Runway 13 at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport (closed in 1998 and replaced by the current airport at Chek Lap Kok) had a hideously difficult approach in which pilots would fly in from the west, following an instrument guidance system (IGS)1 to the approach’s middle marker (also helpfully marked by a giant checkerboard painted on a hillside, which, if not spotted in time, required a missed approach), and then immediately hand-fly a steep right turn2 at very low altitude directly over the heart of Kowloon City to line up, seconds before landing, with the runway, using only the Mk. I eyeball for guidance, with no room at all for error.
For obvious reasons, only the best of the best pilots were allowed to shoot the bent approach to runway 13, and only after extensive simulator training for that specific approach, and even they had considerable trouble with it, even in good weather.
The bent approach was necessitated by the presence of an inconsiderately-placed mountain in what would otherwise have been the runway 13 approach path, which, for a straight-in approach, would have forced the use of a glideslope too steep for a widebody jetliner to safely fly. Not all aircraft (or even all airliners) are widebody jets, though, and smaller, higher-performance aircraft (including virtually all STOL aircraft) can frequently shoot approaches much (much) steeper than what would be safe for a 747 or A330.
Given the difficulty and hazard of the standard bent approach, did Kai Tak have a straight-in approach to runway 13 for use by steep-approach-certified aircraft?
1: Like an ILS, except that following the IGS all the way down would kill you.
2: I don’t know if the Kai Tak checkerboard turn would technically qualify as a pylon turn, but it must surely have come close!