The Nepal STOL mission 1

As I have written about the What, Why, How and When´s and my views on Airmanship, I will now turn over to the practical and maybe ultimate sample of what this is all about. I will write about our STOL mission in Nepal in the mid-eighties where we flew on some of the most critical airports in the World. I use the word critical instead of dangerous as I truly believe that all these airports can be operated on within acceptable safety criteria. I do not subscribe to such terms as «The Most Dangerous Airport» in the World, etc. this is often credited Lukla, also known as Tenzing Hillary Airport. There is no doubt that Lukla and other airports in Nepal are some of the most critical airports in the World. After all it is unusual that most of the flying is done with the terrain above you instead of below you. In such a critical environment we rated the airports in 3 categories: A – B- C. A was the “easiest” ones, while C the most critical. Note that all the mountain airports where STOL ports, i.e. Short Take Off and Landing fields, which demanded precision flying. The proverb: “Any runway gets to short if you land in the wrong end!” has a special and significant meaning there.

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