AOPA-J Around-the-world, just for fun.

This is my unofficial page to follow the progress of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association - Japan's 4-ship around-the-world easterly voyage of 2001. AOPA-J Official Around-the-World Page [ reader's letter to AOPA-J ] For more information:   http://aopa.jp/


Web sources:  time zone map ; weather web sources ; sunrise time ; Location_Code (ICAO IATA FAA WMO NWS) ; world airport information ; NIMA flight information file ; NOS homepage - Airport Diagram, AIM, FAR ; great circle mapper ; nighttime lights of the world ; national flag description


final flight plan (eastward flight) ; Mercator map ; initial plan-map ; Can this be a record?

Participating airplanes: Two Piper Malibu Mirage (JA4084, JA4200, Tokyo-Tokyo), One Beech/Raytheon A-36 Bonanza (N3616Z, former Japanese registration, Seattle - Tokyo), One Pilatus PC-12 (N660NR, Idaho - Idaho; end up in Russia, read below), One Mooney M-20 (Canadian legs).


Dates without notice are by Japanese Standard Time (JST or india time, 9 hours ahead of UTC or zulu time). Note that Japan does not apply daylight saving time (which I think is wise).

July 14   Welcome home, came back in one piece. Most of the crews reported to the AOPA-J annual meeting held at Takanawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo.

Adak approach was tough. Close to fuel starvation.

Some thought of quitting flying on the way (not today).

3 of 4 ditching survivors attended this party. ditching location map ; NTSB narrative ; Canadian PC-12 accident report ; single engine accident rate ; PC-12 safety ; medical meeting presentation (May 2002)

July 13   The accident was covered in ePilot online magazine(news clip). This site had an instant hit of 1100! AOPA-J site had 2,000 hits within two days.

July 12   All four are back in Tokyo. They had a helicopter ride from the ship (ad-hoc pad was the roof of a container Quicktime movie) to Yuzhno-sakhalinsk, then took an airliner to Tokyo.

July 9   They are alive! A Russian container freighter ship picked all four crew aboard the PC-12 in the Sea of Okhotsk, east of Sakhalin. Pickup point was 150 km north north west of the last radar contact. The search and rescue authorities of Japan and Russia was seaching for the crew. Pilot Mike Smith is from its operation company, Arinori Yamagata, 52, also a pilot, managed its flight. Other two are Katsuyoshi Ida,42 and Haruko Kikukawa,28. The ship is assumed to be heading to Korsakov, Sakhalin.
  
The PC-12 was flying from Hakodate Airport / RJCH (photo) to Magadan / Sokol Airport / UHMM, which is located on the coast of far east Russian, west of the root of Kamchatka Penninsula.
  'The engine halted without warning in flight.' Mr. Yamagata told NHK TV on the phone in the morning of July 9.
  'We tried in-flight relight several times, then the battery went out and electrical systems were down. All of us donned thick exposure suit while we were gliding for 10-15 minutes. The ditching was smooth, waves low, no apparent damage to the hull. We dove into the water, inflated a liferaft. Spent a night on the raft. When we saw a cargo ship [which was heading straight to the raft] at 03:15 we sent up a flare and they located us. Besides some bumps we have no injury. '
  The Russian authority reported that the crews were well alert, spoke with the ship crew and walked without assistance. Mr. Yamagata is reported to have told that the water was cold but they were OK, the airplane was floating tail up while it was within observable range (at least several hours), [initial report said the airplane sunk 2 hours after ditching], they were on the liferaft for 15 hours.
  My personal thanks are to the watch duty crew on the cargo ship who kept vigillance in very early hours. It changed its heading westerly because they received a distress circular. TV news clip

  weather and sea temperature -> Ditching area water temperature seems to be around 7 deg C.

July 8   At 11:30 JST Russian ATC Center notifed Japanese authority that the PC-12 transmitted distress signal, radar contact and communication was lost 400 km north east of Hokkaido Island. Japanese coast guard dispatched three vessels and a airplane for search. Widely covered by Japanese news media (see Japanese page of this site). AOPA-J designated a hotel room in Tokyo as a small group ops center. Mr. Takikawa, president of AOPA-J, flew from Fukuoka to Tokyo. Forming a private search airplane group was commenced.

