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Tales from Kai Tak - 15 Years On

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Tales from Kai Tak - 15 Years On

Old 3rd Apr 2020, 04:22
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Gerloz
Posts: 463
You’ll need a snake wrangler whilst you’re at it. Have only been around the base of late however festooned with the bloody things. And they’re just waking up.

Sorry. Hong Kong. And Heritage. ? Non sequitur. !
Look what the a’holes did to the Marine Police Headquarters and Stanley Police Station.
Globocnik is online now  
Old 4th Apr 2020, 02:28
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hong kong
Posts: 11
The checkerboard is now very fast deteriorating and a couple of years more will likely be past saving.
I can't these days clime it but very happy to kick in for the paint cost.
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Old 4th Apr 2020, 09:37
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cyprus
Posts: 34
Nice read as I "lurk about" FH on a weekend now firmly locked down. AIRBUBBA : Yes, you were right and I can't remember either Although a CX candidate failure & ASL too (sorry), still wound up in and outa HK, at least twice a month on GF 76's. I have a feeling it was a B/c switch which helped us fly out on the inbound course with correct sensing. Survived my last year with GF by passing the A340 chop strategy and can't remember how we got that big Gentleman's in & out of HK. Might have been the new airport which presented no challenge. I suspect Kai Tak would have been a standard Airbus button push ; A?P at 400, LNav, VNav..................now what ? ARFUR : yeah, we were real men but in a company where there were several "Capt Only" T/O & LDG restrictions, Kai Tak was not one. Indeed, often giving the inbound leg to a very talented group of co-joes, I had to admit that most outflew me any way. (Why can I hear Globo thinking 'wouldn't have taken much eh ? ). Marve days.
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Old 6th Apr 2020, 09:32
  #104 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 1
Too hard on yourself or tongue in cheek old boy. Not many could outfly you Sir . Other times in the month , you will have been dicing with death in places like Kathmandu where REAL, real men were real men. Back to thread though ; I too was a CX candidate failure but recall going into Kai tak in the back of a BOAC VC10 for the 2nd stage interviews . Crawled out of the 10 a mumbling wreck & wondered if I really wanted to do this. Failed anyway but, like you, went in & out of Kai tak with another carrier , many times. Easy. "Big Gentleman's"................steady on........I think you meant "Big Gentleman's Perambulator " as dear ole Rad referred to the A340. I wonder how they would have got that baby into the checker Board arrival ? Fun times, agreed. .
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Old 6th Apr 2020, 16:53
  #105 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: U.K.
Posts: 642
Kai Tak

As an ASL failure too went to Kai Tak with Lauda Air .Did a Bangkok followed by KT turn around next day. Joined SQ as DEC on A340 and that was the end of visits there.
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Old 6th May 2020, 16:47
  #106 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wales/now Canada
Age: 79
Posts: 37
In the sixties we had an RAF rule that you could not fly the aircraft into HongKong or Gibraltar unless you had flown there before as a co-pilot. Both airports were only tricky in bad weather. Based in Singapore we would transit through Saigon and spend a couple of days doing " harbour circuits " and visiting the tower.
Years later I spent seventeen years with the RHKAAF and then GFS so got to know HK pretty well. As with most things the novelty wore off as the political situation changed and I finally left in 2000. ( Cripes, 20 years ago )
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Old 7th May 2020, 11:02
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cyprus
Posts: 34
Luvley read during emotive times. RHK, ditto. It was often RHS visit or observer visit. I started my colourful career as a Trainee Crew Rostering Assistant with Cally in 1965. having just failed the first stage selection for Hamble. The Britannias started going into HK and I was put in charge of rostering FD crew for a course in HK operations. Part of the jollie was for them to go to HK where they shot arrivals and deps in a light-twin. I think it was a seven day affair. As the one responsible for arranging the courses I asked CP, (Roy Hermes) if I could go to HK and administer from there. He burst out laughing and continued to do so every time he saw me in the Crawley Offices for months.
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Old 11th May 2020, 19:40
  #108 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Quiet spot
Age: 71
Posts: 54
Being rostered to operate as the sole cabin crew on BOAC 707 Cargo flights had some benefits including the Hong Kong ‘Checkerboard’ landings the first of which I experienced in October 1970. We were followed in by an RAF Vulcan which had impressed our flight crew with a very rapid descent I guess those big air brakes were very effective. Never saw another Vulcan out there again although they appeared in Nairobi occasionally. Often wondered if Hong Kong was a regular trip for the Vulcan crews?
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Old 12th May 2020, 04:04
  #109 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Uk
Posts: 203
Would someone be kind enough to explain to me exactly how the checker board was used. I assume it was not just for visual approaches, or was it?

