Phenom Trip Day Four, Tug of War

World record tug of war

After wasting four hours in Manado it was imperative that we turn and burn quickly in Manilla, and we did.  Our handler met us as we got off the jet and had everything we needed set up perfectly.  While he took our passports to customs the fuel truck showed up for a nascar fast fill up.  I filed the flight plan while Marcio begged the handler in Okinawa to wait for us, we were running just a little behind.  Forty five minutes after landing we were airborne again, a new record!  

The sun was setting as we left Manilla and seeing as it was my leg to fly Marcio paid me the honor of total trust by immediately falling asleep.  Flying the Phenom at night over the ocean was a sublime experience.  The Bose noise cancelling headset I was wearing was working great, blocking out all noise and giving me crisp clear music from my I pod.   I turned down the instrument lights and stared out at the milky way above us and imagined that this must be what it’s like to pilot a space ship.   Half way to Okinawa I heard a US. Navy aircraft trying to get in contact with an unknown plane that had strayed into North Korean airspace and was apparently giving the commies fits.  We got into Okinawa late but our handler was still the picture of perfect Japanese politeness as he took care of the paperwork and gave us a ride to our hotel.   

 The next day’s plan was an easy flight to Hiroshima then on to Vladivostok.  Because of this Marcio and I decided to have a few drinks and sleep in  get a good night’s sleep because crew rest in very important.  When we finally got ready to leave the hotel we found out that we happened to be in Okinawa on the one day a year that they held the century’s old tradition of a massive tug of war  between two rival cities.  When we were told that it was the world’s biggest tug of war with over twenty five thousand people participating we just had to spend the day pulling on a rope with the locals.

"Here, pull this"





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