Kai Tak Airport 啟德機場 - Hong Kong's old runway
Posted 21 October 2005 - 02:44 AM
I really wish I'd had the chance to land at that downtown airport before it closed forever in 1998. Alas, I was a few years too late.
Some pictures and a video for you...
... and another of my regrets, missing out on the chance to fly on Concorde Here she is approching Kai Tak...
And Finally, a couple of nice Sim videos of the approach...
Posted 21 October 2005 - 03:52 AM
Posted 21 October 2005 - 04:29 AM
I really don't know why I have such a fascination with that old airport. Perhaps it's all the time I spent in Kowloon City, where I would look up and try to imagine the aircraft overhead... or perhaps it was looking into the empty and derelict airport a couple of years after it closed and felt so sad for the place after it's long and illustrious life as one of the Worlds great airports.
If you look at Google Earth satellite imagery, you can clearly see the old runway, which runs out into Victoria Harbour, being dug up now. I beleive it is to become a park, with some housing complexes and an aviation museum.
Posted 21 October 2005 - 10:05 AM
Picking up arriving people, at least on a Sunday, was good too. Looked out of my windows on Hong Kong side and when I saw the plane approaching, it was time to drive over to pick them up on time.
Similar pix I did send to friends who still live in HKG. The responses have been quite emotional.
Perhaps not for the one I attach, but than I saw this plane for weeks to come, although they pulled it out, scraped to airline's logo off and left it in an open hangar.
One of my customers was on board this flight, made it safely having sat in front.
Posted 21 October 2005 - 01:17 PM
But that I'm now missing...
Posted 21 October 2005 - 01:26 PM
Posted 21 October 2005 - 02:57 PM
(rarely you landed from the sea-side), often watching bush fires during the dry season.
Old pilots will tell you, that it was quite safe, looking down at a laundry shop and just over all the laundry hanging on bamboo poles, TURN. Only problem on Thursdays, when the laundry was closed.
Joke? May be, or is it?
Actually, pilots needed a special licence to land and take off at Kai Tak. So the pilots were stationed at Bangkok, Taipei and Tokyo just flying back and forth to HKG. This lasted until the era of 707, DC 8 etc. was over. After that, with jumbos, DC 10 coming, it became easier but still.
Finally, I read somewhere, two of the first Brits landing at the very old airfield at night, nearly got heart attacks when seeing the montains next morning, they had missed.
Posted 21 October 2005 - 04:10 PM
I had a feeling you'd have been through Kai Tak a few times over the years
Here are those vids I mentioned of botched approaches, the first one a Korean 747, who misjudged the crosswind, the second an Alitalia who hit the ground so hard, I'm surprised it didn't crack the runway...
Posted 21 October 2005 - 04:23 PM
When you're in the plane, you do not see much, if not next to the window, and even there it is not that impressive.
But seen from the buildings, it is very impressive.
I actually always sit on the center aisle seat, so never saw it from the inside...
Posted 21 October 2005 - 05:03 PM
Posted 23 October 2005 - 10:38 AM
Japanese wife, Chinese food and Western house.
Now shouldn't I be happy or should I?
Nothing is too late.
Posted 29 October 2005 - 05:20 AM
Posted 29 October 2005 - 06:13 AM
Japanese wife, Chinese food and Western house.
No shouldn't I be happy or should I?
Well, a bit more practice on the Chinese food side and you'll be fine...
Posted 10 June 2006 - 04:48 AM
Posted 10 June 2006 - 06:22 AM
May 15, 1997. Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) Boeing 747-281F[/color]
[color="#990000"]April 15, 1995. Garuda Indonesia Boeing 747-2B4B[/color]
[color="#990000"] June 06, 1994. Dragonair Airbus A320-200 [/color]
[color="#990000"]November 18, 1993. China Airlines Boeing 747-409
It's not often you see a 747 being lifted by crane pass your office window! A fortnight after the accident, a floating crane lifts B-165 from the sea and transports the aircraft to the northern part of the airport, where it was transported on land.[/color]
Posted 10 June 2006 - 06:43 AM
Posted 10 June 2006 - 07:57 AM
Landed there many times and it felt like a couple of those looked. I loved the airport being part of the city or the city being built around the airport. From almost any bar lounge and many restaurants you could easily see the planes taking off and landing, entertaining. It was an interesting ride in severe desent into the landing pattern, then the heading right toward a small house or business endlessly, dropping the wing to a 90 degree angle at low altitude, hard right turn, wing flips back to normal then immediate landing. I always felt pretty comfortable knowing that the flight crew were all at full alert during the landing due to the complexity and risk. I feel more uncomfortable landing at the new airport where I feel the crew is cutting up an talking about their upcoming evening plans while landing the plane on auto-pilot.
Posted 11 June 2006 - 05:28 AM
Posted 11 June 2006 - 06:34 PM
I remember years back, standing in the back garden one day and hearing something approaching in the sky. I looked up and to my astonishment, a 747 was right above me (there are no airports in service anywhere near my home town) and it was so low, you could almost reach out and touch it. It really was quite a shock and you could almost smell the exhaust fumes it was so low.
I now know what it was doing there, flying over my house as though it was about to crash. It was a retired Air France 747-100 on it's way to Bruntingthorpe airfield, just a couple of miles from my home, which is an old military facility with the longest runway in the country. You can see from the picture below that my home is right in the approach to the runway. It was on it's last ever approach because it was to be blown up in an experiment to create bomb proof cargo pods...
... and here's what they did with it. They even pressurised it for more accurate results...
Coincidentally, I was working for a logistics organisation that was salvaging parts of the aircraft and I had the opportunity to visit the site. It was quite sad to see the nose section on it's side, the spiral staircase still in place, it felt like the site of a disaster.
I must go again soon as the airfield has some old aviation relics, such as the worlds only airworthy Comet and a selection of other old aircraft.
Posted 11 June 2006 - 08:47 PM
Posted 11 June 2006 - 09:02 PM
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