Airport comments by @XingR

Comments 1 to 29 of 29

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One of Northwest's Frequent Stopovers

I've been here several times going to and from the Philippines. Northwest likes to use it rather than Narita because of traffic and economic reasons. (Sometimes known by the alternative nickname of "Route 66) See some of my acerbic comments on inadequate southern California airports. When the Japanese don't have a good place for an airport, they make one ... in the US we wring our hands for years on end and often do nothing.

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A place To Learn About Paralell Runways

Transited many times on trips to and from the Philippines. Chian Airlines and EVA Air both hub here. A mediocre terminal in my view, someday I'd like to actually visit the island of Taipei, it would likely make up for the airport. This airport is sadly noted as the location of one of the more tragic and well-known "wrong departure runway" accidents, Singapore Air Flt 006.

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It's near boats

Visited here many times when my son was stationed at the )verY0 nearby MCRD, San Diego. Very crowed airport, runways is too short and approaches cluttered but it is quick and convenient to the downtown and the bay and if you have to go to California this is one of the better places.

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A Great Place to Visit ... Not

Let me count the times I've been through here ... let me count the ways the airport has disappointed me. A great case study in how _not_ to build an airport.

One bright spot for me, this is where my wife first entered the US back in 2001 so it will always hold a warm spot in our hearts as the true beginning of our life together.

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A better, but less interesting place

I've been here a number rof times as a passenger, usually transiitioning to ground transpo for trips into mainland China. One of the best airports in the world for transiting visitors .. food, shopping, great transport down town, etc.

I welcomed the recent addition of Meigs, hopefully we might also see the "old" VHHH (Kai Tak) with the famous "Checkerboard" approach to runway 13? Been there and done that too.

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Many should add this after 8 Sep 2007

haven't had the pleasure of visiting here yet but there's a great show scheduled for 8 Sep 2007 .. classic radials, fancy cars and lots of fun.

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Minor correction

Hmmm should have looked that up first ... I was in japan when that incident happened, 1998, and only heard the news second-hand. I note that several sources say the Air Force One that got stuck was a 707 not a 747. The president (Clinton) was carried away by a back-up aircraft, AF 26000, the same 707 that carried Kennedy to Dallas and his body home to Washington ... making Clinton the last sitting president ever to board that historic aircraft. Interesting.

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Noted for narrow taxiways

Flew in here several times when I was stationed at Chanute AFB and flew with the Aero Club there. A nice field for training, all mod cons and little traffic. Will go down in history as one of the few places Air Force One ever had a reportable incident ... they cut a turn too short one day and ran one of AF One's bogeys into the black Illinois mud ... the president was transported by other means and the 747 was freed the next day. Since it was a military aircraft and the military, in the interest of national security (or is that the protection of pilot's from embarrassment) restricts all accident reports, even those from many years ago from public access. It's a shame the today's pilots can learn from the lessons of all commercial and private accidents, but can't learn from the findings of Air Force accidents ... which are very well investigated, by the way. Sad.

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Mike's Place

Another one of those airporst many folks wonder, "where did they get that designator from"? Well this is another of those former USAF bases, originally McCoy AFB named after Colonel Michael NW McCoy. Many fly here for Disney World but I always went through here on my way to The Cape or Patrick AFB on comm projects, large and small.

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Why Is It ORD

The name is O'Hare after a WWII aviator from Chicago. But the ORD designator come from the past. The present airport is built on the site of another, older airport that was known as Old Orchard Airport. You learn a lot when you've been stuck in terminals for hours and hours ... and when your itinerary includes KORD ... bank on it.

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End of my First Commute

Landed here 4 October 1965 to begin my Air Force career and nearby Lackland AFB. I've been back many times for Air Force conferences. Traveling through here one day is where I knew I was on to something good when I was considering entering the GPS tracking business. A taxi driver who took me to my hotel had a high-class GPS tracking/taxi management/credit card terminal in his cab. The fellow was well into his 70's and I asked him how he liked the new technology. His response? "You young guys are too slow to adopt new things that make you money .. see this screen? Since I picked you up I already have my next fare lined up three doors from your hotel." I was sold.

Do not miss the river walk, San Antonio is a great tourist city.

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A Home on the Prarie

I first flew in here as a pax in December 1965. This was one of the USAF's finest Technical Training Centers. Went to my first USAF tech school here, became a technical classroom instructor and worked in the school for a while (training ran 24 hours a day at the time, 4 six hour shifts, LBJ was serious about getting bombs on target).

I went back to Chanute someyears later and became a computer geek, back when core memory was a significant step up from drum memory, which was the main memory (and system timing) for the early-day full task mission flight simulators. That was about the time that my technical life seemed to start accelerating at an ever increasing rate.

Since it was probably the best equipped tech training facility the USAF in its infinite wisdom selected Chanute to be closed in a down-sizing move. The people of Rantoul have done a marvelous job converting the former base property to useful functions.

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Close In

One of the nation's better airports for the passenger, even though it's cramped and shows its age. Get right on the Metro, or if you're Pentagon-bound the hotels around the Puzzle Palace all have free 5 minute shuttles.