Was it an aid for instrument approaches? I assume you could do an instrument approach without looking at it at all?

How exactly did it fit in?

Many thanks.
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Old 12th May 2020, 10:07
  #110 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: uk
Posts: 712
3wheels: The checker board had essentially an ILS transmitter fitted to it. It was on a hillside at 390ft elevation and the approach was offset from the runway course by 47 degrees. Thus the approach could be flown in IMC down to a decision height of 675 ft. before a turn to the right to align with the runway was required.

During the times of year when the cloudbase and/or visibility were poor then an approach flown to minimum the checker board would not necessarly be visible at minimum. There was a set of flashing curved strobes which gave a 'lead - in ' to the runway.

For about 80% of the year the visibility and/or cloudbase were above 1,500 ft. and then the checkerboard could be used for visual final placing. In fact it was an accepted practice to "leave the IGS" early and to fly a bit to the north of the IGS course in order to give an easier final turn on to the runway. There was of course also the option from ATC when the weather was really good to fly an abbreviated visual approach up the Western Harbour using Chung Chau, Green Island, Stonecutters Island and then the Checkerboard - this saved about 30 track miles and had the potential to get "rather exciting" if it was not done properly!! ( if you get my drift?!)

Happy days.
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Old 12th May 2020, 16:14
  #111 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Sunrise Senior Living
Posts: 1,337
I was lucky enough as a lad to live on Mount Austin on the Peak from 1957 to 1959. I watched RW 13/31 being built out into the harbour. As it was being built, the way in to the main RW (24?) was around the foothills. Ac of the day were DC4, 6 and 7, Connies, and Electras. I was lucky enough to get an RAF Tiger Moth ride around the harbour. When RW 13/31 was opened, in came the Comet, B707, Britannias etc. Exciting times which I will always remember as a 10 to 12 year old boy. The highlight was the trip out and back in troopships - 26 days each way - which is covered in another thread "What a way to travel" (I think).
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Old 19th May 2020, 18:22
  #112 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In the twilight zone
Posts: 252
Good read. I bumped into this thread a few days ago and enjoyed reading it. I bet it was great to live in HK and fly for CX in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Best times in aviation.
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Old 25th May 2020, 08:16
  #113 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pointy End
Posts: 191
Loved flying the 13 IGS, worked for a company further south but we operated into Kai Tak twice a week back in the day. Great idea to rescue the checkerboard, good luck with that one, a real piece of aviation history.
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Old 25th May 2021, 10:49
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: high on a hill
Age: 50
Posts: 40
It's been repainted

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Old 25th May 2021, 11:48
  #115 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Glasgow Scotland UK
Age: 73
Posts: 65
Great to hear this has been re-painted. Do we know who did it?
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Old 25th May 2021, 16:45
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North America
Age: 76
Posts: 184
Further to Meikleour's post #110, to be more precise the GS antenna sat on top of the west facing chequerboard but the LOC antenna was down in the sports ground to the right of the soccer field in the photo showing the newly painted chequerboard.
Re Preon's post #108, RAF Vulcans were rare visitors to Kai Tak in the years I was there (1969 & on). There was one that had an engine issue circa 1969 and was towed over to the Haeco maintenance area for a high power engine run. The noise was deafening but several of us got to have a look inside afterwards before it was towed back to the RAF area.
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Old 26th May 2021, 03:59
  #117 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Accruing MilliSiverts
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Old 26th May 2021, 10:05
  #118 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: 3.5 from TD
Posts: 1,011
Rumor has it that Kai Tak will reopen. Thanks to government experts, HKG no longer needs 3 runways, so the new airport will be scrapped and sold for its commodity value.

Don’t you just feel safe all over?
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Old 26th May 2021, 10:31
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: The Twain
Posts: 176
So that is why there is so much high rise construction going on over at the old Kai Tak. A 40 storey high rise terminal building, why didn't anyone think of that before?

These new boys in government are good...
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Old 27th May 2021, 07:36
  #120 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Hong Kong, SAR.
Posts: 113
And the old boys thought that the old approach to Kai Tak was challenging. Try weaving in and out of those skyscrapers now!
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