lundi 22 mai 2017

Cross country flying in Japan

When we talk about early morning flight at easyJet, we talk about 5am checkin, so a 3.30am wake up time ! Fortunately, with our DC-3, an early morning flight is a one that departs at 8am. For now! We might have to adapt to this later on our route !

Marie waiting for departure, 1940's style!

A beautiful day on this 22nd May, with an even more beautiful flight to go. We will be departing Kobe towards the north east coast of Japan towards Shizuoka and the Mont Fuji , or Fujisan. A photo flight with our great Katsu is planned over there. We depart together with the Bonanza on a loose formation flight and make our own navigation, flying low at the beginning then climbing towards 9500 feet for a smooth and enjoyable ride!

Along the east coast of Japan

Talking to ATC due to many airspace restrictions

Our fully GPS/GoPro equipped DC-3

Overhead Nagoya Centrair Airport (NGO)

Having to be in a good position to correctly shoot us and Mont Fuji together, Katsu calls for an altitude of 12'500 feet around Mont Fuji. So we climb to that altitude after waypoint NUMAR, that we can easily find on our GNS 430 and also on the Garmin 695, with our Worldwide database.
Here is a picture of the planned routing, briefed the day before with the Bonanza pilots and especially Hirata who needs to ask for the special flight permit to this area.

During this incredible photo shooting flight, Marie sometimes pops up in the flight deck to say hi, always so great to see you my love !

The Bonanza ahead of us, turning left, I say again, LEFT!

From the Bonanza, thank's to Katsu!

 After 1 hour of shallow turns at this place, we head towards the US Air Force base of Yokota. We contact them and they give us transponder code to enable us to go through their airspace. Always funny when the controller asks us the question « Report your country of registration ???? » and then also « report type of aircraft? » « Switzerland??? On a DC-3 ???!....Have a safe flight ! »

Indeed we will have a safe flight, actually a lot of them ! The routing then brings us onwards to the north of Tokyo City, we avoid the airspaces of both Haneda and Narita, very busy airports. Talking with Tokyo TCA isn’t a problem at all, they monitor our progress and coordinates quite well with other Centers. We can hear all the westbound international flights calling on the same frequency, KLM, Lufthansa, Air France…I am eager to hear SWISS calling and greet them for their return flight towards Zürich but we miss them by just a couple minutes.

Flying up north we arrive over Fukushima Airport and talk to them for the overfly, strange feeling of the one we have, going so close to where such a catastrophic accident happened. We will come back to Fukushima (RJSF) after refueling in Sendai (RJSS) which is about 35 minutes flight time to the north, along the coast. My pleasure to fly this leg and do the approach to Sendai, landing on runway 09 from the mountain on the north side, following an ANA Boeing 737.

Proceeding vertical RJSF (Fukushima) towards RJSS (Sendai)

We refueled our airplane and went for lunch, well needed lunch after that epic flight. After this, we headed south again to Fukushima, where we will be based for the next 5 days.
Marie rode with us on the jumpseat for the entire flight, take off and landing included! We had to depart IFR from Sendai, a requirement for today, which was a good exercice to do on a DC-3 ! Weather was good so it was more a VMC departure followed by radar vectoring to our cruising altitude of 6000ft today. We cancelled IFR close to Fukushima in order to descend over the mountains and avoid any IFR procedure that would increase our flight time. We have to protect our fuel for the next days as it is not available in Fukushima.

Now let’s have a look at the incredible welcome ceremony we had upon arriving in Fukushima ! Flowers, nice speechs and a lot of pictures. It is always amazing to see this and be at the center of it. Thank you Japan and thank you Breitling Japan for this amazing Welcome.

Until the 24th, we will also have 2 days off that will enable us two, Marie and I to go and visit Tokyo ! Before this, some incredible Sushis and vegetable Sushis at the Hamatsu Hotel japanese restaurant. Hard to understand the menu though, we managed it anyway !

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire