vendredi 19 mai 2017

Goooood Morning Kobe, and now the good stuff starts

0730am, pick up from the hotel for the short 10 minutes drive to Kobe airport. We needed to take the airplane out of the hangar and pre flight it. Beforehand, needless to say I was eager to wear the beautiful Breitling Navitimer, special DC-3 World Tour Edition! A glimpse on this amazing piece of equipment.

No snags were found and we got ready for the first Kobe local flight. I had the great honor to be the Pilot flying for this first flight, at the same time that’s the easiest part as Francisco had to deal with ATC (Air Traffic Control) and also with the many handlings that are required to operate the beautiful DC-3. Want to raise the gear, ok, but think twice before you do it, unlatch the gear with the handle on the floor, then pull the red gear handle which will let the hydraulic fluid flow into the gear line until the gear is up and the downline pressure on the gear pressure gauge reads zero. The return the gear selector to neutral. And do this at the same time your colleague asks you to set climb power. A no brainer for some experienced guy, not my case totally yet !
On this first flight we got 7 kids and 7 parents, the kids being members of the Marine Cadets, a kind of boyscouts camp where they learn some rudiments of the Marine codes. Very interesting, they saluted us like we were their superiors and were so well educated, its the opposite of today’s education received in other parts of the World. Politeness is required all of the time!

Our second and third flights went over the same routing, departing Kobe runway 27, right turn out over Marine Park and heading east to Osaka, passing over the Yodo river. We then flew over Osaka city center and back west towards Amagasaki, just close to Kobe. On these two flight, both Katsu and Greg took pictures and videos, with an incredible scenery and background, thanks to the great weather of the day. No turbulences, no mist neither any clouds to spoil a perfect picture !

During this first day in Japan, Marie took the Japan Rail pass advantages to go and visit Kyoto, about 30 minutes by train from Kobe. Amazing gardens and beautiful temples. Pretty big city when you decide to walk the whole time through its narrow authentic streets. 

We met up again at 5.30pm at the Portopia Hotel in order to get dressed for a night photo session, Katsu needed to get these shots done and the weather is so gorgeous that it wont be a problem tonight. Marie came with us and here is the result, first off, some cool pictures of us two and then the amazing DC-3 in black and white from my iPhone, do you really need a better camera Katsu ????

Master @ work!

To finish up this first amazing day, no better than some Kobe beef  Teppanyaki at the Tajima restaurant, inside the Portopia Hotel. A full Kobe beef dinner with delighfull japanese specialities and, of course, a japanese beer with some very good people to  share it all. We have to emphasize here that the Kobe beef is only available in Kobe and nowhere else, neither in Japan nor in the World as it cannot be exported. Its taste is quite incredible, slowly cooked and gently marinated with some special incredients. A must to try. Beware though, if you ever see Kobe beef somewhere written, that’s not truly from Kobe. Probably grown the same way but not from Kobe (unless you are reading this in Kobe !)

The first day went by already, still working on our time shift and jetlag. No better way to counteract jetlag by flying a piston powered airplane ! Tomorrow will also be a looooong but very interesting day.

Kobe harbor

DC-3 cockpit seen from the right side

Master Francisco at the controls ;-)

Looking good in our apron

A part of The Team 


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