Everyone can land at London Heathrow! You have 2 long runways, no mountains, a lot of waypoints and there are a bunch of charts provided. And actually i thought this would be the case everywhere. no.
I just wanted to see one of the highest airports in the world. So i started a flight to the tibetan Airport of Qamdo-Bamda. But when I wanted to create the flight plan, problems arise.
China is one of the most strict countries in our world. Almost everything is controlled by the government for “safety reasons”. So its not surprising that aviation is a touchy topic in China. Especially in the autonomous region of Tibet the safety precautions are enormous. There are any Waypoints for navigating and no public airport charts provided. Its like China doesnt want you to fly there.
But why do i need charts or waypoints? At a altitude of over 4000m (14000ft) the Airport is surrounded by high mountains. Normally you can adjust your flightplan along waypoints located in the valley of the airport but not in Qamdo-Bamda. No Waypoints! Now you have nearly any chance to find a way for your approach. And thats the problem. So back to the roots.
I explored the region in google earth and I found out that there is a flat plain in the northwest of the Airport at the same altitude. So i flew in the rough direction of this big plain valley and did a visual approach until i established on the localiser for the ILS Approach runway 14. Because of the altitude i had to flew a bit faster than normal and so i needed a lot of space for stopping. All in all this was a nice and adventurous approach.
Approaching the Airport from northwest