With the loaner transponder installed, all is now good with the plane. So, last night I filed my flight plan from Osaka to Aomori, for this morning. The flight plan has been accepted without modifications by the ATC. The weather though cloudy is good enough for me to depart. Other than slight headwinds the enroute weather forecast is good too and I am able to depart Osaka right at my filed time of 10:30 AM.
After a short three hour flight I landed at Aomori, a small farming town in North of Japan. It is a perfect sunny day and the rice paddies of Aomori surrounded by lush green rolling hills look gorgeous. Mr. Kazuhito Shinoda, the Noevir Aviation (my handlers in Japan) representative greets me at the airport. He helps me refuel the plane and my Turtlepac (pretty hard to fill while inside the plane already). Together we drive to the hotel and go out for a very traditional Japanese meal in a local restaurant. It turned out to be very nice evening indeed.
Mr. Shinoda brought me back to the airport this morning and helped me get through the customs and immigration checks. This is something previous earthrounders have had lots of trouble with and I too was really very concerned about it. But Mr. Shinoda has been very thorough in his preparation of the documentation for me and all goes through without a hitch. He ushers me to the plane, bids me farewell and confirms with ATC that they have my flight plan. With all this done, I am ready to go. ATC clears me to UHSS – Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Khomutovo). I am now number two for take-off behind the JAL flight to Tokyo.
Adios Japan, I am off to Yuzhno –Sakhalinsk Russia!