samedi 27 mai 2017

Fukushima local flights for children

26th May

Today’s weather doesn’t look promising at all, low clouds and light drizzle is present. We can not even see the mountains and we are supposed to fly to Aizuwaikamatsu castle which lies in the middle of them. Anyway, while waiting that the weather to improve from low overcast of 300 feet to some VMC ceiling, we did start our engines and went down the runway. Just taxiing the airplane was already putting a huge smile on kids faces and they were amazed to be part of our engine runup. We could accomodate the small guys and gals up front on the jumpseat while doing so and also while taxiing down the runway. Amazing stuff ! More pictures came after this and on the next day’s newspaper we were all over the place !!

We received a gift from the 6th grade Elementary School in the form of our new Captain, who needed a lot of attention from Francisco. He was very happy to have this little new guy with us, who weights its good 8kgs (20 lbs).

We were finally able to fly in the afternoon and I had the pleasure to do the second leg. Here are a couple pictures of both flights, towards Koriyama and back over the rice fields to RJSF. Together with Mr. Kaoru Kobayashi, Mayor of Fukushima, we also had the pleasure to fly an ANA Captain who was an ex DC-3 Pilot back in the days, together with his wife, who was a Stewardess also on the DC-3 back then. Here she is on the jump seat for landing.

Koriyama under low ceiling

After dinner that day we sampled some incredible japanese whisky, 17 years old single malt. For someone like me who doesn’t particularly like whisky, this time was a real treat!

Smoky corean bbq

Whisky for our pleasure!

27th May

The second day was fortunately a tad better weather wise, we also did three flights, and here are a couple pictures.

Over Koriyama city

Short finals runway 01 at RJSF

I must admit that flying with these kids and seeing them and us with such a huge smile on our face makes me realize how wonderful this experience is and how grateful I am to be doing the job as a pilot. This tour isn’t at all any kind of job of course, its a pleasure we share between passionate people, but being here now is also thanks to my primary job as an airline pilot. 

The day couldn't be ending without a proper briefing with the local ATC. It is of utmost importance that everyone knows what we intend to do. For this, two local ATC Officers took time to meet us, Francisco, Gregory and I to discuss what we will do.

Going towards the Terminal, we enjoyed also looking at the DC-3 model especially done for us by Mr. Suzuki, who actually did two exact same models, one for us to keep and given to us in front of the real DC-3!

Looks real!

Going back to the hotel we met Paul Bazeley, Paul being the Engineer and also Pilot of the DC-3. A great time ahead with Paul!!

Tonight was the last opportunity to enjoy Koriyama and Breitling Japan organized a fantastic dinner in a Pub, a groups picture always says more than anything else !

Tank you Breitling Japan!

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