Yesterday's crash landing at Heathrow Airport was a bit scary. Not just because it was a miracle that nobody was killed or badly hurt, but also because for me it was rather close to home.
According to tonight's reports, the aircraft's problems started about two miles from the airport. Now we live just ten miles away and even closer to an RAF airbase. Luckily we are not normally under the main Heathrow flight paths, though we do sometimes spot passenger jets above us. However the area between here and Heathrow is built up and largely residential and it would be the same in almost any direction from the airport. The potential for disaster was/is great.
It brought to my mind the experience of flying into Hong Kong twenty years ago and the airliner diving down between skyscrapers and apartment blocks to land on a runway jutting out into the harbour at Kai Tak airport. Spectacular and exhilarating, but no room for error. These pictures show it well!
Hong Kong now has a new airport, built on an island. Much safer.
Three notable things:
1. The skill of the pilots who brought that plane safely down yesterday.
2. Sorting out boring financial stuff. My tax return yesterday, the credit card bill today.
3. Maybe one day I will tell you our own Kai Tak story...but not today.