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Kai Tak Era Cathay Pilots: Best In The Profession?  
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1558 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 13924 times:

Given that landing at Hong Kong's old Kai Tak airport required special pilot qualifications, were Cathay's pilots back then considered the most proficient in the industry seeing that they landed there 50% of the time?

Faro


The chalice not my son
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinejayeshrulz From India, joined Apr 2007, 1029 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 13639 times:

Well, even other airline's pilots landed excellently at the same airport given that they dont fly there all the time. So shouldn't they be considered even better?


Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
User currently offlineKPDX From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2770 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 13563 times:

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 1):
Well, even other airline's pilots landed excellently at the same airport given that they dont fly there all the time.

Indeed! Never ceases to amaze me when I see the video of the Concorde landing at Kai Tak.



View my aviation videos on Youtube by searching for zildjiandrummr12
User currently offlinesq_ek_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1640 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 13516 times:

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 1):
Well, even other airline's pilots landed excellently at the same airport given that they dont fly there all the time.

Just don't add Alitalia MD-11 pilots to that list  



Keep Discovering
User currently offlinecol From Malaysia, joined Nov 2003, 2122 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 13309 times:

CX pilots did not always get it right. One time flew MAN-CDG-HKG, we made two attempts at HKG, but ended up going for some more juice at SZX. Something to do with no being able to see the runway approching the mound at minimum height. Still made my connection down to Sing, so that wasn't bad. I do miss Kai Tak though, heaviest landing I did was on a TG MD11. I also had one landing coming the other way on a UA 744, just wasn't the same. But to answer the post, CX were pretty slick at Kai Tak, they also would cheat and fly closer to the range and get more time on the turn.

User currently offlineaa61hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 13240 times:

Quoting col (Reply 4):
I also had one landing coming the other way on a UA 744, just wasn't the same

I heard the landing for 31 was a little 'boring' but the take off was fun.



Go big or go home
User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 13154 times:

Quoting col (Reply 4):
CX pilots did not always get it right. One time flew MAN-CDG-HKG, we made two attempts at HKG, but ended up going for some more juice at SZX. Something to do with no being able to see the runway approching the mound at minimum height.

I wouldn't really say that "pilots did not always get it right". Not being visual with the runway at minimums and going around is doing exactly the right thing.

I agree, Kai Tak was great, and there were some very interesting approaches made into HK, as sq_ek_freak suggested, Alitalia did put on an interesting show at times!



People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12523 posts, RR: 35
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 12998 times:

Certainly they were among the best, but also the luckiest. I know a retired 744 captain with CX and he flew 707s, 747s, L1011s and 744s (and indeed, VC10s with the RAF, into Kai Tak) ... what a career!

Quoting Airbus_A340 (Reply 6):
Alitalia did put on an interesting show at times!

Boy, they did put on a show! I don't know what it was about them - perhaps the MD11 was a handful, but so many people have said that and the video evidence certainly supports it. I don't think the following is an isolated incident; in one incident, they scraped the wing and seriously dented the winglet!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1w4KEnkWIg

I really like the new airport and there are some superb photo opportunities, but I will never forget Kai Tak (hard to, given that it's my username!)


User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 12987 times:

Cathay Pacific pilots are respected by the aviation community as being some of the best trained crews in the world, but I don't think that has much (anything?) to do with Kai Tak.


I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlinefutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2605 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 12964 times:

It takes a lot more than flying an unusual approach to be considered a good pilot. I don't doubt that they were good, and safe, but the best? There is a lot more to that equation than flying an unusual approach.


Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8428 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 12814 times:
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Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 8):
Cathay Pacific pilots are respected by the aviation community as being some of the best trained crews in the world, but I don't think that has much (anything?) to do with Kai Tak

Pilot friend of mine says the checks at Cathay are hard and its like applying for your job every time. Tough.


User currently offlinejayeshrulz From India, joined Apr 2007, 1029 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 12737 times:

Quoting KPDX (Reply 2):
Indeed! Never ceases to amaze me when I see the video of the Concorde landing at Kai Tak.

Ah.Sad they dont make those heros anymore!

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 3):
Just don't add Alitalia MD-11 pilots to that list

Exceptions are always there! 



Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4669 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 9949 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 10):

Pilot friend of mine says the checks at Cathay are hard and its like applying for your job every time. Tough.

Welcome to the life of an Airline Pilot, that is not exclusive to Cathay.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently onlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6363 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 9654 times:
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I do not believe there is an airline with the best "pilots". I´m sure winter operations in Europe in the Alpine regions for example are as exacting and difficult as landing at Kai Tak on a sunny day, for example. So then you would have to consider Swiss, LH, AF, Austrian and others as having the best pilots. Operating in regions that are 12,000 ft. above sea level routinely, and surrounded by mountains of over 19,000 ft. for example, must be no easy feat either, so I would put LAB pilots or Aerosur pilots in that category too.

What about pilots landing at DCA in weather minima, or on certain LGA approaches?

Rather, I would say there are more airlines out there with incompetent pilots, than a single airline with the BEST pilots.


