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Things I Saw At Kai Tak !  
User currently offlineN754PR From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (16 years 6 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2003 times:

Kai Tak had to have been the best place on earth to see strange or interesting things (not aircraft types).

How about a Air China 744 taking off on RWY 31 put instead of turning left after departure he just climbed straight out and over the mountains into China.

Or the Dragonair A320 with flap problems that made three go arounds then landed hard on 31, went straight off the runway accross the grass and came to rest on the taxiway (left main gear on the grass)

The dog that stopped a CX 744 then sat right in the middle of the four main gear.

The Philippines 744 that tried to take off with the flaps fully up !!!

The NCA 747-200F's that had engine strikes, Yes two different aircraft.

The Malaysian 744 engine stike.

The hundreds of attempted landings on RWY 13 during rain storms and Typhoons. Some of these had you very worried. Some did go arounds so low that the main gear hit the runway before the plane started climbing !!!!.

The Air China 742 that i have photos of landing at a crazy angle ( without problems) .

The list just goes on and on !!!


43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineCricri From France, joined Oct 1999, 581 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (16 years 6 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1605 times:

Do you know if there is video about all this missed/failed approaches, landings and t/o? Maybe an amateur one showing all you describe? I would get it immediately...
Sure it is nice having been a spotter at Kaitak, I'm jealous...

User currently offlineLomcovak From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (16 years 6 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1595 times:

Hello PR,

Notice your name is taken from the registration marks of a Philippine Airlines Boeing 747-400 if I'm not mistaken? I rode one yesterday and I could have sworn it was N754PR. If not, it was probably N752PR.

Yes, Kai Tak was a very interesting place, I rode through some "interesting" landings like the Cathay Pacific 747-400 from London which had to go around when a sudden monsoon shower hit just before the infamous turn at the checkerboard was executed, totally obscuring the runway. Or the SAS 767-300 from Copenhagen which somehow landed smoothly despite a botched final turn, with the pilot banking and fanning the rudders like crazy up until the last second to get the plane aligned (I thought one of our engines would strike the runway, he was banking more than 20 degrees only a few feet above the ground).

It was really sad to see it go. What aircraft observers deemed its greatest asset, the Checkerboard Approach (or more accurately the geographic layout of the airport), turned out to be its greatest limitation as well.

User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 13273 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (16 years 6 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1582 times:

Ah, the memories - and you don't need to ask how I got my name!
As for videos, Cricri, I would suggest you try the Just Planes Videos Kai Tak productions; there are also two German ones, by BL&P (both very good) and there's a British one as well, also good. Yes, it's a tribute to this, the greatest airport that ever was, that there are so many videos dedicated.

As for sites, if you go into the Professional Pilots Rumour Network and look under Fragrant Harbour forum (the Chinese name for HK!), you'll see a link for Kai Tak photos. There are some very good ones - try it!

I must have gone through about 40 rolls of film from Kai Tak and that meant quite a few shots. And they still give me great pleasure.

Long may its memory live!

User currently offlineThai747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 1999, 814 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (16 years 6 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1558 times:

Was it China Airlines 747 that took a bath in the lake near Kaitak?

User currently offlineOvelix From Greece, joined Aug 1999, 639 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (16 years 6 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1547 times:

What about the airport right now? Is it just standing there, nothing happenning etc? What are the plans of use? Any of you knows??

User currently offlineDc10@dfw From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (16 years 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1533 times:

I was at Kai Tak about 10 days ago. Oh it gave me goose bumps seeing the checkerboard and the runway from the aiport perimiter. I got some good views from the parking garage next to the Regal Kai Tak Hotel. I even got to go inside the terminal. They have removed almost everything. It is just a vacant hall now. I saw some surveyors on the runway when I was there. I wonder what is to become of that place. It was a dream come true for me to see it, after viewing all the photos on the internet.

User currently offlineGundu From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (16 years 6 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1526 times:

If I'm not wrong,it will become a BIG amusement arcade!!

Copyright Straits Times 20/10/99


User currently offlineN754PR From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (16 years 6 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1522 times:

Hello everyone.

Kai Tak today is a very sad place. The fuel tanks are gone, Haeco's head office has gone, all the CX offices have just started to be knocked down (yes including the simulator building that was only built about six years ago !!!)

Most of the apron has been dug up. The Terminal does have a bowling alley and pool tables now. The company running it is called `Kai Tak Bowling'. This i guess will only be short term.

All the approach lights are gone (except the famous one in Kowloon City built into the building) the IGS tower at the chequer board has gone

As for a video tape with all the go arounds, sorry i don't know. remember most of them were in very bad weather.

Some of my photos are on a site that i know can't remember the address of !. If i can find any i will let you all know.



P.S. Yes N754PR is a PR 744, its a 747-469 built for Kuwait Airlines but the order was not taken up. I've flown this aircraft twice.