July 6   They had a live coverage by Nihon TV broadcast at the Naha Airport.  press release TV clip


July 5, 2001  Angeles/RPLC -> Naha/ROAH  The four airplanes departed the Clark International at 11:30 local. All landed safely at Naha International Airport, Okinawa, Japan, first airplane at 16:40 JST. This is the final destination as AOPA-J project. Each airplane will fly back to its homeport. For the PC-12, they still have a transpac to Idaho. weather

July 4  weather. Naha View Hotel Tel +81-98-853-2111 

July 3  The large Typhoon #4 dominates the vicinity weather. Ceiling is about 1,500 feet, rain. They will wait for it to pass.
  
Mr. Amrao, president of AOPA-Philippines, invited the group for a luncheon at Manila. It was fun to spend time with his 30 flight school students. He also took them on his YS-11(!), former Japan Air System airplane, to his flight school.
  Dinner was arranged by Mr. Joy Roa. Use your hands on the seafood on banana leaves. Drove back to Clark Airport Holiday Inn.

Clark   dinner at Manila

July 2  Hochiminh/VVTS -> Angeles/RPLC   The leading airplane departed from VVTS at 11:00 local, then all airplanes landed at Clark International Airport / RPLC / City of Angeles, Islands of Luzon, Philippines at 20:00 local. Holiday Inn Tel +63-45-599-8000. Typhoon #3 and #4 are around. weather

  The PC-12 departed VVDN at 08:05Z, landed RPLC at 12:00Z.
  The other crews called in the morning reporting that their gasoline filling was fine at VVTS, they are departing around noon. The PC-12 change its plan to skip landing at VVTS, going onto RPLC. The police issue was fixed, departure was 3 PM local.
  Enroute weather at FL250 was fine short of the Philippines. Then weather radar and storm scope showed thunderstorms, let the airplne make frequent heading change.
  Approach was to Runway 20L. Then, both red and green lights for the gear! One go-around was made before the visitors from Philippine flight club. Decided to land, no problem. A gear sensor stuff. Tomorrow will be a maintenance day due to Typhoon #4 of 2001.

July 1  Chiang Mai/VTCC -> Hochiminh/VVTS   Three airplanes landed at Tansonnhat Airport / VVTS, Hochinminh (former Saigon), Vietnam (map 1 2). Everybody likes the excellent hotel. Local time is 2 hours behind JST. Caravelle Hotel Tel +84-8-823-4999 / Fax +84-8-824-3999   weather

June 30  Calcutta/VECC -> Chiang Mai/VTCC    Three airplanes finally acquired Myanmar permission. The PC-12 flew via Hochiminh to Danang, Vietnam to see if they have Aviation Gasoline there. There were conflicting information about its availability at Danang International Airport / VVDN. The observation with your own eyes - no AvGas! (Jeppesen data was right.) They made flight plan change from Danang to Hochiminh. Note that PC-12 is a turboprop airplane which uses Jet A fuel. We will see if the new Renaut diesel engine becomes popular or not. Internet connected at the Westin Hotel Tel +66-53-275-300 / Fax +66-53-275-299

  After the news that other three crews permit came from Yangon, the PC-12 flew a 635 NM leg to Hochinminh. For some reason the PC-12 alone got earlier fly-over permission from Myanmar. So there goes PC-12 searching for AvGas for the reciprocal engine airplanes (PC-12 is turboprop). Chiang Mai International Airport departure is 04:15Z, Tansonnhat Airport / VVTS, Hochinminh arrival is 07:25Z. Local time at Chaing Mai is 7 hours ahead of UTC (2 hours behind JST). Commenced descent passing Phnom Penh at FL250. Crossed Mekong, former Saigon downtown and landed. Taxi along former US military facilities. They confirmed with their eyes that there is 1,000 L of AvGas there. They could not believe it's a communist contry when CIQ was done in minutes, with a help of a very able FBO personnel.
  
