The 10 Most Terrifying Runways On Earth

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Airport of Madeira Runway from Above
Image: Koshelyev

On November 19, 1977, flight TP425 attempted to land in treacherous conditions but overshot the runway and plummeted 200 feet, smashing into the beach below – resulting in the deaths of 131 of the 164 people on the plane. The tragedy led to further increases to the runway’s length, and it now stretches for 9,124 feet, meaning it’s suited to large passenger jets.

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Image: Dale Coleman

6. Gustaf III Airport – St. Barthélemy, West Indies

Watching out for passing aircraft isn’t something one would usually expect when basking in the sun, but Gustaf III is no ordinary island airport – even if it’s similar to, albeit a lot smaller than, Juliana International Airport on nearby St. Martin. Indeed, planes pass so close to vacationers’ heads here that a sign on the adjacent beach of St. Jean warns visitors against sunbathing at the runway’s end.

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