User currently offlineN754PR From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (16 years 6 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1552 times:

Look here.


You can see some of my photos on this site. My contact numbers are outdated, i've asked him to update them.


User currently offlineHS-LTA From Hong Kong, joined Oct 1999, 231 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (16 years 6 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1519 times:

Besides what N754PR said, I saw some intersting things at Kai Tak.
1)A plane was taxiing around the ramp due to waiting for a bay.
2)Five big jets were waiting for take off but waiting for a C152 on approach in a busy morning.
3)A Varig MD-11 go around due to see a big bird on the runway.
4)A GA B742 made a crazy turn on IGS and nearly land on taxiway.
5)A BG DC-10 landed with right gear on the grass.
6)An Atlas B742F was arrived into Hong Kong airspace,but it was two hours before airport open(open at 06:30 local time).

Also, due to Kai Tak is small. So, most of the passengers needed to take the shuttle bus to the bus. And for me, I will be the first one leave the bus and the last one got on the planes. So, I can take photos on the ramp.

User currently offlinePandora From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (16 years 6 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1516 times:

I'vebeen to Kai tak several times and now it's closed i miss it alot.

i remember some locals, climbing onto the checkerboard during no.8 typhons (the strongest typhhon there were) and watched CX l011s and 747-200s landing the IGS!! WOW!! it was so amagzing because there were microbursts and bloody strong crosswinds, which had dipped the aircraft's nose at around 200ft! than it sanks about 100 ft, pulls its nose up, and made a go-around!!

User currently offlineN754PR From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (16 years 6 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1514 times:


Yep, every Typhoon it was the same !!. By the way the highest signal for a Typhoon is number 10. I've been in Hong Kong for 13 years and this year i had my first 10. Let me tell you nothing landed at CLK for the whole day .


User currently offlineHS-LTA From Hong Kong, joined Oct 1999, 231 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (16 years 6 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1511 times:

Just remember more things and post it again:
1)During the typhoon, all planes were gone around in the afternoon.And a El Al B767 on the IGS in very very heavy rain. The plane rushed into the runway and finally the captain said "Tower, this is El Al xxx, we landed on runway!"
2)A JAL MD-11 pilot said:"Approach, can I use ILS intsead of IGS. I think we can't land with such strong wind!" and the tower said "JAL xxx, you can try IGS, wait a while or divert to anywhere you want.We can't change runway because of you only."

More will come when I got back my momories!

User currently offlineSabenaA320 From Belgium, joined Nov 1999, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (16 years 6 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1514 times:

Great photo's of Kai Tak!!!! 

What a shame I've never been there, but the stories are great.

Keep on typing everybody


User currently offlineSQ2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (16 years 6 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1503 times:

Well, reading all your contributions made me realise how much I miss Kai tak. To be sure, I never liked Kai Tak as it was cramp and crowded. But one thing I did enjoy was my flight into Hong Kong and the famous right turn as the aircraft approaches the runway. It was a spectacular sight with the view of the city below and of Hong Kong island opposite the runway. It was a beautiful sight indeed. I went back to Hong Kong and flew into the new airport at Chep Lap Kok. While it impressed me, I must say that the exciting approach is now gone and landing in CLK is like any other major city approaches, straighfoward and boring! Happy memories!


SQ always my 1st choice
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9646 posts, RR: 42
Reply 16, posted (16 years 6 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1500 times:

Sniff... sob... I'll be OK in a minute...

User currently offlineHisham From Lebanon, joined Aug 1999, 701 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (16 years 6 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1500 times:

I have a series of pictures taken at Kai tak of a BA 747 on short finals while another airplane is still on the runway. The 747 touches down nearly a second after the other aircraft got airborne. I've never seen anything like this before.

User currently offlinePandora From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (16 years 6 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1481 times:

I was just wondering, who invented IGS approach, and why Hong Kong? Is it b'coz of the nearby mountains?

User currently offlineKaplano1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (16 years 6 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1475 times:

Thanks for the stories everybody. The worst thing is, all those years you guys have been plane spotting at Kai Tak, I was never born. I only visited Kai Tak when I was young and never interested in photography. Now, only 1 year after it closed, it is one thing I will regret forever.

I will be visiting HK's new airport from the 15th-19th Dec 1999 but this will be nothing like Kai Tak ever was.

I remember landing in 747 and watching the left hand wing passing close to the moutains. It was one of the most unique approaches in the world.

