Monday, December 13, 2010

All The Fun of Old Hong Kong Airport

Kai Tak airport closed in 1998. Originally designed in the 1920's, I guess the limited space wasn't an issue for aircraft built between the world wars. To be fair, even as passenger aircraft grew larger and faster, Hong Kong still didn't really have the high rises and population it does in these pictures and videos.

By the 1990s though, Hong Kong found that as the aircraft were coming down, the buildings were going up... Here are some amazing images and videos showing just how pilots had to fly the gauntlet to get in safely. Click 'Read More' for more amazing photos and video!

Taken from a high rise balcony, looking DOWN on a 747

No autopilot stuff here...hand fly that sucker, and don't screw up...!!!
The prayer : "Lord, if I'm gonna die...please don't let it be pilot error"

At ILS "Minimums" You break out of the clouds at the top of a hill! First one to see it calls "Checkerboard in sight"

Now, hard right turn and dive! And don't mess around or you simply won't make it. Is that a short runway or what???

Woe to you if you're too high...

Strong cross winds were common... So you had to crab all the way to the runway.
Sometimes the cross winds were stronger than others
Over shoot, and you're in the drink...kick it out of the crab too soon, and you're blown back off the runway...wait too late and "crunch"...# 4 engine..!!!

Overreact on the crab correction, and "Crunch" # 1 engine...!!!

Don't "Float" or try to make a smooth landing...Just put it on...!!! "Firm" landings help dissipate energy, and help you stop...!!!

Drop too low, and you'll drag your wheels thru the high rises...!!!

What I said was: "I think we're a little high and fast"...!!!
...that was a nice smooth touchdown though, Sir !

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