TACA Airbus Accident in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

The accident yesterday in Tegucigalpa, Honduras was tragic, but it appears to me that landing there isn’t that easy in the best of weather. If it is raining and foggy, then the difficulty increases.

Here is a video I found on YouTube showing the approach that is required to land in Tegucigalpa. Imagine a rain filled foggy day and you can see that it is an accident waiting to happen.

I have learned to schedule a flight to Panama City from David, or vice versa, in the mornings during the rainy season. Usually the mornings have a better chance of being sunny, while the afternoons always have a chance of rain. It can rain anytime, during the rainy season, but the probability goes up in the afternoon.

You may be aware that the David airport is funded to lengthen its runways to accommodate larger international flights. I hope they are planning plenty of extra stopping room for these planes. Of course with the way fuel prices are going, that runway extension may take several years.

UPDATE: For some more photos of the accident check out this blog’s post with photos.

19 thoughts on “TACA Airbus Accident in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

  1. Wow! I’m not going there.

    The person taking the video says, “Don’t be afraid.” Easy for her to say. 🙂

  2. Don,
    You have to be a bush pilot to get in there. If you notice on the video that is at full air brake(the flaps on the upper side of the wing) as soon as he hits the ground. The approach is hairy too.

  3. The approach is scary. Fly in, take a sharp left, another sharp left that still doesn’t line you up with the runway. WOW. That runway seems very short. I’ve been in some strange situations while flying around Central America in Cessna Caravans. On one flight the pilot handed my husband a 20 gallon jug of water and asked him to stow it behind the rear seat. “Why?” my husband asked. “Well, we’re going to need fresh water if we crash land in the jungle,” answered the pilot. Okey Dokey.

  4. I’ve made this landing twice on American Airlines just as shown in the video. I’ve got to admit that it’s not your typical landing. I’d be willing to bet that the pilots probably enjoy it to a certain extent because they actually have to fly a bit. That American 757 is the biggest thing that lands there and I only go in the dry season. The city is crowded right around the runway with a serious drop at the end. There is no room at all for any error and no instrument landing system. Takeoff is just as eventful as the pilot stands on the brakes and runs up to full throttle. The whole plane shakes and bucks as you shoot down the runway and go up like a homesick angel in order to clear the mountains. Having said all that it is the bus ride from the airport that bothers me worse than the flight.

  5. Don Ray:
    Wow! Thanks for the video. If you scroll thru the other videos (bottom menu) you’ll find a view from the cockpit landing in that airport where the pilot says “I did not like that one” at the end. You finally see the runway about 15 seconds before touchdown. THere are other videos from the ground of several planes taking off and landing. All I can say is CRAZY! Check them out.
    Saludos
    Jaime!

  6. Hi Jamie. Thanks for leaving a comment. That might have been a better video to have chosen. I agree that the airport is crazy. However, several Latin American airports are scary and when you add rain, they become more dangerous.

  7. hi am a bush pilot ihave been to this airport when you are on final you then know this airport should have been built somewhere else it ok for small planes but not the big ones as thay take to much runway

  8. It looks worse than it really is..I have landed in this airport many of times, and loved every one of it!! I am really NOT a thrill seeker, but landing and taking off from this airport is something every one should experience! Amazing!!! I trully believe the latest accident happened because the pilot touched down too late, and had used half of the runway..no time for inexperience, that is for sure!!

  9. I’ve flown into Toncontin 7 times and it’s a thrill every time. Any flight where the passengers regularly cheer when the pilot touches down safely is something to experience. The takeoff is just as much fun!! I’ll be going down again in 3 weeks and we’ll be diverted to either San Pedro Sula or the air base outside of the city. I’ll miss Toncontin. It’s too bad. They just spent a truckload of cash to update the terminal. They actually have a jetway!!

  10. I flown into Tegus once or twice myself and it is something of a landing and as Mark said, the airport is surrounded by many homes. I lack the adventure of departing from Tugus as I flew out from San Padro both times, a really nice and much newer airport. Honduras is worth go just for Colon and its Mayan ruins.

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