View Full Version : Stable approach?

14th Jan 2002, 23:34

Wasn't sure in which forum to post this nor under what subject. Perhaps it could serve as fuel for a discussion on what characterizes a stable approach. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Anyway, thought it might be worth sharing.

<a href="http://home1.gte.net/lbalders/hkg_land.mpg" target="_blank">http://home1.gte.net/lbalders/hkg_land.mpg</a>


Pilot Pete
15th Jan 2002, 03:36
Looked alright to me....................!


15th Jan 2002, 04:28
For some stills in the same vein go to
<a href="http://www.aviationpics.de/" target="_blank">http://www.aviationpics.de/</a> and look at spectacular approaches.

15th Jan 2002, 05:48
Cosmo, thank you. What a graceful clip, best I've seen.


15th Jan 2002, 06:53
Coming from a non-pilot this post may be irritating to some; it's only meant to be provocative. I live, by choice, at the aeronautical equivalent of Dylan's "down at the end of Bleeker Street" and I watch many approaches and departures at the airport a few hundred metres away. To the extent that I think I can identify some individual PICs.

I understand a stable approach to be one where the aircraft is within certain parameters which will lead it to touchdown with a safe margin for braking and minor errors.

I've forgotten most of what Ian Dixon wrote in "Flying the Big Jets" back in 1965 or thereabouts but one of the things I do remember was that the more time you have to line up the better your landing is likely to be; and the less time you have, the more haphazard etc. Having to weave back and forth to get the numbers in position during the last 500 metres distracts from other important things. So, if at all possible, go for the long, straight in, approach.

Now, Bleeker Street allows long approaches every time when landing from the north (from the south is another matter altogether as there's a big rock in the way but that's not the issue here). And most landings from the north are long and straight. The single exception is in one airline where I believe the PIC is, to put it bluntly, having his rocks off.

His approach involves a low pass over the tower (positioned approx mid-field) followed by an immediate tight left turn. No downwind or base, just a tight circle into what is almost invariably a wings-level touchdown within 300 metres of the numbers and no more than moderate use of reverse thrust, turning off well before the last exit. A lovely sight, smooth, precious little in the way of corrections, like a bird alighting on a branch in still winter air.

Almost invariably. Every occasionally the aircraft is a bit off and in the last 500 metres he dances around like an epileptic on a pogo stick. At those times I charitably suspect the master was indoctrinating a pupil. But then I wonder whether that's the time and the place. How do you define the borderline between dreary, boring safety and a little bit of fun? And if he's really in instructor mode, how much margin is he allowing his pupil? As a matter of interest there is water at either end of the runway. And a rocky breakwater at one end which would do no end of damage to the undercarriage.

I think that, if I had ever become a pilot, I would have fallen on the side of "fun". Which is probably sufficiently good reason for not having followed that route.

What do you think?


sudden Winds
15th Jan 2002, 09:44
I canīt believe that pilot continued with that approach after overshooting final like that....thatīs not a nice recover...thatīs a nice attempt to kill 300 people. What was he thinking, doesnīt he know that going around is permitted ?
Jeeees I would die of a heart attack if I saw one of my solo students flying an approach like that.
I canīt believe it !!!
GO AROUND !!!!!!!!!!!

15th Jan 2002, 11:14
Not to discount the nice effort by cosmos, but it is my understanding that that is a very common sight at that airport. Isn't that the airport that closed?

15th Jan 2002, 15:21
Indeed, that's a shot from Hong Kong's Kai Tak airport, world famous for its very spectacular approaches to RWY 13, because of the complete lack of a straight in final segment (all planes have to make a 47° turn on short final to line up with the RWY). Combine this with

15th Jan 2002, 15:25

Yes, I would say that it's taken from Kai Tak.
Does look spectacular though.


15th Jan 2002, 15:27
... a strong crosswind from the right and you easily end up with this kind of landings.
If you go around on this one, OK, but then you might as well immediately divert to your alternate right away as your second or even third approach will be not much better!
I can assure you that lining up a heavy wide body plane after a steep turn with 25° or even 30° bank in less then 2 miles under strong crosswind conditions always gives you something like this.

15th Jan 2002, 16:42
tolipanebas is quite right, it definitely is Kai Tak rwy 13, and is a kind of approach that was not that uncommon in HKG... too bad that airport is now closed!!

If I remember correctly the 744 is certified to land at crab angles of up to 45 degrees.

15th Jan 2002, 18:21
Only those pilots who have operated into KaiTac in the past know about the difficulties involved....was good fun actually and required a high degree of skill.
The CC ndb approach was really interesting.

15th Jan 2002, 19:49
Certainly with your old dive and drive method...

16th Jan 2002, 03:25
This video clip has been posted again in a recent thread of the Tech Log <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> :

<a href="http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=3&t=002669" target="_blank">X-wind landings on airliners - slip or crab?</a>

along with another interesting Kai Tak landing. Here is the direct link:

<a href="http://members.aol.com/skbos/trip/kaitak.html" target="_blank">Kai Tak Landings</a>

[ 15 January 2002: Message edited by: SK ]</p>

16th Jan 2002, 05:06
Good effort I recon, looked like a Pitts approach. Shame he touched down on the left wheel though!!

Did make me laugh how he made straight for the centreline after touchdown though.


[ 16 January 2002: Message edited by: crackerjack ]</p>

16th Jan 2002, 07:41
Yes indeed sabenapilot, it was indeed "dive and drive" which was REQUIRED as you had to be visual, driving along at 745 msl for (as I recall)9.2nm toward Stonecutters NDB followed be a 110 degree right turn to runway 13....certainly not for the new guys which "have" to go around upon reaching MDA.
This approach was really good sport.

Self Loading Freight
17th Jan 2002, 07:29
It might be SOP with crosswinds, but look how close the port outer engine came to carving a new canal for the junks... absolutely terrifying.

But fun to watch from the comfort of my first-class sofa.


17th Jan 2002, 12:30
Nothing unusual about that approach.
With xwind from the right it was difficult to get the turn spot on. Don't forget with a xwind from the right on this approach, you have a tailwind down the IGS therefore higher gound speed and increased radius of turn. As well the aircraft must be turned through a greater angle to offset the drift, and to counter the tailwind earlier unless the turn was spot on, to regain the CL.
The late kick straight to align the the aircraft with runway was OK, the wing dropped a little. Not ideal, but happens on a normal xwind landing sometimes.
Remember as little as 8deg can scrape a pod, so it wasn't too bad.