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Tales from Kai Tak - 15 Years On

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Tales from Kai Tak - 15 Years On

Old 24th Aug 2015, 23:15
  #21 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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Do we know is the checkerboard still standing?
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 23:45
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Still there, but white /red paint is completely gone.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 02:08
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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You no Gateway customer!
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 13:46
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Checkerboard? Just an obstruction hazard imo.

I never looked at or for it. You go where you look so I was more interested in seeing lead in cues and the runway.
I agree with spleener...
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 17:23
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Loved flying the IGS! Never looked at the checkerboard…I had my own ground references for alignment, which differed slightly from L-1011 to -400. I was a practitioner of the 'weasel appwoach' in fair weather - sidestepping to the left when fully visual in order to extend the final segment and/or lessen the bank angle round final, crosswind dependent….
"Cathay 880 request a visual"
"Catay, you are kweared for a weasel appwoach"

Easy, really….
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 20:50
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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i got wadar wectors for a weasel sometimes.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 23:00
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Thumbs up

Worked Approach Radar and Tower for a total of 12 years until Kai Tak closed. What a buzz. What I really enjoyed was combining the IGS and a Visual Step Down if the weather was suitable. Many airlines would not allow their pilots to do a VSD because of the local geographical knowledge requirements. No such restrictions for Cathay or Dragonair. If you had two aircraft coming in from the East with a Cathay aircraft about 12 nm behind another airline, I could clear that aircraft for an IGS and immediately clear the Cathay aircraft for the Visual Step Down. When judged correctly, Cathay now became No 1, no delay to anyone and enough room to get a departure in between both aircraft. Maximum use of airspace with both aircraft getting what they want. Talk about job satisfaction. Thanks for the memories to all who operated at Kai Tak.
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 00:17
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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On a rare clear day I point out the Kai Tak runway to the FO and the spiky-haired kid in the jump seat and tell them, 'If that runway could talk'.

Lots of memories of the IGS, the aero club, and top-notch ATC.
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 03:20
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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and out of courtesy the FO and the spiky-haired kid in the jump seat pretend they give a s*** about you and the good old days!
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 09:07
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Lots of memories of the IGS, the aero club, and top-notch ATC.
Hell's Bells, chaps and chapesses, the IGS (and relocating the Stonecutters NDB to the other end of the island, and extending the runway and displacing the threshold took all the fun out of things.
And who remembers the Harbour approach?
And back in the good old days, where the crew transport dropped you at the Aero Club, and just took your bags to the hotel, I've probably still got some bar tickets in the bottom of an old flight bag somewhere.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 09:31
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Ah yes!
1000ft at Cheung Chau then down to 700ft visual towards Stonecutters just below the cloud base in pouring rain!
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 10:10
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Kai Tak

I think some of the best approaches were made by the " Auxies " . We even were allowed to come from Sek Kong direct over Lion Rock and then sideslip down onto RW 13. Also, holding at North Point at 500ft and then given clearance to land in the last third of RW 23 and vacate the runway ASAP. Later,with the increase in traffic, things became more restricted but we still had a job to do.
I remember once in the 60's a flight from Singapore to HongKong. We refuelled at Saigon but after passing DaNang knew that if we carried on, we did not have fuel to divert to Manila. The weather was bad and I asked the captain what we would do if we could not get in to KaiTak. He looked at me and said that he did not want to be court-marshalled so he would fly into a mountain just above Lion Rock. As a fairly new co-pilot, I half believed him. Later ,in the bar ,the drinks were on me and the rest of the crew had a good laugh.
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 10:47
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Three Special Check Point Islands:

Captain Dart:

I have a sneaking feeling that you and I would agree that washing off speed over the stretch of water between the islands of Cheung Chau and Stonecutters was the most pleasant piece of hand flying any pilot could ever wish for. Keeping an eye on Green Island as the "half way point" made stabilizing the approach a breeze but the icing on the cake came after Stonecutters.

What a pity those two crew members (and their contemporaries) you referred to will never know the pleasure of doing something that was highly paid, gratifying, memory making and just plain good fun.

