Friday, July 03, 2020


Kai Tak (啓德機場 'kai dak gei cheung') was closed in 1998. To the best of my knowledge, Air America never flew there. This is only important if you have a peculiar interest in East Asia and America's somewhat malevolent role there. Instead, the RAF used it occasionally, as well as the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force, until they left for Sek Kong Airfield (石崗機場 'sek kong gei cheung') in the New Territories. The RHKAAF ceased existence in 1993, and Sek Kong is now occupied by the People's Liberation Army.

500. 400. 300. 200. 100.

Kai Tak was always considered dangerous and challenging for landing. The approach was from Victoria Harbour heading east over Kowloon until the pilot had sighted Checkerboard Hill, whereupon a sharp right bank (47°) and a steep short descent (going from just over 200 meters to 45 meters) aligned the craft for runway 13.
Descending over Kowloon to get the checkerboard in view might be rather bumpy, the turn and drop hair raising. Crosswinds, fog, and rainy weather could make it more interesting.

60. 50. 40. 30. 20. 10.

Touchdown at Kai Tak was always like an emergency landing.

The new airport at Chek Lap Kok is not nearly so exciting.

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