A shipment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to Bhutan was shaken and stirred after an unorthodox approach and landing at Paro in the high mountainous country. The Intra Asia Boeing 737-300 freighter departed Kolkata, India, last Tuesday for Paro and someone on the flight deck shot cellphone video that’s lit up aviation forums. The Aviation Herald has the most complete picture of what happened.
Paro is the isolated country of Bhutan’s only international airport and is at 7,332 feet. It’s been called “the world’s most dangerous airport” given the surrounding terrain and the sometimes frightful weather. But for this flight, the weather looks benign and the rest is on the pilots. The unstable approach is followed by a wallowing S-turn, a series of enunciated warnings and the neck-snapping landing. The aircraft flew to its next destination of Bangkok, Thailand, about 16 hours later.