The ‘pictures only’ trip to Japan has become a signature trip for 4Aviation. Early 2010 preparations stared for a ‘number only’ trip to the same country. Photography is becoming a growing part of the aviation hobby. But there are still many enthusiasts enjoying it ‘old school’! In the afternoon of Friday 15 October ten Dutch number crunchers gathered at Amsterdam Schiphol airport and eagerly awaited the KL861 flight to Tokyo Narita Airport. The flight lifted off on time and the service on board was excellent.
It took some time before we got our luggage and were processed through customs. Finally two Mazda Biantes were picked up at Europcar, the bags were loaded in the trunk, everybody got settled, the navigation devices were set for Shimofusa and we drove the first couple of our 6160km to log the first numbers of the trip. Initially we had some problems with our Garmin, but we soon understood our Japanese device and picked up where we had left. Traffic in the Tokyo area was intense, so it took some time to reach Shimofusa. On our way to Narita we overflew an airfield which we thought was Shimofusa, but luckily it wasn’t as the aprons of that airport were completely empty. We noted 10 local and a visiting Orion, a single YS-11 and a couple of preserved aircraft. As it is getting dark very soon in this time of year we had to work very hard. We got out early in the morning, mostly between five and six AM. So we arrived at the first location of the day at first light and then continued till sun set between five-six PM. In the first week, the weather was great; temperatures over 20c and lots of sun. In the second week it was cloudy with a couple of intense showers, one or two at the wrong moment.