1497 days ago
 

Dramatic video shows why pilots miss Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong

Eye candy for the weekend. Many airline pilots lament the closure of the infamous Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong after a larger airport was built to replace it in 1998.

The facility had a notoriously tricky approach, thus why pilots so used to reasonably standard landings elsewhere around the world liked it so much. It tested their skills as air jockeys, more than anything else.

To land on runway 13, aircraft first took a descent heading North East. They would pass over the crowded harbour, and the very densely populated areas of Western Kowloon.

Upon reaching a small hill marked with a checkerboard in red and white, used as a visual reference point on the final approach, pilots needed to make a 47-degree  visual right turn to line up with the runway and land.

One particular clip (not embeddable, alas) gives plenty of examples of the landscape and crazy approach, and includes the low-key “goodbye Kai Tak, and thank you” from the landing controller as the last aircraft left the runway.

Here is probably one of the most dramatic landings ever caught on video:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtnL4KYVtDE

And how aircraft looked from the street:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyU9OLqQ8XA

And the pilot’s view:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqJbb0qmjns

The airport’s safety record was poorer than other major hubs around the world, but given the conditions and notorious approach to runway 13 this is perhaps not surprising.

Kai Tak was replaced by the new Hong Kong International Airport, or Chek Kap Lok, with operations transferring in the middle of the night on July 6 1998.

 
 
Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.

 

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  1. multilingual ppc

    The flying is simple amazing land on runway 13, aircraft first took a descent heading North East.It tested their skills as air jockeys, more than anything else.I like it but there is dangerous.

     
  2. Alonzo Stangroom

    Why do the article reminds me of one other identical the one which Someone said somewhere else?

     
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    [...] opportunity to land at Kai Tak, anyone else care to share their stories in the comments? Found at tnooz via Shashank @ Simpliflying Source: David Parker [...]

     
  5. THREE VIDEOS: Large airliners landing Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong | Airline Reporter | An airline blog on the airline industry

    [...] opportunity to land at Kai Tak, anyone else care to share their stories in the comments? Found at tnooz via Shashank @ Simpliflying [...]

     
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