Worst Airport in the World?

World's worst airport


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600 mile long squall lines in the DRC. No way to go round them so have to look for a thin spot and push on through. Ends up with more rain inside than outside, coming in the split windscreen and the overhead escape hatch so you don a raincoat and lay a tarpaulin or another raincoat over your knees.

It didn't help that I'm 6'4" and had to just about fly the thing sidesaddle to get my feet on the rudder pedals. The only one I ever flew in a normal position had the bulkhead behind the left seat removed and the seat rails extended.

Flew rich foreign tourists up to Vic Falls a few times in a very well fitted one. I could never understand why they wanted to lurk down in the weeds for five hours at just above walking pace getting thrown about and honking up their caviare and champagne, instead of air conditioned business class seats for just over an hour, a nice lunch and a gentle stroll through the terminal feeling fresh and happy.

Someone once told me it was because it was romantic.
Can we have some "from the cockpit" photos of your experiences please?
 
Have a good German mate, Ex German Signals. Met him in 1999. Got talking about this and that over the years. He has some tales like a James Bond movie. He is a bit adventurous so in 1995 decide with his wife and two young kids to volunteer for an “overseas” posting. Never knew but the Germans have some amazing postings. He went to the DRC after a six month French course. Based near Lubumbashi.

Had to build the radio station , HF , and when I say build as in make the bricks to build the thing on the DRC Army base. Had a nice old Belgian style house, he and his wife had horses and went riding every morning, think of the film “Out of Africa”.

Politics took over and he was robbed and nearly killed as he got hit with a tyre Iron during a robbery. There was also a Belgian force on the base. Belgian Col , hearing about what happened asked him into his office , then down to a store room. Opens a safe and says , “Take what you want for your home defense” Juergan picks an Uzi , mags and a couple of hand grenades.

Going out with the DRC Army he lived of , as he said, “My best mates, Johnny, Jack and Jim. Basically mixing whisky with water .

Him being blond and going to some very remote places , the locals were shite scared of him, used to offer him young girls as a thank you for not killing them.

All went pear shaped in about 97 , Got his family out to SA but he waited too long. In the end he , through a friends friend , paid $3000 for a SA Greek chap to fly to the local golf course and then on to SA.

Had to leave his Land Rover on the golf course as that was the landing lights for the plane.

Still had the keys and the German military paid for the $3000 flight.
Greek bloke sounds like Costa. He'd do stupid shit like that all the time. Killed himself and a new copilot in Moz showing off in a King Air.
 
Not the worst airport but landing at Manila in 86 and having to go around twice because of shelling was interesting. Kaitak was also a bit nervy due to side winds.
 

JJWRacing

Clanker
Douala, Cameroon, was flying internal up north to Garoua, not enough seats, no worries open cockpit door and make the two extra passengers sit behind the pilots WTF

Tohoua, Niger, nothing just tarmac and empty buildings and these people, however wherever you are a C-130 will always get you out of Dodge.

Guard Force.jpg
 
600 mile long squall lines in the DRC. No way to go round them so have to look for a thin spot and push on through. Ends up with more rain inside than outside, coming in the split windscreen and the overhead escape hatch so you don a raincoat and lay a tarpaulin or another raincoat over your knees.
In the rainy season one of our routes was Nairobi Kisumu. It took us over the Mau range going up to 13,000’ in places and always had a line of rainstorms over it.

On my first route training flight by a senior fleet Route Training Captain we were in the season. As we boarded the aircraft the Captain went straight to the hostie who was preparing her galley. He requested her equipment bag.

This was a very large heavy gauge clear plastic bag with the company’s Flying Lion logo on the side which she had been issued in Ops. In it she had her on board miniatures of alcohol, magazines, newspapers, plastic cups, sweets, toys for kids and various other small flight consumables outside the catering and ship’s cutlery crockery which was loaded by catering.

She had managed to clear and stow most of the contents so in a minute or two the Captain had the bag and headed up to the cockpit. I was left seat and set about my cockpit prep. He finished his side duties then turned his attention to the bag. I was fascinated and curious. He fished a Swiss army knife out of his flight bag and began cutting the bag invarious places. When he was done it was folded and placed in the side map pocket beside him the other pieces and knife back into the flight bag whi was then stowed behind the hydraulic bay.

Off we set. As we approached the Mau range sure enough there was the expected rain storms ahead. He unbuckled then stood up, I saw he had the bag. He unfolded it then to my surprise pulled it over his head. I then saw what he had been cutting. There was a hole for his head and two on the sides for his arms. He had created a form of plastic mac/poncho which now covered the upper part of his body and came down past and below his waist.

This was definitely no catwalk show stopper, but it was certainly rather a good protective garment. A slit in the hole around the neck has allowed the head to pass though then came back together to give a reasonably tight fit around his neck. He was rather a comic sight but I didn’t laugh.

As we fought our way through the rain water poured in everywhere, and as @Lardbeast has said it was certainly not waterproof. As we emerged on the other side he stood up and took off the bag. I sat there like a drowned rat and watched...and learned another of the little quirks of that particular run.
 
