Yes, it is a difficult airport to land in. But no, a 737-300 landing captured on video is not common or normal…it is insane.
737-300 Landing In Paro, Bhutan Is Insane…
A curious landing video caught my eye, for a number of reasons:
Anyone know the runway? Indonesian registered aircraft but I don’t recognise it 🤔 pic.twitter.com/42OQracYRl
— Matt Dearden (@IndoPilot) August 4, 2021
The runway is Paro, Bhutan (PBH), runway 15 to be precise. The aircraft is a Boeing 737-300 registered as PK-YGW and part of the Tri-M.G. Intra Asia Airlines fleet, a cargo carrier based in Indonesia.
The flight originated in Kolkata, India (CCU) and was delivering Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to Bhutan. After the rough landing, it sat on the ground for 16 hours before continuing on to Bangkok (BKK).
I’ve never flown to Paro, but I understand it is one of the most difficult airports in the world to land in. Still, the warnings and particularly the captain holding the mobile phone and filming his landing when he should have been focusing were not at all comforting.
A longer video later emerged:
I’d say this doesn’t make the captain appear in a better light (both pilots may be captains – we cannot see the number of stripes on the pilot sitting in the left seat, where the captain traditionally sits). Instead, it looks like sloppy incompetence.
It’s easy to say I could have landed it better myself…I won’t go that far. But come on, this cannot be standard operating procedure. The egregious cell phone issue aside, those audio warnings are not comforting.
Want to watch a proper landing in Paro? Sam Chui has you covered:
Tough airport, for sure, but this landing cannot be reasonable, right?
image: Mashrik Faiyaz