Kai Tak-runway 13-extension pad-pilot's view

Fri, 01/06/2017 - 04:35

Included in the 1958 runway documentary film is this pilot’s view of the short extension that crossed the main road.

What is not clear is how airliners manouvered onto the extension before take-off.

Taxy on in a forward direction then turn themselves around with propellors turning at high-speed to give the aircraft enough momentum to turn in a tight circle, or be backed on by an aircraft-tug/tractor?

Date picture taken
15 Jun 1957


Greetings.  By 1957 when my bus travelled to and from Good Hope School foot hill, the extension has already been built.  Most of the planes were twin- and 4-props all able to turn around on their own.  I never saw any tug/tractor. Those that were landing and still 20 metres overhead made quite a sight to watch.

Road traffic was manned by one person at a small guard shed who turned on the "ding-ding" bell and lowered a simple cantilever barrier to stop the traffic.  Pedestrians could walk on the runway, unlike the strict security we see today at airports.