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It Takes Special Training to Land at This Challenging Airport

It Takes Special Training to Land at This Challenging Airport
Jackie Reddy

A new British documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it truly takes to land at one of the world’s more challenging airports. The first episode of the second series of EasyJet: Inside the Cockpit, show’s Captain Brij Kotecha successfully executing a safe landing at Innsbruck’s airport.

In a profession already well-known for its complexity, a new British documentary showcases one of the more technical aspects of the job: conducting a landing at one of the globe’s most challenging airports.

Viewers were offered a knuckle-biting birds-eye view of the task in the very first episode of the second series of EasyJet: Inside the Cockpit, which aired on Britain’s ITV earlier this week. The program captured how pilot Brij Kotecha executed a safe landing at Austria’s Innsbruck Airport (INN) in extremely low visibility.

According to PrivateFly, INN is ranked as one of the world’s Category C airports, which, as the website explains, “…require specific crew and pilot training as they have unusual and often stunning approaches.”

This particular airport is nestled in the heart of the Austrian Alps. According to The Daily Mail, just, “…140 out of 4000 Easyjet pilots have the specific qualification needed to land here…”. A clip of the program, as shared by the outlet, shows Kotecha astutely monitoring the conditions as he guides the EasyJet flight in to land at INN.

Speaking of conditions at INN, Kotecha is quoted as saying that, “After 11000 hours of flying and more than a year of my life up in the air I still get just as excited. For me Innsbruck is the ultimate place to land from a professional point of view it’s challenging from a personal point of view it’s really good fun.”

However, he adds that the wintry environment at INN, “…makes it more challenging for us in terms of threat and area management today, a go-around [an aborted landing] could happen.”

During the course of the episode, Kotecha also discusses diverting to an airport in Germany, but with cloud cover finally clearing and his visibility improving, he decides with seconds to spare that landing is possible.

Commenting on his course of action, Kotecha explains, “’In the depths of winter you will not see what you want to until the decision point in the final seconds and at that point, your adrenaline is going.”

[Image Source: Wikimedia/ Flo Weiss]

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