Earlier this week a Ryanair Boeing 737-800, did an emergency landing here in Rome.
On its approach to Ciampino airport, the airplane hit a large flock of birds about 50ft off the ground. It experienced multiple bird strikes to both engines, most probably loosing its main power.
The pilot performed an emergency landing, by slamming onto the airstrip. Through the force, the plane veered back in the air and bounced again onto the tarmac. Then the plane slipped off the side of the runway, but the pilot managed to get it onto the tarmac again. He stopped the aircraft at the very end of the strip.
After evacuating the passengers from the plane, the airplane's left main landing gear collapsed (sounds almost like a cartoon script), rolling the plane on its side, severely damaging the wing and the belly of the fuselage.
For what could have been much worse, only two crew members and three passengers suffered of minor injuries. (Full)
This makes me think "there are moments you just have to trust the pilot". Including when approaching runways like these:
Lord Howe Island, Pacific
Kabua International Airport, Majuro atoll, Marshall Islands
Macao International Airport
Off the coast of Greenwood, Canada
I have never been much of a military person,
but one can not but look in amazement
at this evac landing in Afghanistan.
And for the real adventurous, there is of course...
the Alpha strip on the Antarctic.
You might also read The World's 10 Most Dangerous Airstrips, and how it can really go wrong in Italians, the Art of Flying and the Laws of Probability.
Pictures The Aviation Herald, climantartide.it and Airliners.net. With thanks to my Friend E, flying enthusiast!