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Tuesday
Apr042006

Your Textbook Kai-Tak Approach (not)

Kai-Taking yourself....I found This Video on my travels on the Net yesterday and went "WTF!". So I got our resident fly-boy Rob "Brainless" Byrnes to give us a run-down on what's happening in it. Take the stick, Rob -

"Pilots will be talking about the dreaded RWY13 approach into Kai Tak, Hong Kong's old international airport, for all eternity.
Normally commercial aircraft are lined up and on glideslope 5 to 10nm from the target runway. Typically the runway is fully sighted at approx 3nm and a constant heading and powered approach is flown to touchdown.
Kai Tak was very different.
Due to land constraints and the unique geography of Hong Kong the airport wasn't in the ideal location. In order to land at Kai Tak's RWY13 the approach was actually flown at approx 89 degrees. The lucky pilot then had to make a turn to the runway heading of 136 degrees. This at less than 2nm to the threshold at approx 1000ft - a big turn at a low altitude, especially if you are in a 747. On a clear day passengers could actually see TV's in the Kowloon apartment blocks that the aircraft flies between on finals.
The video has a caption that states something like "This is a pretty normal landing for Kai Tak". Pigs arse! This dopey Korean Air Freighter jockey has committed one of the cardinal sins of a landing pilot - he has overshot the runway centerline and is no longer lined up correctly. Remember that hard low turn to 136 degrees? He was too late and ended up oriented to land on the airports apron area.

Take a close look at the rudder and spoilers on the wing tops. Captain Korea has put in some MASSIVE control inputs to get back on track. Multiple cockpit alarms for bank angle exceedance, glideslope minimums and terrain warnings would be making conversation impossible. The First Officer's seat would be covered in faecal matter! And I suspect the left outboard engine is going to need a thorough inspection.

To see how it should be done check out an in-cockpit video of the approach Here, man

Also, to help visualize the approach here is a Jeppeson STAR plate. 231239-306964-thumbnail.jpg
Jeppeson Airplane

Captain Korea is pretty much over the N’s of Main Apron."

Romeo Oscar Bravo Byrnes

More Here at Wikipedia

....And this is a great blog about Learning to Fly

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Reader Comments (17)

Took a moment out of very busy life to pop in, good one Mal, and thanks especially for the great commentary and comparison, Rob! Btw got an hour's ride in the Duchess a few weeks back, nice old thing, enjoyed the last minute go-round when the student in front went too wide on the landing approach and we were in something a lot faster <g> plus Son1 has just yesterday moved up an instructor grade to multi-engines. I've sent him all the links'n'stuff to this.
April 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLou
Ha! I flew Korean Air on a trip back to Sydney when I was living in the UK. And I thought that was bad! Mind you, it's nice to know that 474s are so um, manoeuverable...!
April 4, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteractonb
Fucking overpaid, overhyped, undertrained plane drivers !!!
How hard can it be to steer one of these mothers ??
Pilots give me the shits...
April 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterfingers
Great commentary Rob! Sounds like it was a stuff up completely.
April 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWCS
More a case of getting behind the aircraft then trying to recover. An interesting point re the maneuverability of the 747, the control surface areas are large thus highly effective, also the 747 is built like a brick shithouse, there have been a few incidents where an aircraft was stressed way way beyond it's design limits and still arrived at the destination.
April 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob Byrnes
Byrnes you suck !
April 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdane
My god, it lives.
April 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob Byrnes
Besides we all know byrnes you have trouble putting togeher a Mr potato head ! let alone fly a plane into Kai-tak
April 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdane
How dare you speak about Capt Potato Head like that. he has taught me everything I know.
Which isn't much...
April 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob Byrnes
Are this must be the reason your arms keep falling off !
April 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdane
Dane, you of all people should appreciate the value of replaceable limbs.
May I suggest you start with your head. not a limb per se however in your case.....
April 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob Byrnes
Where is Capt Tattersall (Mrs), she may be able to shed some light on this issue?
April 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob Byrnes
Nice update Lambe, it is my understanding that the checkerboard was a visual guide to assist pilots in the transition from the IGS to the ILS. Also the runway approach lighting is on the top of a four storey (I think) building hence the don't land short advisory!
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob Byrnes
Kinda like nautical Lead Lights, eh?
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLes Miserable
Well they seem pretty effective, most aircraft end up in the harbour if they really screw up!
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob Byrnes
Sorry I didn't answer your question.
Lead Lights would be the equivalent of the ILS or IGS.
April 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob Byrnes
I flew the 13 rnwy NDB Kai Tak approach in the 60s. China had bogus missed approach beacons to try and lead aircraft off coarse to cause an international incidence.
February 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterold timer

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