All these horror stories, it's worth noting that Africa also has some real jewels - notably Sir Seretse Khama International in Gaborone.

Airside, waiting for the flight to Joburg, asked the guy in the departure lounge if there was a smoking room. "No," he said and unlocked a service door and he and I went to stand next to the aviation fuel store to enjoy a bracing Embassy Number One.
All these horror stories, it's worth noting that Africa also has some real jewels - notably Sir Seretse Khama International in Gaborone.

Airside, waiting for the flight to Joburg, asked the guy in the departure lounge if there was a smoking room. "No," he said and unlocked a service door and he and I went to stand next to the aviation fuel store to enjoy a bracing Embassy Number One.
Slight thread drift but on a similar theme - flying out to GW2 on an AN-124 that was chartered out of Brize. Myself, an RN officer, and 4 Civil Servants.

We stopped off at Hanover to take on fuel and one of the CS went to the open side door on the top deck (accessed by a ladder bought from B&Q) to ask if he could have a smoke. Informed by a Ukrainian crewman very seriously that smoking whilst refuelling was incredibly dangerous and would result in a $10,000 fine.

Then flicked his zippo to light a ciggie. CS came back into the cabin after his fag looking slightly perturbed.


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Rather ties in with the photo I posted - The Pilatus was part of a fleet in CPT run by a rather foxy gilf who was pitching for a contract to run medevac aircraft in Nigeria for a company I worked with.

She told us that "... the great thing about the Pilatus is it is very robust and could land on Nigerian roads." Hoots of laughter.
Addendum to this - A lot of the runways in the Sudan were just a section of straightish track, part of a road. Main problem was clearing it to get out of there, what with all the rubberneckers and their goats who'd turned up. (If you want to save Africa, eat more goat curry. They're killing the vegetation and this buy a village a goat charity are a massive fucking con IMO.)

The other thing was, we kept a pair of work gloves in the side pocket and would don them after shutting down and before opening the door. New blokes would learn very quickly as the local men would all want to shake hands to show the rest of the village how important they were, the grande fromage being first to do so.

Problem is, the digit always left the nostril and was extended straight out for a handshake, no matter what was still adhering to it.
 
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Are you talking about the present state of the art example or the previous pre 1980 tip?
The Haj terminal.

And Jeddah more generally. Someone mentioned the Chinese being a bit ambivalent about maintenance? The Saudis, at least in Jeddah, seem to be the same? They (slave labour supervised by White Eyes) throw up these massive, bling buildings, roads etc. then just leave it to rot. All the pavements are falling apart, piles of rubbish along what could be one of the most spectacular corniche, roads to nowhere and everywhere you look, the most bizarre sculptures like a 50’ high yellow concrete teapot in the middle of a roundabout, all of it faded and with chunks missing.

We went though once a week over the 3 months of Haj, taking pilgrims from and to Indonesia. Each week you could guarantee that the one piece of paper that you didn’t have last week but was critical to the future of mankind / getting out of the terminal is the one piece of paper you’ve made sure you’ve got this week but is now useless. After a 13 hour flight, being messed about by a weedy little Arab in trousers 2” to short and a beret 2’ too big for several hours can be “trying”. You can’t argue as the standard answer is jail.

Then the killer; a few cold ones after such a day usually alter your outlook for the better. But you’re in Jeddah. A pot of tea just doesn’t cut it somehow.
 
Bet the SAS training team would love to have a sickener like that to throw at potential them.

Good intro to the grimmer and more insane TOO as well.
 
Each week you could guarantee that the one piece of paper that you didn’t have last week but was critical to the future of mankind / getting out of the terminal is the one piece of paper you’ve made sure you’ve got this week but is now useless.
Hugely infuriating aspect of living in the ME - they know they are ******* you about and it seems to be their only reason for existing.

My Grandfather was the least judgemental man I've ever known - he served and worked all over the place. In his own turn of phrase, he said he enjoyed the many other peoples and cultures he came across, 'not so much' the Arabs - which if I were to translate that to normal speak, he thought them to be a massive bunch of cnuts.

Irony is I then worked out there for nigh on 15 years - within the first few I came to the same conclusion and decided to rinse them for as much as I could.
 

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Santorini airport used to be special.

Departure lounge was an area of wired off concrete decorated with fuel spills
 
Santorini airport used to be special.

Departure lounge was an area of wired off concrete decorated with fuel spills
As it happens, I went through there last year as pax. The airport is being rebuilt and arrivals was sweet.

Departures was like the retreat from Moscow but with a very different temperature profile...

We were herded up the road to a Taverna flight by flight after check in which was a novel way of reducing overcrowding. The taverna owner sent me a postcard from the Seychelles where he now lives.

I‘m assuming it’s all finished now which would be good because it’s a beautiful place.
 
Brize Norton is crap and South Cerney must be the crapest ‘terminal’ in the civilised world. Its a pity they’re not corrupt because I’d happily pay for better service.
...not corrupt? Where do you think all those confiscated aerosols went?
 

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