Pangnirtung, “Steep Slope Approach”

Taken: June 7, 2009

First Air had 4 flight crews on board this aircraft, all learning a new procedure for the ATR 42 and Pangnirtung.

The Steep Slope Approach!

Most aircraft approach the majority of runways on a 3 degree slope.  For the ATR to carry a full payload into Pangnirtung’s short 2900 foot runway, we would need something different.  First Air Engineers designed and Transport Canada approved our Steep Slope Approach, which is 5.5 degrees almost double a regular approach slope.  This enables First Air to use more of the runway for landing calculations and increased our allowable payload.

I was able to get my training done first, then ask to be let off the aircraft with my camera in hand.  I sat on a hill that rises to the end of runway 24 for which this photograph was taken.  I love how the aircraft is totally on its own with the steep cliffs as the back drop.  It can be pretty intimidating for first time passengers landing on runway 24 in Pangnirtung on any airplane.  In the small fiord part of the approach needs to be flown straight at that steep cliff.

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