Part 3: Listening comprehension

Part 3: Listening comprehension

Listen to this recording about Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong, then answer the questions which follow.

  1. Listening for dates and numbers.
    Complete the following sentences:

    • Kai Tak was Hong Kong’s international airport from _________ to _____________________
    • Kai Tak was once the _______ _______________ airport in the world.;
    • Major airlines used runway ____________
    • The famous “Hong Kong turn” started at _______m and ended at around ________m
    • Some _________ and __________ ended the procedure at lower altitudes.
    • Sometimes aircraft almost hit the runway while performing a _______ turn.
  2. Give 2 hazards which pilots encountered when landing at Kai Tak
  3. During the approach, what must the pilot do on reaching the middle marker of the Instrument Guidance System?


Kai Tak

Once the third busiest airport in the world, the Kai Tak International Airport was the international airport of Hong Kong from 1925 until Jul. 6, 1998 when it was replaced by the Chek Lap Kok. The airport was the home base of the famous Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific and was served by many wide bodies belonging to regional, freight and large airlines whose planes landed on runway 13/31 overflying Kowloon skyscrapers and buildings and avoiding the surrounding mountains. Kai Tak was and still is one of the airports most loved by aircraft spotters because of the breath-taking approaches that had to be followed by the arriving aircraft that had to land on the only runway. The world-famous approach to runway 13 brought the aircraft in a descending path above Western Kowloon and the extremely densely populated areas around the harbour. The airplanes flew the first part of the approach with the help of an Instrument Guidance System (IGS), a modified ILS. Then, upon reaching the middle marker of the IGS, the approach was no longer instrumental, and the pilot had to begin a right visual turn (known as the “Hong Kong turn”) to establish. The turn began at a height of about 200 meters and ended at around 45 meters. Some aircraft did not have the time to line up and almost hit the runway still performing the 47° bank turn, especially during crosswinds. As the prevailing wind direction in Hong Kong was more or less in the North South direction, this thrilling approach was used most of the time at Kai Tak.

David Cenciotti, the Aviationist, 29/7/2009 (adapted)

Radiotelephony exercise

Esbjerg Landing

Listen to the following RT exchange, complete the pilot’s part in the dialogue, then answer the two additional questions.

Pilot: Esbjerg approach, good day. This is ______________, _____________ _______________, from Hoogeveen to Esbjerg, ________ ____________ on board, with information ____, currently ________ ft to the ___________.

Pilot: Radar identified, turning _________ to the _________ descending _________ft, squawk _________, ____________.

Pilot: Contacting Esbjerg Tower on ____________, ________

Pilot: Esbjerg Tower, this is _____________, requesting ______________ ________________

Pilot: Number 2, joining long final runway ________, ______________

Pilot; P-RT long final runway ___________

Pilot: Continuing approach, __________.

Pilot: Roger, cleared to land runway __________, __________.

Additional questions:

  • What is the aircraft type landing ahead of this pilot’s aircraft?
  • What is the wind direction and strength?

Pilot: Esbjerg approach, good day. This is PH-ART, Beechcraft Bonanza, from Hoogeveen to Esbjerg, two people on board, with information D, currently 3500 ft to the north.

ATC: PH-ART, this is Esbjerg Approach, good day. Radar identified. Squawk 7013 turn right to the south. Descend altitude not above 2000ft, QNH 1020

Pilot: Radar identified, turning right to the south, descending 2000ft, squawk 7013, PH-ART.

ATC: P-RT, contact Esbjerg Tower on 120.15

Pilot: Contacting Esbjerg Tower on 120.15, P-RT

Pilot: Esbjerg Tower, this is PH-ART, requesting joining instructions

ATC: PH-ART, this is Esbjerg Tower, good day. You are number two, join long final behind the Embraer 190. Report final runway 26R.

Pilot: Number 2, joining long final runway 26R, PH-ART.

Pilot; P-RT long final runway 26R

ATC: P-RT, continue approach

Pilot: Continuing approach, P-RT.

ATC: P-RT, you are cleared to land, runway 26R wind 270 degrees 8 knots

Pilot: Roger, cleared to land runway 26R, P-RT