The clouds on Saturday morning were varying a lot, and during my drive to the mountain range I saw some very nice spots and even a smoking sulphur field, but unfortunately the mountain tops, my goal for that day, were covered with clouds. Combined with the strong and cold wind the decision to cancel this walk was quickly, but not easily, made and I only went for the crater lake. During my way up there the clouds came lower and it did not take long until I was within the clouds and the rain, and only got a slight impression of the lake. That was a real shame as the colours of the water must be marvellous during sunshine. But staying up in the clouds and the bad weather did not make any sense, thus I drove to the nearby Kagoshima Airport to photograph some more aircraft.
Kagoshima was not bad as there was a constant coming and going of aircraft. Mainly JAL was flying with different types, with ANA coming now and then with a B777 and even some foreign airlines such as China Southern Airlines or the Japanese Fuji Dream Airlines as my highlight of the day. The Japanese Coast Guard was also on duty and did ground runs with their AW139 as well as patrol flying using the Saab 340. The weather was quite ok and at least better as in the mountains, which were covered in clouds during the whole day.
Towards the end of the afternoon a Japanese spotter, who remembered me from my last trip to Hyakuri in Spring this year, came to the same spot and we were talking quite a lot. He was also touring the Southern island and the Nyutabaru show the next day was also on his schedule. It was from him that I learned about the landing accident of another F-15J the previous day at Komatsu, resulting in another grounding of the fleet! Subsequently no F-15s would fly at Nyutabaru, which cancelled around 30% of the flight program. Somehow I gut the impression that something was going wrong during this trip...
Another drive during the night led to Nyutabaru where I was looking for a good place to sleep near the airfield. There some JASDF people approached me and tried to tell me something about a parking place somewhere, but we did not understand each other. When the finally asked where I was coming from and I answered "Toitsu (Germany)" they said "aahhh, Toitsu, Volkswagen!!!" and it was not problem staying where I was. Knowing how everything would work the next day it was then time for a 'restorative' sleep.
- Category: Air Forces
- Published: 06 January 2010
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