User currently offlineCX Flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6620 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 9612 times:

Quoting col (Reply 4):
CX pilots did not always get it right. One time flew MAN-CDG-HKG, we made two attempts at HKG, but ended up going for some more juice at SZX. Something to do with no being able to see the runway approching the mound at minimum height.

So what in your opinion would be getting it right then? Continuing with a landing when the weather was below minimums, disregarding go-around requirements and landing (or crashing) onto the runway?


User currently offlinecol From Malaysia, joined Nov 2003, 2122 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 9539 times:

Quoting Airbus_A340 (Reply 6):
I wouldn't really say that "pilots did not always get it right". Not being visual with the runway at minimums and going around is doing exactly the right thing.

That was tongue in cheek remark, it was never good at Kai Tak when you couldn't see the laundry hung out to dry. You knew you were going elsewhere for an hour while it cleared.


User currently offlineB737900 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9153 times:
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Quoting KPDX (Reply 2):
Indeed! Never ceases to amaze me when I see the video of the Concorde landing at Kai Tak

Would love to see that video. Can you guide us a.netters to it?



Sounds like a Beaver on floats..........we're saved!!
User currently offlineB737900 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9036 times:
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Quoting AR385 (Reply 13):
I do not believe there is an airline with the best "pilots".

I agree. If we are talking about difficult approches in difficult weather then let's talk about Alaska Airlines operating in the dead of winter on the North Slope or shooting approaches in Southeast Alaska in fog and snow and heavy rain. I love this thread. Carry on!



Sounds like a Beaver on floats..........we're saved!!
User currently offlinebrianhames From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 795 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 8768 times:

Quoting B737900 (Reply 17):
let's talk about Alaska Airlines operating in the dead of winter on the North Slope or shooting approaches in Southeast Alaska in fog and snow and heavy rain

Truth. Alaska gets my vote.


User currently offlineKPDX From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2770 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 8244 times:

Quoting B737900 (Reply 16):
Would love to see that video. Can you guide us a.netters to it?

Sure can.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBtLix4xqdI


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqTjAh10flw&feature=related



View my aviation videos on Youtube by searching for zildjiandrummr12
User currently offlineVS239 From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2006, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 8244 times:

Quoting B737900 (Reply 16):
Would love to see that video. Can you guide us a.netters to it?

One video here of a British Airways Concorde landing on Runway 13.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqTjAh10flw&feature=related



Who...me??
User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1654 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7387 times:

Quoting VS239 (Reply 20):
One video here of a British Airways Concorde landing on Runway 13

Amazing! They make it look like putting a Cessna 140 down on the family farm's strip in Kansas. Pilot skill is, sometimes, best shown when it makes the very difficult seem very easy.


User currently offlineNavigator From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 1214 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7250 times:

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 9):
It takes a lot more than flying an unusual approach to be considered a good pilot. I don't doubt that they were good, and safe, but the best? There is a lot more to that equation than flying an unusual approach.

There are also other airports with unusual approaches requiring special skill. I think there are a number of airports in northern Norway including Alta that are as difficult as Kai Tak but also in icing conditions that would mean that SAS pilots are special. Also the Canarsie approach to JFK:s runway 13 is about as difficult as the approach to Kai Tak. It does not have the same type of obstacles but it requires an equally tight turn with heavy jets. And what about Tegucigalpa... Rio Santos Dumont... I agree that the ability to fly an unusual approach is not the only criteria for good pilots. Equally demanding is stall recovery and manual aircraft handling etc



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User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1987 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7191 times:

Well...Landing Kai Tak is extremely diffcult for the newbie and less-experienced pilots. That's why the airlines must have the senior first officers and/or two captains to fly on a huge plane (such as B747s) to HKG.


The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlinespencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 24, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 6461 times:

Quoting col (reply 15):
It was never good at Kai Tak when you couldn't see the laundry hung out to dry. You knew you were going elsewhere for an hour while it cleared.
How very true! Only made Kai Tak once but I'll never forget seeing into people's homes!!

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25 Post contains images Navigator : If you were trained to fly a 744 as a captain or first officer you were also automatically qualified to land at Kai Tak even if the first landing for
26 kaitak : Present tense? How I wish it were so!
27 futureualpilot : Not necessarily, it has more to do with seniority. The best paying airplanes and the better schedules usually go to the guys that have been there the
28 Trucker : Wouldn't any pilot going to Kai Tak have practised the approach dozens of times on the simulator?
29 TCASAlert : While we're on the subject of the amazing airport that is Kai Tak, does anybody have a video from the passenger perspective of landing on runway 13? T
30 FlyboyOz : lol... yeah that's why i LOVE kai tak!! I DO NOT want to hear that Kai tak to be "disappeared"! Keep the history alive!
31 Post contains links VS239 : One here from the starboard side of a CX B747. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peHOVw0Sz-0 Another one from the port side of another approach http://w
32 TCASAlert : Wow! Amazing videos, thanks for sharing! Strangely its not the turn that makes it surreal, more the proximity to buildings at such a high speed!
33 Post contains links malioil : A pilot's ability has a lot more to do than just plain approaches, although CX's pilots are very highly trained. In terms of approaches, don't forget
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