They heard that Danang is a superb resort place. So there they go. Hochiminh departure 09:05Z, Danang (VVDN) arrival 10:50Z. To avoid seasonal clouds cruise was high at FL270. Airstrips were seen in rice pads, which are build by US during the war, according to Mike. He had been shot two times during the war, revisiting his old base place Danang 30 years later. He was rocket-attacked during fueling at Danang, or shot down over that hill. Hotel is Furama Resort Danang, which is a goverment-lead best hotel in Vietnam.

Furama Resort Danang more photos

June 28  PC-12 crew called and called other crews at Calcutta, Myanmar authority, and Skyplan. It's a buddhist country, climate is milder. The crew preferred city of gentle people here than Calcutta. Downtown mode of transportation is Tuku-tuku three wheel taxi. The crews agreed on PC-12 go on to Hochiminh to check availability of AvGas.

June 28  Three crews checkd out from Calcutta hotel in the morning, went through the passport control, then found that they do not have a fly-over permission from Myanmar. Crews waited until evening but did not hear from the Myanmar authority. Then had a hard time to reenter through the passport control. Three crews are back at Oberoi Hotel.

  The PC-12 crew departed Calcutta at 06:10Z (local time is odd 05:30 ahead of UTC), landed Chiang Mai International Airport (VTCC) at 09:20Z. Then they knew through Thai International Airline FBO personnel that other crews could not depart from Calcutta. They check in Westin Hotel. Plan to call authority in Yangon (former Rangoon) tomorrow.

PC-12 approach to Chiang Mai large

June 27  Mumbai/VABB -> Calcutta/VECC  Three crews crossed the India in one leap to Calcutta / Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Intenational Airport / VECC. Local time is 5.5h ahead of UTC. Oberoi Hotel Tel +91-33-249-2323 / Fax +91-33-249-1217

  The PC-12 departed OOMS at 06:20Z, landed VABB at 10:30Z. Fueled and departed VABB at 11:55Z, landed VECC at 16:10Z. Long day with 8h and a half flight time. Overwater OOMS-VABB was no problem, but VABB approach ordered to wander around in the worst turbulence area of this whole voyage. Over the India were Cb clouds, and there the onboard radar malfunctioned. Because there were no moon, turn off cockpit lights and avoid lightenings by visual watch helped. After passing the Cb area, the weather radar came back to normal !
  It's totally India on the ground. Hot, humid, people sleeping on the streets, beg at hotel entrance. And inside gorgeous Oberoi Hotel is an amazingly different world. Internet connection did not work, however.

June 26  Muscat/OOMS -> Mumbai/VABB   The flight to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, City of Mumbai (former Bonbay), India, was another overwater leg of 860 NM. Arrival time was local evening. Local time is 5.5 hours ahead of UTC. Sheraton Grand Tel +91-22-830-3030 / Fax +91-22-830-3131

Approach to Mumbai. large photo

  PC-12 crew spent another night at Muscat. During the day they toured downtown palace, Mosque, bazar, etc. Street is neat, you find NO trash. The government sweeps the streets continuously. Temprature is 30 to 35 deg C, humidity is such high that you have to warm camara lense to get rid of fogging.

June 25  Bahrain/OBBI -> Muscat(Matrah)/OOMS  

 There came misinformation via Japanese news media that Bahrain came under marshall law, or military is on alert. Some members had calls from families in Japan if it's OK there. Three crews considered not to stay overnight at Bahrain. Observation at OBBI by PC-12 crew who arrived earlier was that there are US Air Force HH-53s, C-2s, FBO and hotel personnel said it's normal, street seems fine. Eventually all crews stayed in Bahrain. Street is very clean with no littering.

