth minerals but I believe Mugabe was involved in a couple of diamond mines there too.
 
As a slight airport addendum to my coffee induced suicide attempt at Caracas airport, I changed flights to Bogota on Avianca, was met and introduced to the kind people who would put me up for a few days. As is the way of South America, food and much drink was taken. However, the local news came on the bar tv and the boisterous nature of the group ended suddenly.

A Colombian judge whose views on drug trafficking did not necessarily coincide with those of the Cali cartel had boarded the aircraft that I had recently vacated.

The cartel had arranged for someone to fire a missile into one of its engines on take off, killing not just the uncooperative judge but 95 other passengers.

Took the shine off the party to be honest even though it was fairly routine for Colombia in those days.
 

Oyibo

LE
As a slight airport addendum to my coffee induced suicide attempt at Caracas airport, I changed flights to Bogota on Avianca, was met and introduced to the kind people who would put me up for a few days. As is the way of South America, food and much drink was taken. However, the local news came on the bar tv and the boisterous nature of the group ended suddenly.

A Colombian judge whose views on drug trafficking did not necessarily coincide with those of the Cali cartel had boarded the aircraft that I had recently vacated.

The cartel had arranged for someone to fire a missile into one of its engines on take off, killing not just the uncooperative judge but 95 other passengers.

Took the shine off the party to be honest even though it was fairly routine for Colombia in those days.

I've never been in the situation of 'I could have been on that plane', but a friend has. He was due to fly out from a diamond mine in Northern Angola.

He said that he approached the rear of the the aircraft and that all he could see was black faces pressed against the perspex of the rear-gunners position, and a queue to get up the steps near the front of the plane. Taking his place in the queue he eventually got to the front.

Only to be literally kicked down to the bottom of the steps while the staff shouted words to the effect of "F*ck off honky, we're full" in Portuguese or Ovimbundu or somesuch.

Needless to say, the plane crashed.
 
I've never been in the situation of 'I could have been on that plane', but a friend has. He was due to fly out from a diamond mine in Northern Angola.

He said that he approached the rear of the the aircraft and that all he could see was black faces pressed against the perspex of the rear-gunners position, and a queue to get up the steps near the front of the plane. Taking his place in the queue he eventually got to the front.

Only to be literally kicked down to the bottom of the steps while the staff shouted words to the effect of "F*ck off honky, we're full" in Portuguese or Ovimbundu or somesuch.

Needless to say, the plane crashed.

Was his luggage Ok?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Oyibo

LE
Was his luggage Ok?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Probably full of blood diamonds, so a bit of a dilemma whether it was better if it was lost or not
 
I thought that some of my African trips were pants, till I read about some of the exploits on here. Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi was interesting, and they were very keen on the Yellow Fever scam. Addis Ababa was ok ish inside, but having been on a Kenyan Airways 737 that had a baggage handler conveyer drive into the blades of the port engine, I ended up stranded for three days in the Imperial Hotel in downtown Addis. Basically a matress, stained with f**k knows what, on four wooden boxes. The place was alive with cockroaches and the kitchens full of feral cats looking for a free hand out. So bad, that the place closed down shortly after....

Anyway, Ambouli Airport in Djibouti was my worst, or so I thought. The terminal was only half finished. Not that it was ever actually going to be finished. They just, sort of, stopped! All the locals wanted back handers to get through, corruption doesn't even come close!

Passengers were just an afterthought. The only thing that really got through was the purple aeroplane that landed late every morning with the days supply of Khat. That was dealt with, mega pronto. All the Khat stalls were full in a few hours, and empty an hour after and all the locals stones, sleeping in the streets.

Some daft twat at PJHQ sent me out some holograpic tie wraps for some of the bags I was carrying. Sent them out fedex, and when I went to get them, there was an almighty kerfuffle as they were opened by "customs" and they decided that they were plasticuffs for smuggling people out in my white bags! Not that they really cared, as long as I was prepared to pay the "special tax" on them. I told them to f**k off and I didn't want them anyway. Came pretty close to getting locked up though.

Funny place, US mil on one side, French Mil on the other with the civvies over the French side.

