Sino British Agreement Hong Kong

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More than a decade has passed considering that the former Hong Kong International Airport at Kai Tak closed for business on July 6 1998 for being replaced with the superb new facility built on reclaimed land at Chek Lap Kok on Lantau Island. The two airports resemble chalk and cheese; one futuristic, additional was long over its sell by date; but you can still find plenty who mourn the demise with the old place. Many are pilots who readily remember the adrenalin rush while they guided their aircraft down the instrument guidance system (IGS) just a couple of hundred feet above densely populated Kowloon tenements for the infamous orange and white painted checkerboard. When this was a student in view plus the aircraft correctly aligned for a height of just 675 feet (206 metres), a clear, crisp 47 degree turn was necessary to take the aircraft by way of a sweeping curve before levelling out 150 feet (46 metres) in the runway threshold.

At night, an exceptional lighting system set precisely at 400-foot intervals on rooftops and specially built gantries guided pilots towards runway centre line. As final approach was imminent the spacing involving the lights decreased to 200 feet. The need to use lights to compliment pilots this way, enforced a ban on flashing neon signs throughout Hong Kong to prevent distracting inbound pilots. The weather was often bad; typhoons, microbursts and severe crosswinds combined with the workload of pilots plus many respects Kai Tak would have been a major accident waiting to take place. A few errant aircraft did lead to the shallow waters of Kowloon Bay also it was indeed fortuitous that no commercial airliners ever dropped on the crammed dwellings of Kowloon or missed the utilize end up ploughing into Lion Rock. This was due mainly to fantastic aviation skills, excellent air traffic control and, specifically in the early days, a fantastic element of luck. The airport certainly had its share of incidents and plenty of aviation enthusiasts may have seen it on ‘You Tube’ that shows how close a Korean Air Boeing 747 reached disaster during an extreme weather landing.

Mr Kai and Mr Tack
The story from the airport extends back to the 1920s when two businessmen, Sir Ho Kai (a skilled medical doctor) and Mr Au Tack* (owner of a photographic business) formed the Kai Tack Land Investment Company Ltd to reclaim land they meant to use to create new homes. The project failed for the reason that few people needed to live on land that has been still infested by mosquitoes. The reclaimed area stayed vacant until it absolutely was taken over from the government. In November 1924 the Royal Navy ship HMS Pegasus arrived at Victoria Harbour carrying four Fairey IIID seaplanes that have been used to conduct aerial photography. These were flown on aerial reconnaissance missions over Mires and Hias Bays, the known haunts of notorious pirates that plundered shipping about the South China Sea. Sir Reginald Stubbs flew a single of these aircraft plus so doing took over as the first Governor of Hong Kong to survey his territory from your seaplane.

There was obviously the requirement of a military facility within Hong Kong but in the 1021 Washington Agreement the British weren’t permitted to create a base east of Singapore. The British Government candidly found a remedy by building an airfield for civil use within the site which could also be used by going to Fleet Air Arm aircraft. In January 1925 American dare devil Harry W Abbott, was granted permission to get started on a flying school about the site that they called Kowloon City Field. On Lunar New Year Day he announced the inauguration of his school through off in a very Curtiss Jenny with fire crackers linked to his rudder. But the fireworks neglected to ignite which was considered bad fung shui with the watching spectators. His colleague, the Chinese-American pilot Henry Yee Young, performed a number of aerobatics before Abbott returned towards the air with Richard Earnshaw aboard who produced parachute decent. But things went badly wrong and Earnshaw landed from the harbour, got tangled in their parachute and drowned. A series of incidents continued to court Abbott through August he was broke and instructed to sell his aircraft.

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