  The 446 NM leg to the Seeb International Airport / City of Muscat, Oman, was short compared to the last one. All aircraft safely landed at local evening. They have a good internet connection at this place. Local time is 4 hours ahead of UTC. Muscat is east of the airport and farther than Matrah. Oman is an old country. Its capital Muscat opened a Japanese garden. Grand Hyatt Muscat was the finest hotel during this journey. Tel +968-64-1234 / Fax +968-60-5282

  The bridge connecting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain is 25 km long. At its midpoint is the border and a passport control. No entry to Saudi Arabia without difficult-to-get visa. From a sightseeing tower at the midpoint, they could view city of Dhahran (Al Khubar).
  After cashing at dowintown Citibank, the PC-12 departed OBBI at 12:30Z, landed OOMS at 14:45Z. They saw oil rig torches in the Persian Gulf.

Haruko and Muscat Custom in PC-12 ; more Muscat photos

June 24  Luxor/HELX -> Bahrain/OBBI   As informed beforehand by Mr. Ted Steckbauer, a long-range single engine ferry specialist now at Nevada, getting permission from Saudi authority was a key to success. Skyplan did not call the crews in the morning. Then they were notified that Report from telephone system in Saudi Arabia went down. While they were thinking today is another stay, a direct call to Saudi CAA made a success. They gave them permission on the phone at local. However, no confirmation facsimile came to hotel. They 14:00 went to airport to wait for the facsimile transmission. There came a fax. Then the tower told them that they do not have permission information. Negotiation with the tower took for an hourDeparture was made in a hurry at 16:30 local (3h ahead of . UTCmidnight after 970 NM leg, which is the longest for this journey. ). Arrival was at Bahrain33 deg C and 100% relative humidity on arrival. HILTON weather was BAHRAIN TelFax:(973)-53-5097 Bahrain International Airport is on Al :(973)-53-5000 Muharraq Island which is north east from City of Al Manamah, separated by a channel.

 HELX Yes, they have clouds.

Night leg. City view at OBBI. more photos

  The PC-12 deparged HELX at 13:40Z, landed OBBi at 17:55Z. Cruise at FL170 saw no cloud over Arabian desert. Local time at 9 PM had a temp of 33 deg C, very humid.

June 23  ( On July 1 the author came back to catch up, from a week's leave to WAG2001 events in Andalucia.) The flight group checked out their hotel and waited until night at the airport, only to find that the Saudi Arabian authority did not give them an overflight permission. They checked into another hotel (Saint George Hotel Tel:(20)-95-382575 Fax:(20)-95-382571). They will wait and see.

  Skyplan notified them that because of a starved fuel landing by a A-36 (US registration with no tip tanks. AOPA-J A-36 has long-range tip tanks.) onto a Saudi Arabia air force base which happend a while ago, Saudi authority denied overflight by this group's A-36 (whose registration is also US). Sudan and Yemen route was abandoned as their attitude toward US is more hostile. Rumor is that CIA agents there exited the countiries. Waiting at HELX from 8 in the morning till 18:30 at evening did not help. They check in Sonesta St.George Hotel Luxor, which is a 5-star, much better than Hilton Luxor they stayed yesterday.
  They talked frequently at HELX with Skyplan on a satellite phone. It was that Saudi authority was late, or ciesta began that prevented today's departure. Negotiation tomorrow is expected to begin at 8 AM.
  Skyplan notified another issue. They said there is no AvGas at Danang. They considered Ching Mai - Malaysia route, but the last information was that there is AvGas (which later proved to be wrong.) Egypt did not have a proper inernet access. Hotel room lines did not work at all. Lines at hotel buisiness center held for some time but frequent disconnections made it useless.

