Most Dangerous Kai Tak Airport

Kai Tak airport-previously known as the Hong Kong International Airport from 1954 to1998. The Kai Tak Airport has the numerous skyscrapers or mountains located on its north part making its runway into the Victoria Harbor.  The rake offs and landings on this airport are highly demanding and technical. It is so dangerous that the history channel ranked it at number 6 on the most dangerous airports in the world. The airport was used as the carrier and home to the International Cathy Pacific Ocean and the regional Hong Kong Airways. The airport was also used as a home to Former RAF Kai Tak.  The Kai Tak Airport is locate on the west side of Kowloon Bay in Kowloon area in Hon Kong. The area has high peaks and mountains on the surrounding parts of it. The surrounding mountains and hills are at the elevation of 2000ft. to the south of the airport is Victoria Harbor and the hills and peaks of 2100 ft. at the northern side of the runway of Kai Tak, the buildings rose to the six stories across the road. The other three sides of runway has Victoria Harbor. The low altitude maneuver is required to fly the airplane to keep up the line with the runway. The vision was specular that the passengers can see the things going inside the surrounding homes.

The Runways of the airport:-

The most famous landing and landing runway on Kai Tak airport is runway 13. To land on the runway 1, the airplane have to take a descending towards northeast. The aircraft would pass over the densely populated harbor. The aircraft is usually the 2 miles above the ground. The plane has to take a turnaround of 650 ft and exist at height of 140ft to line up at runway. For passengers this landing is known as the Kai Tak heart attack. Landing on runway 13 is difficult only if the winds blowing there are constant and stable but the crosswinds are constantly changing and the landings become more scary, challenging or dangerous when the gusty winds and typhoons are blowing from northeast. The pilots had to make the altitude very low, taking crib angles and last second adjustments. That is why it is unusable in low visibility condition but still the runway 13 is the mostly and widely used. The departure from the runway 13 is preferred for heavy aircraft due to the clearer air path as compared to runway 13 mostly in summer days due to the air temperature.

The runway 31 of the Kai Tak is like the normal landing on the various airports. The runway 31 is occupied by the taxiway that is why landing traffic could only east the runway 31 on the right. The path towards the runway 31 is connected to the eastern parts of Hong Kong Island and Heng Fa Chuen. While departure from runway 31, the hills Lion Rock and Beacon Hill are totally infront of the aircraft. The airplanes had to make some 65 degree angle left turn around to avoid crashing with the hills.

Incidents at the Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong:

As this is very dangerous airport, several incidents and accidents took place at this airport in the recent previous years, many airplanes have been destroyed and many passengers have been killed. Some of the incidents include

  • On 24 Feb, 1949, A Cathy Pacific DC-3 crashed into the hill side after the departure in an effort to make turn around due to poor visibility. All the 23 people on the plane were killed
  • On 9 April. 1951a Siamese Airway Douglas was crashed due to the care free attitude of the pilot. It was the night time and because pilot tried to a turnaround at a very high speed, the plane crashed. 16 people died in incident
  • The most deadly and worst incident at Kai Tak took place on 24 August, 1965, when a US Marines C-130 plunged into the harbor shortly after taking off from the runway 13. Out of 71 marines on the plane, 59 were killed.
  • Om the 9th of March, 1978, a China  Airline 737-200 was hijacked after the departure from there but safely the plane was landed in China and the hijacker was killed
  • On the 4th November, 1993, again a Chinse Airline 747-400 was destructed due to the typhoon. The wind was so gusting and the plane made an unstable movement but the captain did not lose control and handled the situation carefully. The airplane made to the two-third of the runway, due to this incident 23 people only got only injuries out of 396 passengers