Okinawa – Fleeing a typhoon

Sunday, September 15, 2013
Okinawa, Kyushu-Okinawa, Japan
We'd heard rumblings of the oncoming typhoon but it wasn’t until we stepped out of our hotel that felt it coming down on us. It wasn’t overly windy, but the rain was steady.  I could tell this wasn’t going to be the most enjoyable day of flying.

We met the rest of the group at the train station, hurried to our platform, and then promptly waited 45 minutes before our train could depart .  It seems even efficient Shinkansen bullet trains are no match for typhoon rain and winds.  As we neared Nagoya, at least the rain stopped.  I had to file a new flight plan first heading westward as our original more direct route south had us heading directly in to the storm.  Fortunately there was an onsite FSS and Paul was there to help with the process.  Funnily, as opposed to just handing them my flight plan form, I had to fax it to them from the adjacent fax machine to make sure it entered their system.

About a minute after takeoff we were in the clouds and the rain started.  It was a bumpy ride at times and the cloudy conditions lasted about 2,5 hours until we finally popped out southwest of the storm.  While the turboprops were complaining about icing at their altitudes, we were just bemoaning the clouds and rain and constantly shifting winds.  While I don’t think we exceeded our personally safety boundaries, it just wasn’t the most enjoyable flight.  It did though make up for the easy times we had over the Pacific ;-).  Johannes nailed the landing at the busy Naha airport and unbelievably Peter had flown down to meet our group and make sure we were sorted.  We refueled from what has to be the world’s smallest avgas truck before heading to the airport for our quick turnaround night. 

It was a long day and after a dinner that dragged and beers that were too slow to get served, I was out quickly. 

Routing from Nagoya (RJNA) to Naha, Okinawa (ROAH):

CUE V28 ASANO Y282 POPPY V53 SUC B597 ONC A582 NHC at 10,000’ and a flight time of 5h30m
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2021-12-07