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Leg 21 - Sapporo (RJCO) to Yelizovo (UHPP)

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I meet Marcel at Sapporo and i load the Baton into my case for the trip north into Russia. The weather in Sapporo is dry but cold, with snow covering the ground. Its to be expected in Hokkaido at this time of year. Being Japan's most northerly Island, the snow can be thick. Still it looks pretty. My route today will take me out from Sapporo and on to the VOR at Asahikawa before i turn towards the east and and the Memanbetsu VOR that will take me out over the Pacific and into disputed territory. From there i have to hope my aircraft doesn't suffer any issues as the next airport i'll reach will be my destination, some 800 miles further on.

once again i decide on a dawn departure, so at just past 0700 local, I get on board my aircraft. The past two legs I've flown I've enjoyed some of Mr. Boeing's finest work. but today, owing in no small way to the size of Sapporo's runway. (If i'd have been at new Chisote airport just to the east, I'd have no problems). So I decide to scale things down a bit and opt for the Epic LT Dynasty. Its a beautifully fast single engine turboprop that's great for a 30000ft cruise at 4000kts groundspeed. it also offers a great glass cockpit and a range of around 1500 miles if flown correctly. So with the aircraft choosen, baton loaded and Sharon nowhere to be seen (Maybe she's not a morning person.) I call ATC for Clearance.


The weather is dry but cloudy and reports from up north suggest I may see some rough air later. For now though I need to get the Engine running. With the turbine purring and the prop spinning I run through a few last minute checks before taxiing out. I'm cleared to runway 32 and I line up ready to go.


It seems fitting that in the land of the rising sun, I depart with the sun doing just that at my back. I apply full power and the Dynasty leaps forward like a Scolded tiger. The power of the aircraft is just incredible and takeoff comes quickly. I turn towards Sapporo for the last time and get my bearings. Then with a flick of a switch I engage the autopilot and off we go.


My initial climb is to 25000ft and the Epic climbs like its on fire with an impressive 2500FPM showing on the screen. in no time I'm up into the clouds and enjoying the scenery.


As the cloud breaks I see the snow covered fields of Hokkaido below.


It isn't long before I come to the end of Hokkaido and the beginning of Russian Airspace.


WIth Japan disappearing behind me I see in the distance the first Island I'll be crossing today. This one island is the center of a dispute between the Japanese and the Russians over who owns it. For now it looks as if the Russians do.


About this time I take a look at my endurance figures. They're not good. With 750 Nm to go, i have barely 30nm endurance in the tank. The only solution is to climb from 25000Ft up to 27000ft and hope to pick up a tailwind. As i climb i watch as the endurance creeps steadily down, but as I level off it comes back up with and extra 50nm in the tank. A check shows a 13kt tailwind is also helping. With that in mind i pull the power back a little and the endurance increases yet further.


For the next hour or so, there's little to do than look out of the window. The various small islands come and go, but after a while, the weather turns nasty and there are signs of lightning below. Not wanting to take any chances, I climb to 30000ft for some breathing room.


The weather soon clears and I'm a lot closer to land than I have been so far. a quick look outside at on of the last Islands I'll cross shows an unusual feature. I don't think i've ever seen a island with a lake with and island before.


Ahead of me I see the main land and I breathe a sigh of relief. For over two hours there hasn't been a single aircraft or person anywhere near me. I really was beginning to think the Mayans were right.


By the time ATC tells me to begin my descent, I'm getting a bit hungry and I'm looking forward to some nice Russian cooking. Heading down I see mountains coming to meet me.


Vectoring in on Runway 34R I have to pass over a bay and the view is breathtaking.


The Terrain is exactly what I expected here, harsh, and as I line up for landing, the sight of two great mountains to the right is beautiful .



Finally I'm down and after 3 hours I'm ready for a cuppa.




And with that , I'm happy to bring the 2nd leg of the ATWC IV to a close. So Everybody, Have a great Christmas and a happy new year. As for me, well I have a few plans of my own.

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Bravo ! :ok:

A very nice flight Jess and it look as though not too many problems either.

That is a very unusual Island you flew over, it looked like something out of James Bond!

Thanks for all your help in sector two, you have earned your Christmas break, see you in the New Year :bye:

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Thanks guys, I'm glad you liked the trip report. No rest for the wicked I'm afraid though. First leg of my next tour is underway. :-)

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No fuel shortage then - good news! I love the three monitors.

Anxious me is waiting, poised for the 3rd leg. Hopefully REX will appear on Christmas Day and I can get stuck in whatever flight I win. I'm guessing we would hop across the Pacific to Alaska, but there's also scope to go to Australasia: can anyone confirm the approximate route?

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Great flight and some stunning shots Jess...

Let me know if you find any nice russian cooking will you... from what I've heard it's mostly porridge and vodka, or rather porridge with vodka ;)

@GHAO: All we're gíving away at the moment is that we will be leaving Yelisovo, but no confirmation on what direction we will be taking ;)

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