Home News World Lukla Airport Crash Statistics

Lukla Airport Crash Statistics


The World’s Most Dangerous Airport is Lukla

Lukla airport : More than 300 people have died while attempting to climb Mount Everest, with countless others injured.

The perils, however, begin even before trekkers arrive at base camp.

Hikers arrive in the area by flying to Lukla, a little Himalayan hamlet at 9,383 feet above sea level.

All of the alternatives include a multi-day trip, thus daily planes transport hikers between Kathmandu and Lukla.

The two airports are as different as night and day, despite the fact that the flight time is only 25-30 minutes.

At Lukla, there is every possible danger.

Airports can be difficult for pilots for a variety of reasons, as evidenced by this list of Europe’s most dangerous airports.

Sometimes, as on many Greek islands, it’s the short runway. Wind shear is common in places like Gibraltar, and the steep landscape surrounding airports like Innsbruck provides obvious concerns.

Because of the influence of low air pressure on aeroplane operation, airports at high altitude pose a risk.

The Himalayas are high in the Himalayas.

While Lukla is not the world’s highest civilian airport (that accolade goes to Daocheng Yading Airport in China’s Sichuan province), its height is still enough to present challenges for pilots.

The airport is bordered by rugged, mountainous terrain on all sides.

The small runway is located on the edge of a mountain ridge. There’s a wall on one end and a sharp drop into the valley below on the other.

The air density is significantly lower at high altitudes than at sea level, which has a negative impact on the amount of power generated by the aircraft engines, lowering lift.

Slowing the plane down is likewise more difficult with less air resistance. The longer the runway is at high altitudes, the better.

Pilots landing at Lukla may be disappointed to learn that the airport runway is only 1,729 feet long.

Many of the world’s international airports have runways that are over 10,000 feet long.

Lukla’s runway is so short that it slopes upward at a gradient of nearly 12% to help planes slow down in time.

To make matters worse, the surrounding mountains provide so little possibility for a missed approach that there are no go-around procedures.

An aeroplane must touch down once it begins its approach. Only helicopters and tiny fixed-wing propeller planes are authorised to land due to these constraints.

Poor visibility is a result of bad weather.

The weather in the Himalayas is often fickle. It’s always possible to get a sudden mist, fog, rainfall, or snow.

Despite the short distance and short flight time, the weather in Lukla can be very different from Kathmandu, and can change often while the plane is flying.

Planes turn back and return to Kathmandu in such situations. Because afternoons are so often gloomy, most flights are booked relatively early in the morning. Lukla cancellations are usual.

Lukla’s Accidents

Pilots perceive some airports to be difficult or even dangerous, but they have an excellent safety record.

That is not the situation in Lukla, where the number of occurrences has surpassed ten.

Many of the more recent ones have even been captured on film.

The most significant incident happened in 2008, when Yeti Airlines Flight 103 collided with the mountain just a few feet from the runway’s start.

Despite losing visual contact during final approach due to severe fog, the pilot attempted a visual landing.

Two of the three crew members and all 16 passengers were murdered. The pilot was the only one who made it out alive.

Pilots are now held to rigorous standards by Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Pilots must have done 100 short-takeoff and landing flights, had at least one year of such experience in Nepal, and have successfully completed ten flights into Lukla with a licenced instructor in order to land at Lukla.

A technical study is being conducted to determine the feasibility of a runway expansion, which would be limited to 100 feet.

In order to expand passenger capacity, a new helipad is being built.

Also Read: