Nyutabaru, Sunday morning, 6h30… Masses of cars are already queuing to get on the parking places, and even the first enthusiast are on their way to the south side of the airfield, carrying their stepladders and camera equipment.
It is time again for the Nyutabaru Airshow, amongst Japanese fans regarded as JASDF's premier airshow. But unfortunately this year the highlight of every show, the colourful F-15s of the Aggressor Squadron have to stay on the ground due to a grounding of the whole F-15 due to a landing mishap the previous Friday at Komatsu.
Where? Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan
But nevertheless the show proved worth going, even if it was this year only for some Phantom action.
The gates open just in time for sunrise at 7am and give some time to stroll through the static display before the real start of the flight display at 9am. As an attraction for the locals this year even two US Marine Harriers and one F/A-18D took part in the static display and surely gave a good addition to the usual fleet of JSADF, JMSDF and JGSDF aircraft and helicopters.
But already before jet sound could be heard as pairs of UH-60 helicopters, T-4 trainers and F-4s performed their 'opening fly-bys'.
The static display and the nearby vendor's area was done in around one hour before I went to the south side of the airfield as well to get into a position for the flying display. Being there for some of the rehearsals the previous helped in finding a good spot.