RAF pilots battle winds to land largest -ever aircraft on St Helena: video

RAF pilot St Helena

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has shared footage of the largest-ever aircraft landing at Saint Helena Airport (HLE).  

RAF pilots battled challenging winds to land the 53-metre-long C-17 Globemaster aircraft at the island’s international airport.  

In the footage the C-17, part of the 99 Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton, can be seen bouncing back and forth as it approaches the runway in the distance.  

Although the landing involves a slight bump, the video clearly shows off the incredible skills the RAF pilots possess, even when the elements are up against them.  

Via Twitter, the RAF Air Mobility Force said: “A C17 from 99 Sqn landing at St Helena Airport. The rock formations provide challenging wind currents on approach and touch-down. The largest aircraft to land on the island!” 

St Helena Airport features a 1.95km-long concrete runway. It has a landing distance (LDA) of 1.55km, take-off run available (TORA) of 1.85km, take-off distance available (TODA) of 2,775m and accelerate stop distance available (ASDA) of 1.85km. 

“The C-17 can transport 100,000lb (45,360kg) of freight more than 4,500nm (8,334km) while flying at altitudes above 35,000ft.  The aircraft’s design enables high-angle, steep approaches at relatively slow speeds, allowing it to operate into small, austere airfields and onto runways as short as 3,500ft long and just 90ft wide,” according to the RAF website. 

Saint Helena is a British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. 

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