O.P.
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Old 28th Aug 2015, 15:38
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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I have a night video of me with John Stone and Priesty in the 3-holer from overhead the Island to touchdown, filmed by a sim manufacturer crew to get their computer model accurate. I've got to get it onto Dvd or something...classic
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Old 28th Aug 2015, 16:03
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OP et al: I get the better times thing but seriously:-

the most pleasant piece of hand flying any pilot could ever wish for.
Lacking a little imagination my friend. Life outside of Cathay, even one or two of those F/Os and SHKs may have done a "Looping the Loop" or flown beneath MSA
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Old 28th Aug 2015, 16:38
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Ok, more of, "interesting" flying then, considering it was on the classic.
Take-off RW13, dumb-bell at 1,000' in Junk Bay, or just slightly further out. Touch and go on RW31, hard left over Kowloon at 500' and aim at Central HK, pass the Mandarin at 1,000', hard right for Stonecutters. Touch and go on RW13. And so on until 6 take-offs and landings. Breakfast in the Aero Club.

Or, with "Shag".. 330kts over Green Island, close the throttles and spool up at about 500' on RW13. No speed break, and don't exceed the limits!!
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Old 28th Aug 2015, 18:19
  #37 (permalink)  
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I have a night video of me with John Stone and Priesty in the 3-holer from overhead the Island to touchdown, filmed by a sim manufacturer crew to get their computer model accurate. I've got to get it onto Dvd or something...classic
Upload it to YouTube so you can share with all of us.
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Old 28th Aug 2015, 18:32
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Thumbs up

Will do
Got to get it off tape medium first; live in the Keys and need specialist to do it, but Office Depot recc'd a place.
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Old 28th Aug 2015, 21:53
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Happy memories of sitting on the terrace of the Carlton Hotel in 1968 with Mrs TTN (before she became MrsTTN) looking down and identifying the various aircraft as they approached in succession. "That's a Convair 990 of Garuda, thats a Convair 880 of Cathay Pacific, that's a ..." . "That's interesting, she would reply, unconvincingly!"

My most interesting approach was in the RHS of one of RHKAAF's Austers, after delivering newspapers by air drop round the NT. You really felt you could open the door and grab the washing off the roofs! Wonder if that was you flying, RHKAAF?
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Old 29th Aug 2015, 06:14
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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White None:
This is just for you, let's call it an update on what I previously said. TWA senior captain Bob Buck wrote his entire professional flying life in his best selling autobiography “North Star Over My Shoulder”. On pages 389~390 he talks of the brotherhood of pilots who knew RW 13 at Kai Tak. Here is what he said: ------
Quote:
“ Part of the fun of Hong Kong was landing at Kai Tak Airport. The start of the runway that we’d approach for landing was shoved right up against the city, behind which were 1,500-foot hills, too high to come over and land straight in. So the approach was at a 90-degree angle, over water, away from the hills, toward an island called Stone Cutter. Beyond Stone Cutter, a hill rose that had big red and white checkerboard squares painted on it. So the procedure was to fly over Stone Cutter, descending, then aim at Checkerboard, continuing descent, then just before it make a hard right turn, almost an aerobatic maneuver; by now you were down to 300 feet or less, the tight turn taking you over stacked apartment-style living quarters with wash lines and drying clothes blowing in the wind off the balconies, close enough that you felt your wingtip might tear them off the lines. The runway swung into view, tilted sideways, but coming up level with your wings as you completed the turn; there it was, stretched out ahead and ready to accept your aircraft. After a long boring flight from Bangkok this stirred the blood and got you up on the edge of the seat – careful, but barnstorming with a Boeing 707, having old-style fun. That’s all gone now, with a new airport built away from these problems, just another dull airport with proper, boring approaches. But there’s a brotherhood of pilots who flew in and out of Kai Tak, and when any of us come together there’s lots of talk, tales, and laughter. “ Unquote.
His words and description but my sentiments. Convinced now ???

O.P.
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