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Kai-tak Runway Landing + Approach Procedues  
User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4040 times:

Hi guys and gals,

I was looking through some old Kai - Tak photos on the site, and one of them said "The usual X winds are at it again" Now if they always had X-winds, why not bring the aircraft in the other way, down the harbour, it wouldve saved on tire wear and also alot of pairs of underwear  Wink and obviously a few engines (the engine strike photos) So why didnt they do this?

Rgds --James--


You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4030 times:

Kai Tak was stuck back in the corner of Kowloon Bay, on dredged fill. It is surrounded from northwest through north - northeast -east - to southeast by fairly high hills of karst (I believe) rock. South through west is Victoria Island, close in, just as high and just as solid.

If you could fly straight up the channel east of Victoria and land straight in to Kai Tak it wasn't so bad. If you had to circle to land to the southeast it was downright colorful.

There is simply no place in Kowloon Bay to swing the runway around. There is one channel coming up from the southeast and one up from the southwest and that's it. There are no straight-in/straight-out approaches. Also just beyond the hills used to be "Communist China" and that made a difference at that time as well. The airspace was similarly confined.

The new airport out at Lan Tao has its own problems but should be considerably simpler.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17038 posts, RR: 66
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3941 times:

Also at play was the visual turn at the very end of the approach. Unlike the vast majority of airports, Kai Tak had an offset ILS/approach path. In other words, you were on final at an angle to the runway, turning onto the runway bearing visually at the famous checkerboard. So instead of having literally miles to adjust any alignment issues, if you didn't nail the turn you would be off to one side with little time to correct. Add in the usual crosswind and you can see the problem.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Innsbruck also has an offset approach.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineVref5 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3935 times:

Essentially that's like flying a NDB approach. I'm most reminded of DCA for these.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17038 posts, RR: 66
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3923 times:

Quoting Vref5 (Reply 3):
I'm most reminded of DCA for these.

Yes indeed. No mountains in the way on that one though. Just a watery British artillery staging post from 1812.  Wink



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3863 times:

I may have misinterpreted it but I suspect the question is about using 31 instead of 13 when there were crosswinds. All I know is that 31 was used for landing at times but not as often. I can't remember if 31 could be used for take-off, given that Beacon Hill was in the way of a direct approach to 13. I doubt it was ever quiet enough to fit many 31 landings between 13 departures.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 1):

Just a couple of minor nit-picks:

The city of Victoria is situated on the north side of Hong Kong Island.

I used to live "just beyond the hills", on the west slope of Tai Mo Shan in the New Territories. That's where most of mainland Hong Kong is. Having said that, I was small so the "huge" area beyond the hills may have seemed much bigger than it actually was. We certainly never saw any airliners that side of the hills, just the light military traffic using the RAF airstrip at Sek Kong.

Completely irrelevant to the discussion but the memories came flooding back.  Smile


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3815 times:

Quoting David L (Reply 5):
The city of Victoria is situated on the north side of Hong Kong Island.

You are absolutely correct about that. Now let us ride the Star Ferry over to Kowloon and take the train to Sha Tin to regard the back side of those hills. You are right about there being a lot of acreage over this way. But in wayward jetliner terms the space is compressed a bit. Given the relationship my country had with "Red China" last time I was in Hong Kong, I'd rather not mosey over that way.

Beautiful place. I'd like to go back one day.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3797 times:

Hi guys,

I read all your responses but i dont know if you reall understood what i mean. From looking at photo's it seemed Kaitak always had crosswinds, well most of the time. So instead of landing the way they did (red arrow on picture) Why not come down the other way (green arrow), It wouldve saved alot of effort and engine mess ups. Obviously when the winds prevent this come round checkerboard hill. but why complicate a hard approach even more by adding in crosswinds?

Big version: Width: 640 Height: 438 File size: 66kb




Hope you all understand this  Smile

Rgds --James--



You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17038 posts, RR: 66
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3792 times:

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 7):
I read all your responses but i dont know if you reall understood what i mean. From looking at photo's it seemed Kaitak always had crosswinds, well most of the time. So instead of landing the way they did (red arrow on picture) Why not come down the other way (green arrow), It wouldve saved alot of effort and engine mess ups. Obviously when the winds prevent this come round checkerboard hill. but why complicate a hard approach even more by adding in crosswinds?


I think Captain Click was pointing out that the other way wasn't really a straight shot either. Also that direction may have imposed restrictions on take-off weights due to engine out requirements. And before you ask, having take-offs and landings in opposite directions is impractical.

BTW the kosher way of linking a.nut pics is thus:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Samuel Lo




"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineCCA From Hong Kong, joined Oct 2002, 835 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3791 times:

A crosswind will always be one, if you change runways a crosswind from the right will now just be one from the left. However the headwind component was still probably in favour of using the red arrow RWY 13.


C152 G115 TB10 CAP10 SR-22 Be76 PA-34 NDN-1T C500 A330-300 A340-300 -600 B747-200F -200SF -400 -400F -400BCF -400ERF -8F
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3787 times:

I think the issue is quartering crosswinds. The wind is not blowing straight across, but at some other angle, like 45° to the runway but favoring the runway in use in your picture.

