1956 Kai Tak

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 06:42

Nice clear photo. From left to right, guessing Fairchild C-82 Packet and Douglas C-47 Skytrain.

Source: This image came from Flickr, see https://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=26374064254

Date picture taken


Greetings.  This photo, taken in 1956, coincided with my kite-flying days and we frequently saw and heard a single or pair de Havilland Vampire.  We called them Cup Heuk Gwu  (suck-blood-ghost).  Regards, Peter

Hi Peter,

Lots of talks about the Vampire jets shooting over our Cheung Chau island seemed to agree they were really just like their name suggested. We never have enough seconds to see each of them clearly because their flyings were so fast and close-by. At top speed the sudden blast of ear-piercing sounding to the entire island lasted only about 2 to 5 seconds, depending on the direction of their flight. By the time we knew of their in-coming there might not be enough time for us to run outside looking up the sky. They just simply vanished out of sight quickly.

The best viewing would be from the ferry on the open sea, sometimes we were lucky enough to see them skimming  low from a safe distance. Clearly and almost in eye-contact with their pilots as their formation was closing in side by side along the ferry route. So beautiful as they did their training tricks. Much better than the boring over-shoot. Back then no one ever complaint or feel outraged about such incident!! And even glad to see couples more of pass-arounds before the 'dismiss for a lucky day'.

Nice memory!



Thanks Tung for sharing your memories.  We had better eye sight then, from my Boundary and Ki Lung St. roof top, I saw two flying jets likely Vampire between and north of Beacon Hill-Lion Rock, and could see the landscape in all directions because buildings were no more than 4-storey high. Trains over Boundary Street were visible from home street level.  Passenger planes using Kai Tak did not fly near our place, though I saw the occasional high flying twin-engine planes.