The runway on the Caribbean island of Saba, which is also the shortest commercial runway in the world, is only 400 meters long and surrounded by ocean on three sides and a mountain on the other. All aircrafts are prohiBɪᴛᴇd from landing on the runway, which is marked with an X, with the exception of a few scheduled air services using STOL (short takeoff and landing) aircraft.
It feels like you are on an aircraft carrier when you land and take off. Here, a WinAir DHC-6 Twin Otter makes the turnoff to the ramp after touching down and stopping in less than 200 meters. It back-taxised to the very edge of the cliff during takeoff and continued to use the entire length of the runway before taking off at the very end.
The Twin Otter is a tough Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) commuter. The Twin Otter is more than capable of traveling over 600+ nautical miles of low altitude survey in a single trip at maximum fuel loads, with an endurance of 4-6 hours at survey speeds. These aircraft serve airborne marine animal, hydrological, remote sensing, air chemistry, and emergency response programs all year long, keeping them quite active.
Typical crew size is two pilots and the cabin may accommodate six passengers when smaller scientific equipment is used. The Twin Otter, which is renowned for its steadiness at lower speeds and is capable of surveying at speeds between 90 and 140 knots over the ground, is perfect for missions that call for a slower aircraft to collect data.
Let’s take a look at the world’s shortest runway and Twin Otter STOL at Saba in the video below:
Source: Plane Hound
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