Not so much fun for aircrews because of the extensive security procedures and the "interesting" approach into 19.

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Designed by Committe

There's an old joke about an animal looking like it was designed by a committee. If the animal were an airport it would be Dulles. Dulles is the "poster child" that proves letting government agencies and retired generals named "Bozo" is a bad thing. When I was traveling extensively for the US government there was a secret "caste' system that we insiders knew. If a government traveler was allowed to buy his/her air tickets into Washington National (DCA) s/he was "somebody". All others were forced to fly into Dulles.

I was here the first time for a scheduled two-hour stop here the night of 4 October 1965, so I've been a customer for a while now. Those clumsy, swaying "people movers" that go between the terminals used to drive right out the the aircraft and pick-up/drop off at the aircraft door. back in the design phase the "committee" decided that since most delays seemed to happen at the gate, they would eliminate the gate. Hmmmm. Dulles now has taxi-up gates like every other intelligent airport, but they had to keep those automotive dinosaurs around for something, government property after all.

When you die after holding high office one of the disadvantages (aside from being dead. that is) is that they will likely name something after you, and being deceased you will have little choice in the matter. People today may not realize that John Foster Dulles was a heck of a lot better Secretary of State than Dulles is an airport.

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Love It/Hate It All In A Day

This is one of those airports that can provide an object less on how to do it or how not. The ground transportation is set up nicely, few other American cities have high speed rail right in the terminal (heck, few other American cities even have high speed rail ... better to whine about the price of energy than to change anything for the better), but the walks are looooong, the concourses are narrow and dark ... it's utilitarian but hardly appealing.

Found out here one day how long it takes to change the fuel control on #3 engine of a DC-10 ... 4+20 as I watched the whole thing from the concourse window ... guess Delta didn't need the gate. They did still get me home that night, though, so I won't complain.

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Only lasted 38 years

Took of from here in the evening of 4 October, 1965 to do a little tour with the USAF. Didn't know it would last 38 years.

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Where American's Day Begins

Stopped here for fuel once in January 1967, riding in the "way back" end of a DC-8-63. From the very last rows of seats you could see the fuselage flex in turbulence. Seats weren't very comfortable and pretty densely packed, food was ... well, so-so.

Stopped here for again for fuel October 2006, riding in the "way back" end of a 747-400. Can't say that I saw the fuselage flexing, impossible to see very far forward. Seats weren't very comfortable and pretty densely packed, food was ... well, so-so.

Hmmm ... in 39 years things haven't changed much, have they?

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Also known as New Tokyo International

This is where I arrived to start my three years in Japan in September 1996. The airport had only the originak runway (the one in the lower partof the photo) then. the second, parallel runway had been slated to be built for nearly 20 years but delayed by farmers in the area who din't want to sell their land. At times the protests against airport expansion reached the point of people flying tethered balloons in the path of landing aircraft ... Japan is an "interesting" country to do large construction projects.

In addition to taking many flights in and out of Narita I had the opportunity to work "inside" Narita a number of times. My organization had a contracted "greeting" facility for US forces entering Japan in Terminal 1 which we had to move several times die to construction and it was a learning experience to see what goes on behind the normally closed doors to make an airport of this size actually operate.

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Cebu International, where Magellan came to stay

Another former USAF Base, Mactan is joint use now with the airlines and the Philippine Air Force. The terminal is small, only about 6 gates but quite modern. A really huge contrast with the much better known NAIA in Manila 400 miles to the north. Cebu is the "queen city" of the southern Philippines and an interesting destination, much more laid back than other Asian cities. The airport is actually in the municipality of Lapu-Lapu named after one of the original residents (also known as the Kaliph Pulaka) who wasn't exactly overcome with joy at the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and showed his displeasure by ending Magellan's voyage (and life) on the shore just north and east of the departure end of runway 4.

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Swords Into Plowshares

This airport will be of interest to a lot of the Canadian readers. There's been an airport on this site since hitler began building up the Luftwaffe. After WWII it was a candaian Forces base for many years until it was closed in the early 1960's. The Germans (West Germans at the time) were quite keen on plowing it under for farmland and it very nearly was, but for some reason the USAF decided to take it over and re-open it in 1970. I was among the first USAF folk who came here in March 1970,and it was "interesting" to say the least. The German contractor hired by Canada to clean up and secure the facilities was most dutiful in following the absolute letter of the contract. Every room in every building was carefully cleaned and every door, inside and out was carefully locked. The one thing which wasn't in the contract? What to do with the keys.

My boss and I arrived at the building designated to house our workshop one morning and the representative from Civil Engineering, the base "land lord" told us .. "The forklift will be here in a moment or two." "Forklift", we queried. We soon found out. On the pallet the forklift was carrying was 4 each 55 gallon steel drums, all full of keys. lacking specific instructions on what to do with thekeys the contractor threw them, un-tagged into steel drums for "safe keeping". "Yours are in their somewhere", our landlord said, "Just let me know when you find them and I'll send the barrels to the next lucky customers."

