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Up For A Challenge? Try This Descending Approach Into An Alaskan Canyon

With 6,000 foot mountains surrounding a narrow canyon where the Skagway airport is located, flying into this Alaskan airport is reserved for the most experienced of pilots. Approaching Runway 20 at Skagway (PAGY), you'll have to hug the canyon wall with a right pattern, then make a steep turning descent down the canyon for landing.

Here's a view of the airport:


Here's another view, this time landing on Runway 02 (a go-around while approaching Runway 02 is extremely challenging due to the canyon you'll find yourself flying into):

Here's the A/FD departure procedure for Runway 02: Departing Runway 02 requires a high performance climb due to terrain. Aircraft departing Runway 02 may dogleg to the east to avoid a school after 1/2 mile, before turning crosswind to increase altitude. Sounds like fun.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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