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Published on Nov 24, 2007
First of all, this is a collection from YouTube. I would like to thank all the enthusiasts from YouTube especially Mr. Boyd Kelly (airboyd of YouTube) which I used their best fragments in making this special Kai Tak video. Background music from "633 Squadron" by Mr. Ron Goodwin.
Kai Tak Airport VHHH (1925 - 1998) VHHX (since 1998) "traditional Chinese: 啟德機場" was the world's busiest international airport. The growth of Hong Kong put a strain on the airport's capacity. The airport was designed to handle 24 million passengers per year but in 1996, Kai Tak had already handled 29.5 million passengers, plus 1.56 million tonnes of freight, making it the third busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and first in terms of cargo. However extremely busy Kai Tak was located in the city center, the Kowloon City "九龍城" (The city of nine dragons "city surrounded by nine mountains"), around by high density buildings, numerous skyscrapers and rugged mountains reaching an altitude of 2000 ft. with single narrow runway (13/31) very close to taxiway jutting out into Victoria Harbour, and further less than 10 Km is Hong Kong Island, another densely populated area with hills up to 2100 ft. The only way approach to Runway 13 was a sharp 47-degree right turn before and of the same level with the checkerboard (a small hill painted with red and white checkerboard at 1:18) at about 100-meter altitude then align with the runway. Often with strong crosswinds, the airport was infamously difficult to land at. However, due to the same reasons, only experience pilots were chosen for the challenging approach and air crash incidents rarely occur.
The low altitude manoeuvre was so spectacular that crowded streets of people, multi-storey buildings, vehicles and pavements can easily be "touch". I can hear "WOW" or "My God" from passengers when they aware of the home decorations through apartment windows which is of the same level with the aircraft like flickering of televisions even children say "Hi" to them before landing. In this video, you can found the most extremely landing, but these happened several hundred times per day, and was just the real daily life of Hong Kong people.