March 24, 2015 – The Indian Air Force created history by landing one of its Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at the tiny Juhu aerodrome (VAJJ) in Mumbai today. The runway at the Juhu aerodrome (Runway 08-26) is only 3750 feet (1143 metres) long, slightly longer than the minimum length required for a massive cargo aircraft like the C-130J Super Hercules. Today’s landing was part of a terror preparedness drill, to check whether a C-130J can land here with troops and equipment in case Mumbai’s primary airport is out of action.
The C-130J displayed its short field capabilities superbly as it landed successfully, did a quick turnaround and took off using barely 3/4th of the runway length!
The last time such a big aircraft landed at Juhu was on 24th December 1972, when a Japan Airlines DC-8 landed here by mistake, instead of the regular Mumbai airport. That aircraft over-ran the runway and suffered quite a bit of damage. Although there were no casualties, the aircraft had to be written off!
Here are photos of the IAF C-130J Super Hercules landing and take-off at the Juhu aerodrome.