Hong Kong. That mystical place where east meets west. That unique history-filled beautiful territory owned by the British for 100 years and turned over to the Chinese government in 1997.
Although I've had the opportunity to see many cities around the world, Hong Kong has been my favorite since my first visit in 1989.
If you flew into Hong Kong’s Kai Tak International Airport prior to the new airport opening in 1998, you had the privilege (or had to endure the fright, depending on your perspective) of experiencing one of the world's most gorgeous and also most dangerous — sixth most dangerous in the world, according to The History Channel— approaches to landing.
Major airlines would only allow their most experienced pilots to land at Kai Tak. Nearby mountains and frequent typhoons created wind shear that was responsible for many aircraft incidents and there had been 270 fatalities prior to the airport's closure in 1998.
An airplane's approach and descent to runway 13/31 required great skill and was one of the world's last landing spots that could not be accomplished with instruments.
The location sat in a stadium-like bowl, which was surrounded by large housing units, mountains and water. After descending into Victoria Harbor, the pilot would be required to visually spot Checkerboard Mountain. Checkerboard Mountain had a large red and white checkerboard pattern painted on its side.
After spotting the Checkerboard the aircraft wo