Skilled pilots struggle to land at notoriously challenging airport.
It’s not uncommon to watch sketchy landings at Madeira airport by large airliners. We at Avgeekery have shared video of previous landings that looked more like controlled crashes than established final approaches.
The challenging runway isn’t because of its length. The runway is actually 9,100 feet long–a fairly respectable length for modern airport. The real challenge is the location of the runway. Nestled against rising terrain, swirling winds near the field are common. When you add a storm system like what occurred on December 17th and you get incredibly challenging conditions. So challenging in fact that airline pilots with thousands of hours are forced to go around, not once, not twice, but thrice. They eventually landed safely after the fourth attempt. No one was injured and no damage occurred. It is rumored though that they had to replace the copilot’s seat cushion. 🙂
Video uploaded to YouTube by PRicardofaria.