The July 6 crash landing of an Asiana Airlines plane at San Francisco International resulted in a flood of stories about flight safety covering everything from so-called dangerous airports (more on that below) to advice on surviving a plane crash.
How to Land a Plane in San Francisco
While many of articles are informative and useful, the one we like best features a veteran pilot demonstrating what he does best and that’s landing a plane safely.
Check out the following video of a Lufthansa crew at the controls of an A380 coming in for a landing in San Francisco to see how it’s done. The video is on the long side (14:30) but well worth the time, or skip ahead to the final approach at 7:50.
The internet is filled with lists proclaiming one airport or another as scary, but it’s pretty clear the FAA would not allow flights at dangerous airports. That said, high-traffic airports may offer more chances for problems than smaller ones, which is why New York’s JFK and Chicago’s O’Hare turn up on some of these lists.
Then there are airports with built-in challenges due to location such as San Diego in Southern California (“mountains to the north and east, strong tailwinds”) or Colorado’s Aspen/Pitkin County Airport which requires a “swift descent at high altitude.” San Francisco makes a few of these lists, but so does LaGuardia, Chicago Midway and Southern California’s John Wayne. Are these airports inherently dangerous? Clearly not.