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

The Old Hong Kong Airport
 
Hello Folks...
 
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
" ?  Had 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...!!! (italics)
 
I 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.

 
This ILS 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 see that checkerb oard panel in photo  #3.   If you dropped below minimums in bad weather, you got to die right on the tippy top of the mountain...!!
 
The drill was to fly to minimums, (the hilltop) and then crank it over into a hard 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 # 8) and the second trying to recover from the first engine strike. (photo #9)  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. 
More than one went off the end, or the side, and into the bay.

Missed approach?
 
See those hills ?
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 bay,

but at least the ILS takes you to pavement. And you don't have to look up
at the people in the higher floors. You don't really appreciate flying in
America until you have flown out of it.
  Washington National is a piece of
cake by comparison.  There were some airports in South America that
were almost the equal of Hong Kong.  Did I mention what braking was like

on 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?
 
 
Photos # 1 and # 2 were taken from the high rise alconies . 
( I never quite had time to take a lookback photo from the cockpit here. )
.....Sort of like driving thru midtown Manhatten to Times Square...!!!

 

No autopilot stuff here...hand fly that sucker, and don't screw up...!!!
The prayer : "Lord, if I'm gonna die...please don't let it be pilot error"

 

At ILS "Minimums"...you break out of the clouds at the top of a hill..!!! 
First one to see it calls "Checkerboard in sight"...!!

 

Now...hard right turn and dive !!!...and don't mess around, or you simply
won't make it...!!             
Is that a short runway or what...!!

 

Woe to you if you're too high...!!!

 

Strong cross winds were common...so you had to "crab" all the way to the runway...!!!

 

Sometimes the cross-winds were stronger than others...

 

Over shoot, and you're in the drink...kick it out of the crab too soon, and you're blown back off the runway...wait too late and "crunch"...# 4 engine..!!!

 

Overreact on the crab correction, and "Crunch"  # 1 engine...!!!

 

Don't "Float" or try to make a smooth landing...Just put it on...!!!
"Firm"  landings help dissipate energy, and help you stop...!!!

 

Drop too low, and you'll drag your wheels thru the high rises... !

 

What I said  was:  "I think we're a little high and fast"...!!!
                        ...that was a nice smooth touchdown though, Sir ! 

 

Some days you earned your pay more than others!!!   Back then I could not
imagine doing anything else for a living...for forty years...!!!
Viet Nam did help put it all in perspective though...and made this seem easy...
At least nobody was shooting at you from these High Rises...!! 
 
Ah...Yes, we were all so young then... and fearless..!!  And the older we got the
more cautious we became...!!!  And where has the time gone..?  I remember thinking...Wow,  ten more years to retirement...and now it's been ten years since retirement...!!
 
Back then...my goal was to retire without scratching an airplane...!
 
Today...I'm happy not to scratch my car turning into my own driveway...!!
 
 
Russ