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View Poll Results: Can the plane take off?
Yes, the plane can take off 50 56.18%
No, the plane cannot take off 39 43.82%
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Old 2008-02-02, 03:55 AM   #196
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I just saw a mythbusters on it, it took off.

(the reason this thread got resurrected is probably because of this, but I am tired and lazy and didn't feel like checking )
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Old 2008-02-02, 08:33 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by johnfoss
That isn't a pilot "getting it wrong," in fact it's the same thing as the other video clip, a severe crosswind. It's made to look even sketchier due to the camera angle and the much, much more massive size of the plane! As you mentioned, only top pilots got to fly into Kai Tak. I had the honor of being their passenger on several occasions. I've even written about landing at Kai Tak elsewhere in this forum.

Well John, the comments section under the video has this to say:

I am an airline pilot, who is based in Hong Kong, and who commands the B744 (that's shorthand for the Boeing B-747-400).

I have been living in Hong Kong for 18 years, and have been flying in and out of there for more years than that. I conducted operatiosn at the old Hong Kong airport for some twelve years, including stints with other airlines.

I remember this incident...a KAL landing at the old Kai Tak airport on Runway 13 (mag track: 135 degrees), made from the IGS appraoch. The final turn from the IGS to final involved a course change of 47 degrees.

The turn is particularly tricky during southerly and southwesterly wind conditions. Not as turbulent as approaches made when the wind is out of the east or east north east, but but the drift change during the turn from the IGS (088 magnetic) to final (135 mag) is often accompanied by a sharp drop in wind speed during the last few hundred feet (of altitude), resulting in either a sudden increase in the rate of descent, or a marked drop in IAS (Indicated Air Speed)...or both. Large handfuls of thrust are then needed to recover, which should lead to a go around and missed approach, if you have any sense or experience.


Because destabilised approaches at low altitude on short final are NOT a good idea in any aircraft, and are a leading cause of accidents. In a heavy, wide-bodied jet, like the B744, they are almost certain to result in damage to the aircraft and injury to those on board.

Was this a good approach?

No. The conditions on this particular day were as I have described above....wind out of the south to south west, and reducing shear on short final. But they were NOT extreme.

The pilot in this instance simply misjudged the turn from IGS to final, and instead of going around, and trying again (as he should have done), he pressed on to avoid 'losing face'.

I have sat in my own aircraft, holding short of Runway 13 at Kai Tak awaiting take-off, many a time in such conditions (of which wind conditions, pilots are fully warned, by the way), watching as other aircraft judge the wind wrong and 'go wide' on the turn from the IGS to final. And I sweated a lot, as I hoped they didn't compound misjudging the turn by landing on top of me!

Not only does this chap misjudge the turn, and then not make the correct decision to go around, he then compunds the error by landing short of the actual runway itself...the single white arrows demark that area of the runway which may be used for take-off, but NOT for touch down.

Having said all this, I will admit to having seen worse, including one aircraft (also a 747), which not only misjudged the turn, but landed long, and facing at approximately 45 degrees to the runway centreline.

So I went with the opinion of a qualified Kai Tak pilot. But it is still a great shame I will never again land there, for, although I was worried the first time, It was always a great experience to land there.

The dress in which I unicycled was not THAT short, but in retrospect, I think that maybe the blue one would have been more appropriate to the terrain.

Last edited by Naomi; 2008-02-02 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 2008-02-02, 09:04 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by maestro8
Greg, you're going about this all wrong!

If you stood on top of a cliff and threw those cows down, they'd continue flying straight down. Same with the big rock.

So, yes, rocks and cows can fly! Question solved.
i don't think it's a particularly good idea to confuse flying with falling
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Old 2008-02-02, 04:05 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by epistolize
i don't think it's a particularly good idea to confuse flying with falling
Who, exactly, is confused?
-Greg Harper

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Old 2008-02-02, 07:24 PM   #200
North Shore ridin'
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Thanks Nao, great detail. Yes it was definitely clear the landing was sketchy; he was way off-center on the runway and quite tilted as his first wheels touched down. I would have thought a go-round would be appropriate in such conditions, and the expert confirmed it.

Anyway, for anyone still trying to "get" the whole conveyor belt thing, ask yourself what keeps your plane going 500 mph at 30,000 feet. It ain't momentum it gathered by speeding down the runway.
John Foss

"The miracle is this: the more we share, the more we have." -- Leonard Nimoy
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Old 2008-02-04, 07:57 PM   #201
is what it is
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Originally Posted by epistolize
i don't think it's a particularly good idea to confuse flying with falling
If you're confused, then you need to change your frame of reference. There is no difference between flying and falling.

Think about this: objects in geo-synchronous orbit are continuously falling. Yet they maintain (roughly) an even altitude above the Earth's surface. Does that mean they're flying, then?
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell
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belt, brain, conveyor, plane, teaser

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