JA8704, Saab 340
62-1856 / YJ, C-130
In the afternoon we took flight JAC3653 back to Kagoshima, this time with YS-11 JA8788. Two farewell flights in one day.
JA8888, Saab 340
Next we headed South again (South Kyushu) for Kanoya Air Base, our first Maritime base during this trip. An open field with lots of viewing opportunities where 211 Kyoiku Kokutai trains JMSDF helicopter pilots. So expect OH-6 and SH-60 movements. 1 Kokugun used this base for its P-3 fleet. First we checked out the main apron and later we stayed at the end of runway 8R.
At every Japanese Air Base you will be confronted by Japanese Military Police or secret service. Don’t worry as long as you’re prepared. What we did up-front is make passport copies and make a letter in Japanese explaining our hobby. The letter can come in handy when normal police stops by for a talk (once during our trip). The MP will understand what you’re doing. The passport copy will save a lot of time as they want information for their file. We also showed a itinerary of our trip, so at most based they were expecting us. It differs from base to base, sometime they came by for a chat or check documents, sometimes they stayed at a distance or even “blend in” with the local spotters. We had some very funny encounters. One guy, making photographs of our car, had an air-band scanner, like most spotters, although we noticed he was “listening” to an AM frequency. On another occasion we had the secret service guy program our (Japanese) car-navigation system to the next base on our itinerary.
Kanoya also has a museum covering JMSDFs history. The most important post-war maritime aircraft can be seen here. Unique in the collection is the Kawanishi H8K2 Type 2 flying boat.
6714, Beech 65
The weather was awful when we arrived at Kumamoto, so we only stayed a short time. There is a nice viewing location parallel to the single runway 07-25.
Our last stop on Kyushu was the town of Nagasaki. The airport is located North of the city on an island in Omura Bay.
9 August 1945 at 11:02am, the second atom bomb exploded at Nagasaki, ending World War II. The Peace Park in the town centre marks ground zero. We visited the Atomic Bomb Museum located next to the park. a very impressive must see, while your in town.
Our first stop on the main island of Honshu was the Air Base Iwakuni. Nowadays the base expended massively. The main runway was moved one kilometre to the east. During our visit this expansion didn’t start yet. The spot we stayed during our trip, doesn't exist anymore.
The weather wasn’t that great, but we marked off one of our goals, a flying US-1 Shin Meiwa! And to make it even more special a rare UP-3D take-off.
we parked at the end of runway 25, which is extended, now a days. The only photo we could make was a C-130 coming in, before we ran into troubles with the local police. After lots of talking we agreed to leave. That concluded Miho for us.
Our next stop was Osaka’s Itami international airport. We found a spot on top of a building at the end of runway 32L. The roof was free accessible and covered by a park complete with baseball fields. Look for the Harada building.
Now a days there is an official observation area just north of the spot we stayed. This spot is also elevated so offers great view of the main runway.
We didn’t visit Osaka’s new Kansai International airport, build on an artificial island in Osaka Bay.
On page 3 we will visit our first JGSDF field and see the first Phantoms in action at Misawa.