Lots of games played by the French. Every Sunday morning the US would raise their flags (alongside that of Djibouti) to the Star Spangled Banner over the loudspeakers. The French knew this and would kindly park two Mirages at the end of the runway., Bang on time the anthem would start and, to the second, the first Mirage would wind up and sit at the end of the runway, engine blasting away, sat on the brakes, then into reheat and scream off down the runway, making as much noise as possible, staying in reheat as long as possible. As the noise from the first Mirage would start to die down, the second one would wind up. The French always, but always managed to cover the entire anthem with engine noise.

I used to sit there, in the tent, giggling whilst all the Americans would be stood facing the flags, saluting whilst they couldn't hear a thing, and all quietly swearing at the pesky Frogs!

Flying out, PJHQ decided that they would take the cheap option and I flew Dallo Airlines to CDG. Feck me, what a dump that is! Dallo was interesting, operating Russian aircraft. The thing had been sitting in the sun all day with no power at all on it. They only started to put power on once we were on board. it was like a bloody oven. They did have some Coke to drink, but that had been sat on board too, and it was hot! Hot coke? bloody hell, that was rough. Food? The only thing they had was something called fruit compote. Bloody jars of baby food, in essence.

I see someone mentioned Aden earlier. Aden and Sana'a are the only places I actually thought I would end up dead! The flight from Aden to Sana'a was literally full of smelly people with the odd chicken and goat, but the best part was when the screen on the bulkhead came on whilst taxiing out and they all started praying to Allah for the flight.

Customs at Sana'a was an adventure with them trying to distract me whilst other guys were sneaking up behind me taking photo's of my white bags and then trying to have a sneaky feel. I spent hours trying to the the bags out of the airport unscreened. It was only when I started to ask for the British Ambassador to be called that they relented.

Aden was a horrible place, and going into Crater was a real eye opener. Every 13/14 year old boy seemed to be carrying an AK. No wonder the place went down the toilet soon after.

Whilst I don't look forward to LHR/LGW or any of the regional Airports, at least I don't (or at least I don't think I do) risk death at every corner.
 
Not sure WB is talking of a Twotter if it can get from there to Las Palmas.

I did the differences rating in Calgary for the upgraded -400. Not overly impressed by the gimcrackery and I think they've sacrificed some redundancy for shiny screens and flashing lights. It's also been dumbed down somewhat with lots of little warnings that are superfluous in many cases and an irritation in others for those who know the type. It comes across as a bit of an arse covering exercise to keep stupid people off Darwin's list while sacrificing capability to bells and whistles.

They're building them in Calgary and completing in BC AFAIK, or is that the other way round? You see airframes moving on the line in Calgary and out the back from the walkway at the sim faciity at Pacific Sky. Strict no photography policy due to some keeni-meeni US mil stuff going in.

Under the skin it's still a Twotter and if you ignore the electronic tantrums it'll still do what you want safely and efficiently. All the flashing red lights will scare the shit out of your pax though, so expect a barrage of whining from the uneducated on landing. It's OTT for what it is, in my opinion. Also, the fittings seem to be a bit cheap and nasty. If it's an attempt to save weight, they did a shit job as they're actually heavier than the old ones and the non folding seats are a fucking pain to remove and replace for medevacs.

The tyres are normal gear, medium flotation gear or high flotation gear. Medium flotation is what you see in the muddy shot. It's even more efficient slightly deflated. High flotation gear is basically medium flotation nose gear in an enlarged fork, and the main gear is a pair of shaved, under inflated DC3 tyres standing slightly higher than waist high on the ground. Soft sand, swamps, tundra, you name it, the beastie eats it up.

I know Viking have the licences for all the great old types, but not sure they're going to build them all again. Hope they do though, especially the Buffalo. Upgrade the flight deck to be a bit more comfortable, but keep the steam instruments and chuck out those dodgy GE engines. PW120s or 123s will make it an absolute dream. I'm sure there's a market there for coastal surveillance and SAR. The ramp makes it versatile as hell, it can land on a beach and the upgraded engines will give it much better endurance. If Oz is serious about their coastal resources and tracking illegal immigrants, they'll be all over this.

View attachment 495891
Apologies to those looking for dodgy airport dits, the following is pure STOL porn.

