Photographer's Note

From Wikipedia:
"The airstrip at Lukla is designed only for STOL aircraft(short-takeoff-landing). The airport is popular, since Lukla is the place where most people start their treks in the Everest regions. There are daily flights between Lukla and Kathmandu during daylight hours with good weather. Although the flying distance is short, it can easily be raining in Lukla, while the sun is shining brightly in Kathmandu. High winds, cloud cover and changing visibility often mean flights can be delayed or the airport closed completely. The airport is contained within a chain link fence, and patrolled by the Nepal armed police or civil police around the clock. The single runway is 1,500 feet (460 m) long, 65 feet (20 m) wide and has a 12% gradient. The altitude of the airport is 9,100 feet (2,800 m). Due to the terrain, there is no prospect of a successful go-around in the event of a short final approach. There is high terrain immediately after the northern end of the runway, and a steeply angled drop of about 2,000 feet (610 m) at the southern end of the runway into the valley below."
On my trek, we were unable to fly into Lukla on a fixed-wing aircraft, and were very lucky to even get in by helicopter: our departure was a smooth one on a regular scheduled fixed-wing service, but we were again fortunate, as low cloud closed the airstrip shortly after we had departed. Lukla has seen many incidents, and more than its fair share of fatalities.
This shot was taken from the northern end of the runway, and clearly shows how short the runway really is.

Kofman, abmdsudi, worldcitizen, ktanska, auldal has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Jeff Tupper (westozman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 91 W: 9 N: 540] (3193)
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