Video: Planes in Congo Use Narrow, Tree-Lined Road as Runway
“Sure, big deal, a Cessna took off from a road, whoopty doo,” might have been your first thought upon reading this headline. Except this isn’t your uncle’s little 172. It’s a twin-engine, 15-passenger, 64-ft wingspan, Let L-410 Turbolet. The wingtips must be missing the Congolese trees by only a few feet.
And apparently this is common practice, based on the sight of several other planes on the pavement.
We do know that this isn’t a real runway. Based on its narrow width, obvious curves, lack of markings and all the trees and brush perilously close to the edge, it sure looks like a conventional, rural road built for cars and cows.
To the road/airport’s credit, there’s a marshaler directing the pilots once they land, and even a group of men who push the plane around in the absence of a motorized tug. Ingenuity for the win.