June 22  They went to sightseeing ancient toombs in 49degC tempereture. No sweat at the palace where Japanese tourists were shot to death several years ago. Guess how much the foreign aircraft handling fee at HELX? US$1,000 each, which is still a bargain compared to that of $2,500 at Japanese airport. At evening, a Japanese yachtman, 59 years old, completed his single-hand, no port visit around-the-world voyage to become the eldest Japanese for the category. He should have paid no port fee for his trip, I guess (Nikkei6/23).

large photos

June 21  Iraklion/LGIR -> Luxor/HELX  Welcome to Egypt, Luxor International Airport, after a 700NM flight. Landing time was 17:00 June 21 local (6 hours behind JST). Two nights at HILTON LUXOR Tel:(20)-95-374933 Fax:(20)-95-376571. Many people fly into Luxor to see Pyramids from above. This group had not many alternative routes to avoid military conflict area. weather ; city light of Europe

  The PC-12 departed LGIR at 09:55Z, landed HELX at 13:05Z. The PC-12 started first, followed by two Malibu Mirage's, then A-36. Arrival order is the other way because of cruise velocity. Enroute weather was clear. Crossed the Mediterranian Sea, flew south along the Nile River. A 3 hour flight. Nothing other than the Nile seen from FL280. HELX weather was CAVOK, temp at 44 deg C. Fuel was cheap! JET A-1 costs 30 cents per litter. At CIQ, they noted down the serial numbers of video cameras and portable computers. Had a dinner at hotel, then a short boat ride at the Nile. Tomorrow will be a day of touring the ancient buildings.

June 20  Olbia/LIEO -> Iraklion/LGIR  From Sardinia to Nikos Kazantzakis Airport (HER/Heraklion), Isle of Crete, Greece, a leg 810NM long. The slowest in the fleet, A36 starts first at 09:00 local time. Then follows the two Mirage. The last to depart and the first to arrive is PC-12. At 22:00 local time (6h ahead of UTC) they are at ASTORIA HOTEL. TEL:(30)-81-343-080 FAX:(30)-81-229-078 weather

   large photos

  Mr. Yamagata piloting the PC-12 departed LIEO at 10:45Z, landed at LGIR at 14:10Z. Cruise altitude was FL230-250. The weather was generally good, besides some Cb clouds 250 NM short of Iraklion. LGIR/Iraklion is a civilian and military airport. You see Mirage's (Mirage Jets!) and A-7s practicing touch and goes. We hope the ani-aircraft gus besides the runway is not aiming at you. Fueling and ground handling was smooth. CIQ was ahead of other tourists with no stamps on passport.
  Landing, dinner at hotel, then flight planning followed. Humidity made difference from Sardinia. Streets are crowded.

June 19  Nice/LFMN -> Olbia/LIEO  They opted for pinning Sardinia Is. Costa Smeralda Airport (city is Olbia - map - photo) is their resort of choice. Three airplanes are waiting for the arrival of the Bonanza, as of 14:00 by local time (21:00JST). They have a great weather in southern Europe. They checked in a hotel called 'Pelicanodoro' (39)-789-390-94 .

on final approach to Olbia by Mr. Kazama ; more Sardinia photos

June 18  Alternator repair has been done! weather ; Naples(Capodichino Mils/Naples International Airport / LIRN) <- Naples visit was cancelled.

more Nice photos

  Mr. Yamagata/PC-12 departed Bern at 08:45Z and landed at Buochos Airport / LSMU, Switzerland at 09:05Z, after a 20 minute flight in a low ceiling weather. The PC-12 is back home at the manufacturer! LSMU is a military airport also used by Pilatus, thus special arrangement was made by the largest PC-12 dealer in the world, Western Aircraft, Idaho, US. The airport is surrounded by 3,000 feet AGL mountains. They had a visual contact of the airport right after passing a mountain, then made a steep approach. A street crosses the taxiway to Pilatus factory. You have to click three times on the radio to turn a traffic light to blue. No photographs were allowed in the factory. Impression was that PC-12s are made by Swiss meisters. While they were on factory tour the airplanes was washed, had a stick-shaker test. Home of PC-12. ; more photos
  Departed Buoches at 14:00Z, landed on Sardinia / LIEO at 15:55Z. Hotel Martini was below expectation. Next night on was a stay at Hotel Pelicano d'Oro which has a private beach. Other crews joined.

