This email has been circulating the internet for some time. As far as
I know there is no fibbing here, I'm afraid I don't know who "Russ"
is, nor the other airline captain that compiled these pictures in the
first place.-- if you do please let me know.
For reference here's the approach plate for the IGS-13 approach
Old Hong Kong Airport
I don't generally forward stuff, but these photos brought back too
many memories for
me, and I just couldn't leave it alone...!!
Got these from a fellow retired Captain friend, reminding me
of the days when we used to fly this approach
in Pan Am's Boeing 707's, way back in 1967 thru 1970...when I was
based out of San Francisco.
For those of us who've had the "privilege" of landing at the Old
Hong Kong Airport..."Fond memories"
it's own built in "pucker factor" didn't it ? Even when
the weather was good...which was never...!! You know,
the old punching washers out of your seat cushion type of thing...We were
definitely sitting up straight and paying attention...!!
Couldn't resist adding some of my own comments to his...!!!
showed the Jepp approach plates for Hong Kong to an air traffic controller
at the Denver Center. His comment was close to, "You gotta be kidding!"
There were a few other words in there that I have deleted.
Normally, at the bottom of an ILS approach, (Instrument Landing
System) you are looking for a runway...This was long before
we could trust the autopilot for an "Auto-Approach" hook up, so you
always hand flew it.
approach guides you right to the top of a hill, not the
runway. If you
did a good job flying the ILS all the way to "minimums" you got to
checkerb oard panel in photo #3. If you dropped
below minimums in bad weather, you got to die right on the tippy top of
drill was to fly to minimums, (the hilltop) and then crank it over into
right turn and dive for the runway. There was usually a cross wind, which
explains some of the other pictures. It was pretty easy to drag a
wing tip, or an outboard engine. Some of the lucky ones got both outboard
engines, the first at impact (photo #
and the second trying to recover from the first engine strike. (photo
And you couldn't cheat by going below glide slope or turning in early
because of all the tall buildings downtown.
And if the approach wasn't enough fun, note that the runway is short.
than one went off the end, or the side, and into the bay.
Missed approach? See
Yep, another hard right turn and climb, baby, climb!
The weather was usually not clear. Clouds were the norm, with fog
or mist, and sometimes heavy rain. It's tropical there. There was
an approach to the other end of that single runway. It wasn't much
better. More hills and the "missed approach" was a hard left turn to avoid
hitting the tall buildings and checkerboard mountain...!
Yeah, just another day at the office.
The new airport is almost easy. There are still the hills all around the
but at least the ILS takes you to pavement. And you don't have to look
at the people in the higher floors. You don't really appreciate flying
America until you have flown out of it.
Washington National is a piece of
There were some airports in South America that
were almost the equal of Hong Kong. Did I mention what braking
a rainy day on that short runway? Or the huge puddles that formed
because the airport was sinking, and no one would spend any money
because they were building the new airport?
# 1 and # 2 were taken from the high rise alconies .
I never quite had time to take a lookback photo from the cockpit
of like driving thru midtown Manhatten to Times Square...!!!