Friday, November 10, 2006

Runway

LiveLeak has posted this passenger video from a TACA flight in 1993 that overshot the end of the runway at Aurora International, Guatemala City in 1993.

In the early 90s this was quite a regular occurence. I remember the case of a Cuban cargo jet that disappeared over the end into the barranco and flattened some hardly-legal shacks below, killing several of their occupants.

Most of the incoming flights I have been on over the past few years have swung round the city and approached from the south: the north end of the runway doesn't feature the same sort of sheer drop.

I used to prefer KLM, a 747 service which flew from Amsterdam with a short stop in Mexico City. The runway at Aurora is technically too short for jumbos and the story goes that one Dutch pilot, new to the route, refused to land there when he spotted it on his final approach. He took his plane off to El Salvador and KLM never flew to Guatemala City again.

Work continues to upgrade Aurora International, due for completion next March. V got some great bargains from the shops in the departure area in July, which were literally being demolished around her.

As Guatemalans tend to board all scheduled flights as if there was some sort life-threatening emergency in progress, the chaos we see at the end of the TACA video would possibly not have seemed that phenomenal.

1 comment:

scott said...

They haver an awful lot of work to due at the Aurora to get it ready by March! "The most modern airport in Central America"...a ver!