June 17  Glasgow/EGPF -> Nice/LFMN  An alternator broke, but they are safely at Nice, France with bright sunshine. Landing by local time was at 19:30 June 16. One of the two Pipoer Mirage (JA4084) needs alternator replacement. They would stay there a couple of days to repair. A professional airplane mechanic in the crew will orchestrate the work. weather ; their hotel ; airport ; flight plan / route map as of 6/17

  Mr. Yamagata / The PC-12 flew from EGPF to LFMN with a cozy tailwind, making it in 4 hours. Passing Paris, it entered into embedded Cb, then thunderstorm with moderate turbulance. Sunshine and 25 deg C at Nice! The approach wa ILS Rwy04L. RIVIERA-6 arrival procedure did not have chart description. Because it was VMC it was not horrible, but if IMC, radar vectoring left turn then right turn, right after intercepting the localizer would have been a hassle. It needed a right 270deg turn to lower the plane, then lading came. The whole thing is for noise abatement over Canne residence, the tower later explained. It was first time they were required of immmigration and custom procedure. Only a stamp on passport, however. It was only entering CYZF and exiting BIRK when they saw passport. EGPF procedure is not known because it was only for fuel. Nice is as nice as advatized. Took pictures at a marina at Riviera, then charted a boat to lunch at the next town. A personnel at a boat shop at Riviera strongly suggested visiting Sardinia instead of Naples. Flight plan was revised.
  The PC-12 took off from Nice at 12:25Z 7/17 to Belp Airport / LSZB, Bern, Switzerland. Hotels at Nice and Bern did not have a proper internet connection. ATA at Bern was 13:30Z. The flight path should have been over Matterhorn, which was below cloud deck. Belp Airport was in a valley surrounded by wheat.    more Bern photos

June 16  Reykjavik/BIRK -> Glasgow/EGPF   At local time 18:00, June 15 (02:00JST June 16) they landed on Glasgow. They elected to do 50 hour engine check and oil replacement at Glasgow, which was at Nice by the original plan. Bonanza's engine is new. Two of Mirage's had to open up their engines to comply with a SB right before the start. Their current plan calls for two nights at Glasgow, then one night at Nice. They'll miss some wine at parties in France. It's our eternal theme to balance pleasure of flight/parties with keeping a job. Enjoy UK weather, which seems to be worse than that in Iceland.  flight plan as of 6/15 - chart; weather ; Glasgow (city guide ; Glasgow Prestwick International Airport (EGPK) ; hotel) ; Birmingham-Sydney-Hawaii-Birmingham Jan.-May 2001 ; press release

Very much Scottish approach weather?
   larger photos   The PC-12 took 4 hours from BIRK to EGPF. Rain was as forcasted. EGPF was only for fuel then went on to LFMN.

June 15 Big News! We got a cover in "e-Pilot" AOPA online magazine of June 15. news clip Access analysis at AOPA-J page, which had been stable at 200 hits/day, jumped up to 1000 hits/day. Most of them are from US. Thanks Nate, the editor, for your attention. weather  


Blue Lagoon (hot spring) in Iceland. large Their electricity comes from either hydrodynamic or geographical heat.

June 14  Narsarsuaq/BGBW -> Reykjavik/BIRK   Landing in Reykjavik downtown airport happened in the afternoon of June 13 by local time (Zulu time zone, maybe 'A' time zone if they enploy daylight saving time. time zone map) They had to take a 40 minute hotel bus ride from the downtown general aviation airport because they booked two nights at an airport hotel at the Keflavik International / BIKF which is located 17NM west of downtown. They are very lucky to have chosen this week with super sunny weather, the locals say. It was stormy previous week. In a way a week's stay at Kamchatka paid off. They expect to enjoy clear sky for some days to come. weather 6/14 local time ; Iceland (info weather satellite) ; polar balloon stations

approach to Reykjavik (Mr. Kazama)

