On 11 March 2011 a severe earthquake occurred off the coast of Japan. This resulted in a tsunami which hit the nuclear power plant Fukushima I (Daiichi) hard and caused a nuclear disaster. About 22,000 people died in these three events. The area around the nuclear power plant has been evacuated and will remain uninhabitable indefinitely.
- Departure at Fukushima Airport (RJSF, 福島空港)
- Flight in east-southeast direction to the Iwaki VORDME radio beacon
- Along the Pacific coast to the Fukushima II nuclear power plant (Daini, 福島第二原子力発電所)
- Further along the coast to the Fukushima I nuclear power plant (Daiichi, 福島第一原子力発電所)
- Back west to the city Kōriyama (郡山市)
- Along the Abukuma river (阿武隈) to abeam (須賀川市)
- Approach to Fukushima Airport
- Fukushima RJSF: N371340 E1402540
- Iwaki VORDME 117.7 IXE: N370856 E1405832
- Fukushima II: N371900 E1410130
- Fukushima I: N372518 E1410158
- Kōriyama / Abukuma river: N511613 E0301311
- Abeam Sukagawa: N371704 E1402446
- Fukushima RJSF: N371340 E1402540
Route length and flight duration
The length of the straightened route along the waypoints is 83 nautical miles, which is 154 km. At a speed of 110 knots the nominal flight time is 46 minutes. However, this does not include take-off and landing and sightseeing flights at the individual stations, so that the effective duration is definitely longer.
To be considered:
- Area RJT-TH 13 2
- Area RJR-2
The nearest major airfields are Utsunomiya (RJTU, 宇都宮飛行場), about 90 km southwest, Sendai (RJSS, 仙台市), about 120 km northeast and Ibaraki/Hyakuri (RJAH, 茨城空港), about 120 km south.
This route at SkyVector:
(This is of course a very simplified flight planning)
Route (Source: SkyVector)
Maps and charts
I only used SkyVector and the JOG chart NJ 54-10 (1980). Disadvantage of the JOG (Joint Operations Graphic): Fukushima Airfield was only put into operation in 1993, so it is missing on this 1980 edition, as is Fukushima II nuclear power plant.
Joint Operation Graphis (Air) NJ 54-10 (1980)
(Source: US DoD / Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin)
Impressions from the flight
In the standard scenery of Flight Simulator 2020 all topographic elements are very well displayed, so that you get a good impression of the area during the flight. There are restrictions for specific objects, they are shown rather symbolically, the same applies to the nuclear power plants. This is of course due to the fact that the objects are computer generated, otherwise it would not be possible to realize the infinite variety of the Flight Simulator. Therefore, the flight will give you rather an experience of the area in its entirety - but this alone is absolutely worthwhile.
Fukushima Airport is located 60 km south of the city of the same name. - In between is the city if Kōriyama, which has more inhabitants than Fukushima. Interesting are the lettering next to the runway (Source: Flight Simulator 2020)
With an easterly heading towards the Pacific Ocean, to Iwaki VORDME. - On the right edge of the picture you can see the oval of an automobile test track, the Ai-Ring (Source: Flight Simulator 2020)
The Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant (Daini) - This power plant with 4 blocks was also hit by the tsunami. However, it was better protected and there was no damage to the reactor blocks. Nevertheless, it was shut down in 2011 and finally taken out of operation in 2019. (Source: Flight Simulator 2020)
The heavily hit nuclear power plant Fukushima I (Daiichi) - The power plant had 6 blocks, in blocks 1 to 3 core meltdowns occurred after the cooling systems were damaged by waves up to 14 m high. The many tons have only stood on the site since the accident. (Source: Flight Simulator 2020)
With westerly heading towards Kōriyama - We have to climb because the terrain is rising. (Source: Flight Simulator 2020)
Kōriyama is a city with 330 000 inhabitants - We turn left and follow the river Abukuma. (Source: Flight Simulator 2020)
Here the straight route of the Tōhoku-Shinkansen high-speed train crosses the river twice. (Source: Flight Simulator 2020)
Abeam Sukagawa - On the small hill on the left side, Fukushima airport comes in sight again. We are cleared for a diagonal approach to runway 19. (Source: Flight Simulator 2020)
On final for runway 19 (Source: Flight Simulator 2020)
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 © Microsoft Corporation. The screenshots were created according to the Verwendungsregeln für Spielinhalte by Microsoft using content from Flight Simulator 2020, but is not supported by or affiliated with Microsoft.