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The World's Scariest Runways

Courtesy of Tom Claytor - www.claytor.com

Matekane Air Strip
Lesotho

Who Flies There: Charities delivering aid, and the occasional bush pilot.

Why It’s Harrowing: Because of the diminutive 1,312-foot-long runway perched at the edge of a couloir at 7,550 feet, becoming airborne at the end of the tarmac is virtually impossible. Instead, you drop down the face of a 2,000-foot cliff until you start flying. Says bush pilot Tom Claytor, “The rule in the mountains is that it is better to take off downwind and downhill than into wind and uphill, because in Lesotho, the hills will usually out-climb you. It’s a little bit hard to do the first time.”

 

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