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Hong Kong Kai Tak airport July 3, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I cannot really explain why I like this. The aircraft sure, the interesting approach to Kai Tak airport runway 13 which involved a turn very close to the runway, absolutely. That latter involved, as noted on wiki:


The landing approach using runway 13 at Kai Tak was spectacular and world-famous. To land on runway 13, an aircraft first took a descent heading northeast. The aircraft would pass over the crowded harbour, and then the very densely populated areas of Western Kowloon. This leg of the approach was guided by an IGS (Instrument Guidance System, a modified ILS) after 1974.

Upon reaching a small hill marked with a huge “aviation orange” and white checkerboard (22°20′06″N 114°11′04″E), used as a visual reference point on the final approach (in addition to the middle marker on the Instrument Guidance System), the pilot needed to make a 47° visual right turn to line up with the runway and complete the final leg. The aircraft would be just 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) from touchdown, at a height of less than 1,000 feet (300 m) when the turn was made. Typically the plane would enter the final right turn at a height of about 650 feet (200 m) and exit it at a height of 140 feet (43 m) to line up with the runway. This manoeuvre has become widely known in the piloting community as the “Hong Kong Turn” or “Checkerboard Turn”. Amongst passengers it became known as the “Kai Tak Heart Attack“.[20]



All that. But also I think it’s the slightly deadpan delivery of the narrator in German.



1. Martian Poet - July 3, 2016



2. roddy - July 3, 2016

Roddy can declare an interest here in that in the 1970’s my English born first cousin married an RAF man(bringing eternal shame on all Roddys to come for generations).However when he entered “civvy street” he worked for an airline flying in and out of said airport for years.When my Aunt died in Manchester in the 90s I was introduced to him at her funeral.Despite his very “Irish” name he looked and sounde like he had just walked off the set of “the dambusters”.We were all waiting on him to tellus that “Ginger had just bought it”!

Liked by 2 people

3. Dermot O Connor - July 3, 2016

I flew into there in 94. In memory I remember seeing into people’s apartment windows on the way down. I wasn’t sure if this was mind playing tricks, but watching this, I’m pretty sure that 22 year old image is correct now. You could see people cooking in their kitchens.


WorldbyStorm - July 3, 2016

I used to be a nervous flyer. That would make me nervous again I think! 🙂


4. An Sionnach Fionn - July 3, 2016

Between the video footage and the laconic voiceover it is weirdly compulsive viewing!

Liked by 2 people

5. Gewerkschaftler - July 3, 2016

The most interesting runway I ever landed and took off in was somewhere in the Andes. Not sure quite where – Potosí perhaps – maybe someone knows it.

Anyhow I’m 95% sure it wasn’t a dream but I distinctly remember that, because of the high altitude and lack of lift, they’d taken a big rectangular notch out of one of the mountains at one end of the runway. You flew in and out through the slot.

But by far the dodgiest runway experience I ever had was in that well known aviation hub – Sligo International Airport. On a flight back from Dublin in one of the old unpressurised Fokkers that they used to run, ground fog started to form over the runway at Standhill.

The pilot could spot holes in the fog and kept trying to time his run to coincide with the gaps in the fog and put the kite (I’m beginning to channel Biggles here, Roddy) down on the asphalt without overshooting and bellyflopping in the briny at either end of the runway. While keeping up a running commentary to ‘reassure’ us.

After about five passes he gave up and announced that Aldergrove was still relatively fog-free and he was high-tailing it in that direction.

Needless to say, I was beginning to feel somewhat unconvinced after all those near misses. On the way to Belfast I was sure that I smelled smoke in the cabin. Thoroughly paranoid at this point I got up and made my way to the pilot’s cabin.

The door was ajar and the smell of smoke was explained. The co-pilot was chain-smoking. What they hadn’t told us, I found out later, was that they didn’t know whether we had enough fuel to make Aldergrove.

We landed with just fumes in the tank. A near wizard prang that I never want to repeat.


Gewerkschaftler - July 3, 2016

Sligo Airport:


WorldbyStorm - July 3, 2016

Form follows function, very similar at first glance to the one on the Donegal coast up the way from Dungloe.


Gewerkschaftler - July 3, 2016

And that would have been the very utilitarian Short 360. The bus with wings.

Fokkers? Pressurised luxury for effete Dubs. We looked longingly at them parked there on the runway.

Look was all we could do because our eardrums were shot and we couldn’t hear a thing.


WorldbyStorm - July 3, 2016

I’ve never been on one of those aircraft. And reading this I’m not sure I want to. 😉


LeftAtTheCross - July 4, 2016

I’ve heard them described as 30 thousand rivets flying in close formation 😊 We’re spoiled by modern jets altogether.


6. Geraldus - July 4, 2016

I flew into Kai Tak in the late 1990s, but didn’t notice the sharp right turn due to flight fatigue. Some hours later, in a cheap hotel in north Kowloon, I sat up jetlagged and sipped spring water while watching giant planes swooping low over hills and rooftops in the direction of that chequerboard. A few years later I took off from the new Lantau airport runway which stops short of the South China Sea coastline. On a clear late afternoon I was amazed at the ships coming and going as they carefully avoided the small coastal islands. I felt the pulse of a great international entrepot city and sat back to enjoy my flight to Singapore.


WorldbyStorm - July 4, 2016

That’s very interesting, on the way to Singapore did the straits seem heavily congested by shipping?


Geraldus Galwensis - July 4, 2016

After the aircraft reached cruising level it wasn’t possible to see anything. Landing at Singapore a couple of hours later was in early darkness. Then I waited in the transit lounge for the A380 connection to London.


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