The Buffalo was used for SAR in Canada until very recently. It is in the middle of being phased out at the moment, if that process hasn't completed already. It and the Hercules are being replaced by the Airbus CC-295. The CC-295 is a compromise aircraft to try to do the jobs of both with a single type to try to save money. The best thing that can be said about it is that it's a compromise.

The Buffalo SAR was/is used in mountainous terrain where its low stall speed, ability to hug the terrain, and ability land nearly anywhere are important. The Hercules isn't very good in the mountains, but its higher speed is good at getting to remote Arctic search areas faster.

There was talk about Viking putting the Buffalo back into production for the Canadian SAR contract, but since the plan required one type and the Buffalo wasn't suited to very long range (not fast enough at cruise speed) it didn't really get a look in. The "new" Buffalo was supposed to have P&W engines. Viking are still talking about putting it back into production, but are waiting for the right market opportunity.

Viking also now own the much larger DASH-7 and DASH-8. The latter is used as the basis of an MPA and ISR platform. Field Aviation in Toronto does the conversion, and they've sold them al over the world (Japan, Iceland, Sweden, the US). And Australia have bought some as well, and use them for exactly what you said. There's no rear ramp though, just a side door, which cuts down on some of the SAR flexibility (e.g. when chucking stuff out in mid air). A ramp was a requirement for the Canadian SAR contract, so they didn't get considered for that.

So, the Buffalo may come back, including with new P&W engines, but it will depend on finding the right market for it at the right time.
 
Hurgada around the year 2000... you would think a civil war was under way. Trashed migs/Hips off the runways and an arrival Lounge out of wild geese. To be honest, It wasn’t just the airport. Once away from the harbor/town center there seemed to be a good chance of being chopped up and left in the desert.
Luxor was about the same in 2000/2001 ( dis-remember which), lots of scrapped Mig 21s off to the side of the runway, HAS's with the doors completely covered in sand, and all the FOD in the world on the aprons and taxiways. We pulled into our parking position, and were greeted by a bunch of wannabe Rambos, all competing for the prize of having the most magazines taped together for their rusted AK47s. The arrival area was furnished in early Salvation Army Thriftshop rejects. Not a great first impression.
 
Not sure WB is talking of a Twotter if it can get from there to Las Palmas.

I did the differences rating in Calgary for the upgraded -400. Not overly impressed by the gimcrackery and I think they've sacrificed some redundancy for shiny screens and flashing lights. It's also been dumbed down somewhat with lots of little warnings that are superfluous in many cases and an irritation in others for those who know the type. It comes across as a bit of an arse covering exercise to keep stupid people off Darwin's list while sacrificing capability to bells and whistles.

They're building them in Calgary and completing in BC AFAIK, or is that the other way round? You see airframes moving on the line in Calgary and out the back from the walkway at the sim faciity at Pacific Sky. Strict no photography policy due to some keeni-meeni US mil stuff going in.

Under the skin it's still a Twotter and if you ignore the electronic tantrums it'll still do what you want safely and efficiently. All the flashing red lights will scare the shit out of your pax though, so expect a barrage of whining from the uneducated on landing. It's OTT for what it is, in my opinion. Also, the fittings seem to be a bit cheap and nasty. If it's an attempt to save weight, they did a shit job as they're actually heavier than the old ones and the non folding seats are a fucking pain to remove and replace for medevacs.

The tyres are normal gear, medium flotation gear or high flotation gear. Medium flotation is what you see in the muddy shot. It's even more efficient slightly deflated. High flotation gear is basically medium flotation nose gear in an enlarged fork, and the main gear is a pair of shaved, under inflated DC3 tyres standing slightly higher than waist high on the ground. Soft sand, swamps, tundra, you name it, the beastie eats it up.

I know Viking have the licences for all the great old types, but not sure they're going to build them all again. Hope they do though, especially the Buffalo. Upgrade the flight deck to be a bit more comfortable, but keep the steam instruments and chuck out those dodgy GE engines. PW120s or 123s will make it an absolute dream. I'm sure there's a market there for coastal surveillance and SAR. The ramp makes it versatile as hell, it can land on a beach and the upgraded engines will give it much better endurance. If Oz is serious about their coastal resources and tracking illegal immigrants, they'll be all over this.

View attachment 495891
Errrrrm . . . is there a bit missing there, or was it part of the weight-saving regime?
 
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