Steven Kaplan

User currently offlineHS-LTA From Hong Kong, joined Oct 1999, 231 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (16 years 6 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1469 times:

When the old Kai Tak airport, there was two runway, 07/25, 13/31. They were cross runway. And the approach to runway 13(the old one) was very very interesting. The aircraft needed to visual approach to near the hill and made sharp turn on final. I watched a TV prog about Kai Tak and with cockpit shot on 13 approach. But in 1969's, the government reclaim a new single runway, yes, the famous runway 13 and 31. But due to traffic was not too busy at that time. So, not IGS on 13 approach. If aircraft needed to land on runway 13. It needed to fly on the heading to 31 approaach and made left turn and fly along on Hong Kong Island coast and turn right to Kowloon and visual approach to runway 13. But due to more and more traffic and larger planes, so the government installed the IGS system for safety approach.

You can find more information on a book called "airport of the nine dragon". It was written by a old CX captain.

User currently offlineN754PR From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (16 years 6 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1474 times:

Hello Hisham,

I dont now when but i took a KA A320 departing (main gear still on the runway) and a 747 already with its main gear touched down !!. I only saw this once or twice.


User currently offlineHisham From Lebanon, joined Aug 1999, 701 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (16 years 6 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1464 times:

Such a situation is illegal because the law requires at least one runway length between a landing and a departing aircraft. If both planes are on the runway at the same time, then the distance is less than one runway length.

User currently offlineTommy From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (16 years 6 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1463 times:

Yeah, Kai Tak was one one hell of an airport. The feeling you get when you see an aircraft bank over the apartment blocks is just undiscribable. It was a real challenge for the pilots, especially in the typically adverse weather and in crosswinds. I've seen Kai Tak from many angles, on the checkerboard hill, Chi Chun Lau, Parking Lot, cockpit.......now, everytime I pass by our deserted Kai Tak, I just get this funny feeling.

User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6832 posts, RR: 54
Reply 24, posted (16 years 6 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1457 times:

I saw a lot of crazy things and I don't remember most of them. But I do remember seeing a BA 744 BOUNCE twice before finally rolling out after touching down. The777Man

Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....LX and LH 777s
25 Pandora : I thought of an interesting shop for some of you guys in HK should go to. WHile i was in Hong Kong last year I went to a model shop called 'airliners
26 HS-LTA : Yes. I saw several time the planes just a second touch down after the take off traffic rolling out. I have the video and photos(very lucky). In the vi
27 N754PR : Pandora, when you went to this shop did you speak to a non-Chinese guy or just Chinese Staff ?. The reason i ask is i'm the one that stuck all those p
28 N754PR : My only Go-Around was at Kai Tak and it was on a BA 744 landing on Runway 31 (Not 13). It was way back in about 92' i think we got down to about 500 -
29 Pandora : Hey N754PR!! Wow! you work @ airliners group? I went to Hoong kong in DEC last year, and I remember seeing a German type guy putting up and displaying
30 B727-200 : Daryl, I will be heading into HKG on 20 Dec. for the first time - where abouts is this shop, as I will have to put it on my to-see list? Like Kaplano
31 Pandora : B727-200: Wow! YOu are going to Hong KOng? The airliners group address is: units 101-2, 1/F, Stelux House, 698 Prince Edward Road, Shan Po Kong, Kowlo
32 Airbus A3XX : Pandora: No offense, but some of the informations are wrong. There is no such things 'N.T. Express'. It should be 'Airport Express'. The price for sin
33 N754PR : Hello, Well you know my name, so whats yours. I see you hide your real name and your e-mail address. Is this for a reason ? I would like to inform you
34 Pandora : hi! I've got the airliners book on kai tak and saw tons of your photos in it! well done dude! anyway, i agree with you, it's a small world. are your s
35 Airbus A3XX : N754PR: I don't mean that you service is not good, I just mean some of the staffs sitting in the reception desk. Also sometimes they provide wrong inf
36 Pandora : I agree withyou on the staff at airliners group. The reception desk lady, (the fatone, CHinese), is rude. I've asked for the Kai Tak book and she goes
37 B727-200 : Hi guys, Thanks for the advice on what to expect on arrival in Hong Kong, and for the airliners group address Pandora. It is probably quite amazing t
38 N754PR : Hi, For your info i will be in the store on the following days. DEC 13-16, 21-23, 28 & 30th. Many days this month we are taking part in a exhibition i
39 Kaplano1 : G'day, I am also from Australia. I live in Sydney and will be visiting HK from the 15th-19th Dec 1999. Which airline are you flying? I am flying Anset
40 B727-200 : Guys, Will be flying Ansett also - up on the 20th, back on the 25th. Because I am airline staff I am subload (standby) so may have to look at other o
41 N754PR : Hi Steve, Like i said give me a call when your in Hong Kong. At the moment they seem to be changing about . Very difficult to say what runway they are
42 Kaplano1 : Dear Daryl, I will call you the morning after my arrival. I am hoping that you will be able to show me around as it would be unreal. Thanks so much fo
43 Airbus A3XX : Daryl, Is Airliners group going to have a counter in the Tarmar(admiralty?) like last year? If yes, then I would go and see...... Can you please give
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