A crosswind is a crosswind is a crosswind. It is the HEADwind or TAILwind component that is important. The wind effect is a vector effect. For example the runway in use in your photo is 13, or nominally, 130 degrees. If the wind was from 175* at 20 knots that would be a 14 knot headwind for this runway plus a 14 knot crosswind component. Landing toward the hill on runway 31 it would still be a 14 knot crosswind but it would also be a 14 knot TAILWIND component.

Also remember that we must be able to touch down, reject the landing, go around with an engine failure in order for the landing to be legal and safe. This is VERY difficult when landing toward the hills. Apart from the dodgy maneuver of circling to land, landing on the runway shown here would ALWAYS be preferred over landing toward the mountains.

The rules are slightly different between nations and the wording is different but the basic rule is we cannot EVER fly or taxi an airliner into a position where it needs all its engines to fly out of it. (It is never worded that way - I'm summarizing half a dozen regs there.)

So if you land with the tailwind component and have to go around to prevent a Tenerife, that wind is pushing you toward the mountains faster.

Anyway, think go-around, not landing and it does make sense.

In my first post I was only addressing why the runway was not oriented or located differently.

* Of course wind is only reported in ten-degree increments.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3781 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):

I know but i needed to edit it!!  silly 

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
having take-offs and landings in opposite directions is impractical

What i was asking is could you take off and land in direction of the green arrow? or is the mountain to close?

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 10):

Ok thanks alot!! I guess i just wasnt thinking about the whole go around and failures.

Thanks to everyone thats posted answers and tried to explain.  Smile

Rgds --James--



You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3749 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
But in wayward jetliner terms the space is compressed a bit.

OK, fair point.  Smile

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
Beautiful place. I'd like to go back one day.

Yes and no. It's changed so much that I think I'd like to keep my memories of how rural the New Territories were in the late 1960s.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
Now let us ride the Star Ferry over to Kowloon and take the train to Sha Tin to regard the back side of those hills.

 checkmark  Give me the the Star Ferry (or the vehicular ferry) over the tunnels any day. None of those tunnels existed when we were there. We often used to take the train from Fanling to Kowloon instead of driving. The railway station was right at the southwest tip of Kowloon then. I could watch that harbour all day and night - in fact, a couple of times I pretty much did.  Smile

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
Given the relationship my country had with "Red China" last time I was in Hong Kong, I'd rather not mosey over that way.

Being British Army, we weren't exactly welcome over there, either, but the New Territories were definitely "ours", right up to the border zone. There were several military bases there, some closer to the border than we were in Sek Kong.

Just to get back on topic: as I said, there were occasional landings on 31 but I can't remember what types. They wouldn't have been wide-bodies, though, as they'd only just come into service when we left Hong Kong.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17038 posts, RR: 66
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3735 times:

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 11):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):

I know but i needed to edit it!

I went to lunch and figured that out. I have paged the foot-mouth surgeon.  Wink



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineRendezvous From New Zealand, joined May 2001, 516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3703 times:

I definately saw 31 in use while I was there, but only on about 2 days out of the two weeks I was over there.

User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3656 times:

Quoting Rendezvous (Reply 14):
I definately saw 31 in use while I was there

Any departures from 31?


User currently offlineLegoguy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 3313 posts, RR: 39
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3654 times:

mmmm I have a question...

When pilots land with high cross winds, and just before touch down, they hit the rudder creating side slip to land parallel with the centre lines, do they also have to apply a an upward movement in the opposite direction of the rudder?

I ask this as when applying some rudder, the aircraft will start to point downwards in the direction of side slip, so to keep the aircraft at the same altitude, it is necessary to push the joystick/control column upwards and in the opposite direction.



Can you say 'Beer Can' without sounding like a Jamaican saying 'Bacon'?
User currently offline808TWA From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 701 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3414 times:

Quoting David L (Reply 15):
Any departures from 31?

I have a Just Planes 4hr video of Kai Tak showing the rare departures on 31 towards the hills with a resulting left turn outbound.....basically being a reverse of the STAR for 13



Love is in the air, so practice safe flying
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3398 times:

Quoting Legoguy (Reply 16):
When pilots land with high cross winds, and just before touch down, they hit the rudder creating side slip to land parallel with the centre lines

Not necessarily in airliners. I'll be non-type-specific here but most transport category airplanes have a fairly large amount of crab at which it is legal and safe to touch down. Say five degrees or so. When the mains touch in a five degree crab the fuselage will just naturally want to swing into alignment with the runway.

The important thing about crosswinds in a jet transport is that you don't want to mess about trying to finesse a nice landing out of it. You want to transition from the approach attitude to the landing flare to on the ground and rolling out with no delay at any point. Glide - flare - thump - roll straight!

One can also slip a landing in the conventional sense, even in FBW Airbii. (You are in the landing mode of normal law.) You can fly your short final in a crab, kick it straight, drop a wing while flaring, then get that sucker on the ground before it all falls apart on you. Not difficult but again, you don't want to delay touching down.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3337 times:

Quoting 808TWA (Reply 17):
I have a Just Planes 4hr video of Kai Tak showing the rare departures on 31

Thanks. It was 35 years ago ( wideeyed  ) but some of the memories I have of the place are still quite vivid. What a place!


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