June 13  Kuujjuaq/CYVP -> Narsarsuaq/BGBW   The four airplanes made it to Greenland, landing at BGBW 21:00 June 12 by local time. They are happy at Greenlandic Hotel at the airport which has a good accommodation facility. weather ; Narsarsuaq(airport photo satellite) ; glacier satellite archive photo
  
over Greenland more photos

June 12  Yellowknife/CYZF -> Lankin Inlet/CYRT -> Kuujjuaq/CYVP.   Northen Canada desolate area crossing has been completed by the four ship group. They were encouraged by airline pilots flying above on the radio. They have checked in a hotel in Kuujjuaq. Landing happened at 22:00 June 11 by local time. No restaurant around. They are lliving on Japanese noodle packs they picked up at Fairbanks. Ready to cross the Atlantic?   weather and leg map ; Kuujjuaq Airport is a year-round facility(map photo).

June 11   weather ; current satellite infrared (Alaska Canada Canada2 Greenland); current radar (Alaska Anchorage Fairbanks Canada composite) ; Map of Canada - Yellowknife, Canada (Northwest Territory map info weather news hotel) - Baker Lake(city map ; airport fuel), Nunavut - Iqualuit (city map) - Nunavut travel info - Rankin Inlet Airport is gorgeous to have an FSS out of 5 FSSs in the Northern Territories.

June 10 Fairbanks/PAFA -> Yellowknife/CYZF.   Two Mirage crews landed Yellowknife at 21:00 June 9 by local time (Noon June 10 JST = 03:00 June 10 UTC). They were greeted by the Bonanza A-36 crew from Seattle and AOPA-Japan secretary Ms. Hatanaka, who flew on an airliner. They will spend two nights at Yelloknife, then head for Kuujjuaq/CYVP. A Pilatus PC-12 from Idaho will join them on June 10 local time. photos ; weather briefing ; flight plan 6/10 ; press release ;

Mt. McKinley abeam 

June 9  At 22:00 June 8 local time (06:00 June 9 UTC = 15:00 June 9 JST) Mirage crews checked in a Fairbanks hotel for an overnight stay. Up to now actural departure/landing time has been monitored by ATC information via a flight management company. Their next stop is Yelloknife, Canada, where the five ship fleet will be assembled to cross North America. weather briefing ; press release ; Fairbanks/PAFA/FAI(current radar photo-1-2)

Route as of June 9. Solid squares = actual stops as of June 8.

June 8  UHPP -> PADK -> PAKN -> PANC -> PAFA .    The two mirages finally (!) took off from UHPP, landed at Adak, AK. Departure from Petropavlovsk/UHPP June 7, 2001 11:30UTC(JA4084) 12:00(JA4200). Midnight departure by local time.- Cross date line here. - Arrive at Adak/PADK June 7 19:05UTC(JA4084) 19:30(JA4200). Mid-day arrival by local time. In retrospect, UHPP-PADK leg was the most difficult leg to fly. The Russian ATC did not approve their 960NM plan. They were routed nothernly, flying 1,070NM with unfavorable wind, right down to fuel starvation point. Leading JA4084 had to make three approaches to Adak surrounded by sea fog.
  They decided to stop at King Salmon/PAKN. Their overnight stay will be at Anchorage/PANC. weather ; WX briefing ; sunrise/sunset ; press release

map of Aleutian Is.(small with airports) - Adak,AK(airport photo 1 2) - Dutch Harbor,AK(1 2) - Cold Bay/PACD/CDB - Alaskan airport photo collection

JA4084 timeline for June 7/8 UTC.
UHPP OUT / PADK IN / PADK OUT /
   PAKN IN   / PAKN OUT / PANC IN
11:30UTC / 19:05UTC /
 22:54UTC / ATA 03:45UTC /   n/a   / ETA 0615UTC     route flown(large)

June 6/7 pm - 2  Fuel document at the Russian custom was cleared.  Weather is the issue.  The crew at Petropavlovsk observes its worsening.  A low pressure is coming to the east of tip of Peninsula of Kamchatka.  Because at hotel they neither have internet connection (not implemented)  nor facsimile (out of order), they are relying on calls from Mr. Imahashi in Japan.  One of them are out to downtown looking for an internet café.  Its close to whitenight there.  Their plan is to depart at 23:00 local time, because Adak airport is open only from 9 to 5.  They do not have to press on.  One of the options is to fly back to Chitose/RJCC to wait for weather and square things out.

