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Sayonara YS-11

My hobby or favorite is something like the kid's. For example, vehicle. Car or air plane, such are all my object to be interested in.

So how much I like, for example, air plane is such as going around the glove with my private jet. I remember that long time ago in Malta, I met the man who was cruising around the world with his own ship. Unfortunately, it's not real in my case. It's a story in a flight simulator.
In real world, whenever I actually take a plane, I check the emergency exit at first. Then I check the model of the plane and engine. I confirm the direction of runway. After that, I move my eyes to monitor on backrest and check speed and altitude. I learn the timing of flap-up. After the plane reached to the cruising altitude, I follow the flight route and passing cities with GPS monitor. So in short words, I'm BUSY on the plane. But I've not been so enthusiastic as to get the pilot uniform, watch nor trunk case.

The reason why I put this strange introduction is that I read the article on the news paper. It's said that the one and only Japan made passenger plane "YS-11", which has 2 turbo props, would finally close its long history. YS-11(first flight was in 1962) has been said "This is the last" many time as a rumor. However this time, it must be true.

Once I took the plane because I heard the rumor that YS-11 would retire from its duty shortly. It's more than 15 years ago. It's my first year in the company after graduated university. At the beginning of September, I was told by boss "It becomes <slightly> late. But why don't you take a holiday from after tomorrow?" Nevertheless I was so surprised with this suddenly given holiday, I had no objection against it. Because I was new. Then I rushed into a travel agency in the same building. I checked in which route I can took the YS-11 much longer. Through that, my holiday destination was decided to Hachijo Island. (It's 300km south of Tokyo but still in grater Tokyo-Met. area) I thought I need little amusements for the small island. So I brought my bike. The MTB was slightly heavier for free luggage regulation but they rounded it up. Well, it's a small island route.

The 64 seater small turbo prop which departed from Haneda airport cruised in gentle altitude with gentle speed. The propellers which were rotated by Rolls Royce engine was noisy enough. However it would be easy to notice in case of engine stall. I could prepare for going down. Behind the curtain in front must be the galley and cockpit. I saw the cabin attendant pouring coffee in paper cups.
Friend of mine took the YS-11 in Greece. During taxi to the runway, he saw the pilot smoking beyond the curtain. I had thought it was joke. But I wondered if it's true. YS-11 was so pastoral.

Although I enjoyed the 4 day late summer holiday in Hachijo Island, I had stormy weather on the last day. The YS-11 which came from Tokyo could not approach to the airport because of the weather condition. It flew over the airport. The plane went around to the next island, Aogashima, and came back. It's trying to approach again. "This is the last try. If it seems impossible. The plane will go back to Tokyo without landing. The return flight will be canceled." I heard the announcement. On the visitor's deck. I was watching the approach of YS-11 with praying. The plane landed safely. I felt the small turbo prop plane was much bigger.

Hachijo Island air port had only one land operator. It looked hard handling everything with one person. My checked in bike was heavy. So I brought it next to the container by myself. The boarding had finished. The land operating woman passed the passenger list in the plastic bag to the cabin attendant. Shortly after that, the door was closed. And the YS-11 taking me on board took off for the Haneda airport.

Sep. 2006

Today's piece
"YS-11 " Hachijo Island, Tokyo, Japan 1989

fumikatz osada photographie