Early May 2018 4Aviation undertook yet another Japan tour. This time, we combined the large Tokyo area (including Komatsu and Nagoya that is) with a visit to the Friendship day at MCAS Iwakuni.
The operational life of the F-4 Phantom is coming to an end in 2020 with the Japanese Air Self Defence Force. Because of this we centred this short tour around the famous Hyakuri airbase to enjoy this beautiful aircraft while it is still in full operational swing. We scheduled this base twice this week to be sure to get the best results.
The United States Marines Corps scheduled a Friendship Day at MCAS Iwakuni so we offered this as an addition to the original tour. It was a great week
In the early hours of Thursday 3 May, a group of nine Japan/Phantom lovers gathered at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport for the long journey to MCAS Iwakuni. For most it was the first visit to Japan. The first hop, to London-Heathrow, went smoothly. Their we saw our aircraft for the next stint with its engine cowlings open, not a good sign. The aircraft had just come in and the groundcrew noticed it was using too much oil. Not something you want to be without hallway to Japan. Another aircraft was prepared and with a four hour delay we got on our way. Not British Airways greatest hours as communication was non-existent with the passengers about what was going on. Our favourite employee at the JAL London office, Antje, was. However, from another level as she did everything possible to get us on the connecting flight from Tokyo to Hiroshima. Great job!