June 6/7 pm -1  Good news: AOPA-France president kindly sent in an invitation for a welcome party. Kevin Psutka, President & CEO of Canadian Owners & Pilots Association sent in warm words and a restaurant info at Yellowknife. Bad news: Still stuck at Yelizovo=UHPP=Petropavlovsk. By now you are accustomed to flight plan change :) In addition to the departure document issue, they have to consider the weather at Adak and Dutch Harbor, and their level of exhaustion. My own experience in western Russia cities tells that even a van ride between airport and hotel would not be smooth. Those Mirage crews evaluated that Anchorage is too far not only for their airplanes but also for crew strength. Current plan calls for a fuel stop at Adak, then CIQ and an overnight stay at Dutch Harbor, which is the base for Aleutian sightseeing. Flight_Plan

June 6/7 am  The documents missing were proved to be a proof of gasoline quality and its ownership certificate, which we never deal with in Japan. The two sets of crew on Mirage's can stretch at a hotel at Anchorage finally. It's June 6 by local time. There the M20 crew welcomes them, who already took some photos at Anchorage. The M20 joins with North American legs. It was a documentation hell, but they had much help from general aviation colleagues. Good-by to Kamchatka. From Anchorage they will make a short hop to Fairbanks, where they will find a packet of Japanese food. All airplanes are to meet at Yelloknife, Canada.

June 6 New revision was made to the flight plan today. They are struggling with documentation to depart from Russia. They were told their document had a flaw. They had to return to hotel They are to depart from UHPP(Yelizovo)/Petropavlovsk Kamchatski for Adak. - weather(am pm)

June 5 Their flight plan for Ugolny/UHMA (920+890NM, chart) has been accepted; not for the fuel transport airplane, carrying 4 barrels of AvGas. Plan back to use Adak/PADK for fuel stop (chart)? No, because an extraordinarrily expensive insurance issue popped up. They require a document sent to U.S. Department of Defence, then charge a large amount for insurance. No idea why Skyplan, a Canadian flight management company, let them know earlier. - Fairbanks(radar 6/5 city info) - Metar - area weather(surface Alaska infrared Pacific infrared)

At Petropavlovsk/UHPP.

June 4 The gas has arrived from Alaska on a CASA airlifter in the evening. Because of nasty weather at Adak, AK, they will fly via Anadyr/Ugolny UHMA at the root of Penninsula of Kamchatka instead of Adak in Aluetian Is., then direct to Fairbanks, Alaska at night. Flight Plan permission has already come from Moscow. area weather(surface infrared cloud analysis)  

June 3 The custom office at Petropavlovsk is closed. Bad weather anyway.

June 2 They are stuck at Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, due to heavy rain and lack of Aviation Gas. (Petropavlovsk city map ;  Aleutian topographic map - English - Russian)

June 1, 2001  RJCC -> UHPP   Two Piper Mirage's departed Chitose, Japan for Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, Russia. First trouble - no gas at Petropavlovsk?  details  press release  photos  The Bonanza A-36 departed from Seattle, heading to Yellowknife, Canada where they expect to get together.

Chitose/RJCC 

May 12 Last all-member planning meeting in Tokyo.   photos


Past AOPA-J overseas flights: Vladivostok(May 2000, Aug.2000-1/2) Philippines

If you have difficulty in off-line browsing, summary reports with photos would be handy. SUMMARY  5/12 to 6/5  6/6 to 6/13


It's a world of laughter, a world of tears; It's a world of hopes and a world of fears,
There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware, It's a small world after all,
It's a small world after all,
It's a small world after all,
It's a small world after all,
It's a small, small world,
There's just one moon and one gold-en sun and a smile means firiend-ship to ev'ry one,
Though the moun-tains di-vide and the o-ceans are wide,
It's a small world after all.
(words and music by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman)


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