Going into Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong with a crosswind.

  1. Winston says:

    Wow! Talented pilot. Unavoidably very hard on tires, though.

  2. TatooYou says:

    That pilot must be a member of Mensa…

  3. jbenson2 says:

    An ancient video. Kat Tak closed completely 10 years ago.It was replace by the Hong Kong airport at Chek Lap Kok.

  4. bobbo says:

    What crosswind??

    Note the tall slender tree on the hill above the runway right at the start–its hardly moving.

    The approach looks like a common late turn to final at low altitude, correction to centerline of runway, normal flare, – –

    then – – it looks like right at touchdown he slams in a bunch of right rudder==but could always be a crosswind, yes.

    If there was a strong cross wind, once again we see a cowboy pilot not taking the time to setup correctly. Must be Air France?–well known for such crappy flying.

    I wouldn’t want to fly that airplane without the landing gear getting fully checked.

  5. PeterR says:

    Gibraltar RWY 09 also used to be a fun approach until recently. Aircraft using Gib were not allowed to enter Spanish airspace. The approach to 09 involved flying north up the middle of Algeceiras Bay then at the last minute, with the plane scarcely flying, turning 90 deg right and landing immediately, taking care to avoid any ships moored nearby. The approach plate warns of high bird activity and turbulence, just to add to the fun. The only road from the border with Spain into Gib crosses the runway – it’s closed to road traffic during aircraft movements. This is one red light that nobody jumps!

    Watching a 737 (the largest plane that can use the airport) coming in was quite a sight. Recently the ban was lifted and planes can now make a straight-in approach.

  6. FRAGaLOT says:

    I’ve seen videos like this before posted here on Dvorak’s blog. They have to land like how drivers “power slide”

  7. Nik says:

    That approach was known as the “Hong Kong Curve” or “checkerboard” and it had to be done that way to avoid China’s airspace. The most dangerous approach in the world. Number 3 is right, Kai Tak is now closed.

  8. apeguero says:

    Hey Boboo, are you a pilot? I’m not, but your answer was exactly what I had thought, the pilot might have turned too far to the right and then corrected with rudder instead of going around. Although it does look like a typical crosswind landing right before flare. What makes it look so dangerous is the Kai Tak approach. Man, it’s almost like the old Air Craft Carrier approaches of WWII where Naval and Marine aviators had to approach the carrier from the side and then bank right before touch down. Anyway, the aircraft appears to have JAL markings.

  9. bobbo says:

    #8==apeguero–just one of my many life experiences. I have landed at the new/old Hong Kong Airport- the one that makes a straight-in between buildings higher than you are to the left and right. Hard to believe a standard approach would involve such a tight turn on final==but I guess so. Such airports requiring that amount of skill should also require specialization or be closed to general aviation. But what I think should be the case, hardly ever is.

  10. Stu says:

    Bobbo – you are full of it.

    Plainly a strong crosswind and a masterful job by the pilot.

    The only question is whether the crosswind factor(s) for the aircraft and/or airline and/or airport were exceeded.

    ex-Air Traffic Controller (Tower)

  11. edwinrogers says:

    I have landed in a 747 at Kai Tak, in fact on the day that it closed. It was the most memorable landing in my life. A tribute to Boeing engineering as much to pilot training. They had a special set of runway lights to tell the pilot to apply full reverse thrust and brake, or to apply full power and overshoot, like on old aircraft carriers. Local chinese people harvested rice, by hand, adjacent to the tarmac.

  12. Balbas says:

    Reminds me of when three C-130’s executed a low-flyover of a civil terminal, made a sharp 90-degree turn and then immediately landed.

    Obviously they were practicing for combat. It scared the hell outta many people peering out the terminal windows, including the staff.

  13. bobbo says:

    #10–Stu==yes I am full of it. Experience and insightful intellect.

    I don’t deny the crosswind, I just say it doesn’t look like it until the very last moment. Whats wrong with that? Why do I have to assume the validity of the post or comments?

    I have never seen a “checkerboard approach” or landed at that airport so whats wrong with being skeptical of something outside my own experience?

    So stud==what was the wind at the time of landing? I’ll take your non-response as you don’t know and like most ground pounders, you just love making assumptions.

  14. hayden says:

    Obligatory “It’s Bush’s fault” comment like on every other article:


  15. pjakobs says:

    #13, bobbo: as anyone who has ever read a thread on pprune knows , the level of flying knowledge decreases along this list: non-aviators, private pilots, atc personnel, atpl.


  16. bobbo says:

    #14–Hayden==the amount of oil found in wok cooking does not justify invading China, although the neocons might disagree.

    #15–pj–that kind of curve exists for most subjects on most blogs. I am getting comfortable though that most people have to misstate my position in order to argue against it. Actually makes my response too easy. I’m glad for the few here that have sharpened my skills and given me a few things to think about.

    What “actually” happened 10 years ago on a runway in China isn’t one of them.

  17. Wow – simple as that

  18. QB says:

    There’s tons of vids at YouTube of Kai Tak landings. A good hour or more of entertainment. This one isn’t from Kai Tak, but it’s still my favourite:



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