Needless to say, I'll always remember Zweibrucken.

After the Americans decided we no longer needed the base, better German planners than the ones a few years back made the airdrome into an important regional airport, so perhaps all the time I spent there looking for keys wasn't a waste at all ;-)

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Nice place to visit

I flew in here and back out in my only C-124 rides back in 1969. I was supporting our RF-101 Vodoos based at Upper Heyford, UK and one had an air refuelingproblem. I grabbed my tools and tester, flew down here on "Old Shakey", fix the problem aircraft in 5 minutes flat and spent the rest of a lovely week waiting for another "Shakey" flight back to the cold and dreariness of "Upper Haystacks". Moron is near the city of Seville and also quite close to the Rock of Gibraltar. Lovely countryside and people.

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Another Great Home For A Year

I spent the year of 1972 at Khorat. Like my earlier time at Tahkli it is hard to think why a person would have such fond memories of a place ... but I do. Again I spent most of my year there building drop tanks, leading a wonderful crew of Thai civilian workers. The end of my tour there encompased the last Linebacker missions when our F-105s and F-4's flew round the clock stopping only when all the tanks we could build were used up. The B-52s from Guam and Utapao flew missions right into the "Downtown" Route packs and even shot down Migs on their own. A sad thing indeed, war, but at least we got the air war stopped ... I'll leave it to others to battle over the rights and wrongs, I served.

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A Home For An Eventful year

I lived and worked at Takhli Royal Thai AB for a wonderful year of my life in 1967. There was a war on so I wonder that I consider it "wonderful" but it was .. my first real time truly away from home and holding down a really responsible job ..building drop tanks for the mssisons we were flying over North Vietnam.

I'm glad to see the old place is still going strong. The former American quarters are west of the south end of runway 36 and the shiny new maintenance complex to the est is all new in the past few years ... I dearly miss my time there and I miss the wonderful Thai workers I was priviledged to lead as we did our bit to help.

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My Home for Three Years

I was the communications planner/program manager at Yokota for the years 1996 through 1999. Among the neat aviation-related things I got to do were the installation and commissioning of the runway 18 ILS ... a ssytem we physically removed from Minot AFB Montana, shipped across the pacific and put back to good use at Yokota. Mnay civilian plots have been through Yokota as a significant part of its traffic is contract passenger and cargo flights and I recall a number of times when I was there that Northwest used it to land when weather gave them a problem at Narita

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My Current "Home base"

This former USAF installation is now run by a hybrid government-commercial development corporation. in addition to hosting many ground-based industries, casinos, hotels and recreatioal facilities it is being built up as a major international airport, slated to be linked to Manila via high-speed commuter rail and US-standard expressways ala the current Hong Kong airport.

If you zoom in just to the east of the approach end of runway 02R you'll see the separate runway and hangar facilities of Omni Aviation a busy flight school and FBO situated in the former home of the Clark AB Aero Club ... and an excellent place to base if you're in the Philippines. best of both worlds ... fly out of a major international airport but with your own runway and facilities.

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My Current International Gateway

I presently make my home in the Philippines in Bulacan, about 25nm north of NAIA. NAIA is the major Philippines airline hub. The current government is working to move a lot of airline traffic to the former Clark Air Base, about 40nm North of the city ... which will be known as DMIA (after the father of the current Philippine Republic president) and is already a significant air freight hub.

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Just had to get this one in while it is still on the map

One of the airports I visited on my solo cross-country training flights. I note thta it is now NOTAMed permanently closed so I guess it will be off the map soon. The approach into runway 29 at night, past the arprtment houses and condos wwas "interesting".

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My Fourth Airport

The forth airport I ever landed an airplane at ... long before I was a licensed pilot but flying with my surrogate father, Eddie Gorski. (too bad we don't have away to add "fallen flags", the airports of our youth now gone forever ... who remembers Towaco and Totowa-Wayne?) Among many other things Eddie was the manager of Teterboro from the mid-30's until WWII forced all General Aviation operations west of the Delaware River. If you zoom in you'll see a large building at the northwest corner of Malcolm and Industrial Ave's ... this is the site of what was in my youth the "Bendix hangar", named for the owner of Teterboro for many years, the Bendix Corp. but originally the site of Tony Fokker's US manufacturing facility. The Borough of Teterbor in which the airport sits in had a population of 25 in the last US census and was known as the Borough of Bendix during the years 1937 through 1943. A fascinating place. If you fly in there take the time to visit the NJ Aviation Museum and Hall of Fame just east of the field.

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Where it all began

As a boy I lived across the street from this airport and it's part of my earliest memories. I "hung out" there nearly every free moment from the time I was 6 years old or so until I left for the USAF in 1965. Got my private there in 1964. Lincoln Park is notable as the long-time business interest of Ed and Jue Gorski (see NJ Aviation Hall of Fame). Other CFI's there who helped shape my life were Johnnie Schump, Charlie Stephan, Lenny Landers, Tony Farrell and William (Wild Bill) Fedishen. Still an active and well-run little operation, close in to the NY Metro area.