The CIX VFR Club C150 Inverted
Club Events - Tokyo Tour
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The CIX VFR Club
Club Events - Tokyo Tour
general Handling, Navigation and Circuits from Gloucester Briefing by: Mark Brown.
  Briefing Friday 16th January 2009  
Start Time and Place From 20:00 zulu, on the apron at Chofu (RJTF).

Departure and Duration We will depart and fly individually or in small groups. The distance is approximately 80 nm. Anticipate spending between 1 and 1½ hours, depending on the length of time you spend on each exercise.
Weather ...or not Before starting we will check the weather. If it is unsuitable for our trip as planned, then we will fix it. Something we can do in the simulator - wouldn't it be nice if we could do it in real life! For the general handling we need a cloud base that is at least 3000ft AGL.
FSInn has a "CAVOK" button. Click this and you get calm clear weather.
Those using SB will need to turn off the on-line weather updates, and select calm in the FS weather options.
Overview This round-robin starts from Chofu airport in the heart of tokyo, and takes us on a tour through the city and out over the bay to the picturesque volcanic island of Oshima, where we will land.

Oshima is an island in a volcanic arc that stretches up to Mt. Fuji. (Mt. Mihara last erupted in 1986.) The island is part of the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park and is served by daily flights from Tokyo (B-737) and Chofu (Do. 228), as well as by ferry. After landing, you can enjoy a soak in the open air hot spring (“onsen”) at Motomachi, or a hike up to the top of the volcano and peer into the crater.

The return trip will be via the Izu Peninsula, affording spectacular views of Mt Fuji. Allow approximately 45 minutes each way.

Club members will find more information in the Events forum.


Freeware Tokyo scenery from (click the FS2004 or FSX banners at the top of the page). From or, click “Download” then pull down the 3D object package and the Tokyo and Yokohama photo packages. (Warning: the 3D object package contains lots of objects.) Payware: Japanese Airports Volume 4 for FS2004 from Simmers Sky includes RJTF and RJTO as well as Tokyo Haneda (RJTT). The update is release has a very detailed model of RJTT but is extremely frame-rate intensive at high detail settings!

Outbound Flight Plan

Departure: RJTF
Destination: RJTO
Alternate: RJTT

Outbound Flight Detail

Before departure, file your flight plan and set the radios as follows:

ADF: RB 401 kHz (for situational awareness, not for navigation on this flight). FS2004 also has the YU NDB 249 kHz but this no longer exists real world. You can set this if you like since it is near our route.
VOR1: HYE 116.2
VOR2: OSE 109.8
Transponder: 1200
COM1: Active: Chofu Radio (Flight Advisory Service) 138.0  Standby: Yokota Approach 127.0/123.8

Chofu radio is a Flight Advisory Service station, not an official ATSU, and provides information on runway condition, weather, traffic situation etc. (Practically, in the real world it does in fact give instructions.) Select the runway (35 or 17) depending on the wind. As you enter the runway, set transponder to ON (Mode C).

For a runway 35 departure, turn downwind, continue south to the Tama river, and turning left to follow the river. For a runway 17 departure, continue upwind till crossing the Tama river, then turn left

Military traffic operates IFR above Chofu at 2,500ft or above, so we will remain below 2,000ft within the Chofu control zone. Within the zone, climb to 2,000ft and leave the zone at Noborito (a railway bridge over the river 3.5 nm SE of the airfield). Inform Chofu leaving the zone, switch to Yokota Approach (RAPCON) and ask for radar advisory.

Leaving the zone, turn right to track 167M to Yokohama, 11nm away, climbing to our cruise altitude 3,500 ft. The Yokohama Landmark Tower and the other buildings of the Minato Mirai 21 development project should be easily visible. Take care not to stray over Tokyo Bay into Tokyo TCA (the boundary follows the coastline).

The 970ft Yokohama Landmark Tower is currently Japan’s tallest skyscraper and features the world’s second fastest lift (peak speed about 41fps). Next to it are the triple towers of the Queen’s Square. Also look out for the Yokohama Bay Bridge suspension bridge to our left as we fly near the harbour area

From Yokohama, track 180M for 10nm to Yokosuka and the naval base of the US Pacific Fleet. CV-63 USS Kitty Hawk was based at Yokosuka till September 2008 but has been replaced by CVN-73 USS George Washington. Alas, neither the base nor the carrier are represented in the scenery. Yokosuka was also the home of William Adams, the British samurai whose life was fictionalised in James Clavell’s Shogun novel.

From Yokosuka, turn right to track 226M for 25nm to the OCEAN point in Sagami Bay. (R-360 DME 10 from OSE VOR 109.85MHz). You can use GPS to get to OCEAN, or track the R-040 radial outbound from HYE VOR for 21 nm until you meet the OSE R-360. On a clear day you should be able to see Mt. Fuji in the distance ahead.

OCEAN is 10 miles north of the Oshima aerodrome and is a designated reporting point for its control zone. It is also on the edge of the Yokota VFR Radar Advisory zone. As we approach it, switch frequency and contact Oshima Radio with position, altitude and intentions. Oshima Radio is not usually manned on VATSIM but top-down cover may be provided by Tokyo Control if they are online.

At OCEAN turn to track 180M, or track the R-360 OSE radial directly towards Oshima airport. The 2,487ft Mt. Mihara volcano at the centre of the island should be visible. Its peak is a mere 4 miles southeast of the airport, which is on the northwest of the island, making circling on the east side of the airport inadvisable. Approaching Oshima airport, descend to circuit height. Depending on the wind, either choose a straight-in landing for runway 21 or join downwind for a left hand circuit to runway 03. Oshima Radio is an Airport Advisory Service and therefore does not issue clearances, it merely says “Runway is clear” or “Using runway (number)”.

After landing, select transponder to Standby as soon as practicable and vacate the runway. There are only two exit points, both near the middle, so if you land long you’ll have to backtrack. Avoid landing long!
Outbound Maps Google Earth KML file

Return Flight Plan Departure: RJTO
Destination: RJTF
Alternate: RJTT
Return Flight Detail Before departure, file your flight plan and set the radios as follows:

ADF: DF (401kHz)
VOR: OSE 109.85
COM1: Active: Oshima Radio 118.6 (Airport Mobile Communication Service) Standby: Yokota Approach 127.0/123.8

Take off from Oshima and turn west onto track 294M heading towards the peak of Mt. Amagi (4,613ft) some 18nm distant. (OSE R-282 19 nm DME.) (Officially, we should probably pass over the 10NM west point leaving the zone.) Climb to 6,500ft to be well clear of the mountain tops. If there’s a westerly or northwesterly wind, being over the mountains is inadvisable due to the possibility of mountain waves, so stay lower along the coast instead.

Overhead Mt. Amagi, turn north to track 012M for 22nm to Hakone. Just north of Mt. Amagi we enter the Yokota VFR Radar Advisory Area, so call them and request a radar advisory service.

Hakone is an 8x12 km double caldera that was once a large stratovolcano but violent eruptions caused the edifice to collapse in on itself. The southwest corner of the caldera is occupied by Lake Ashi, and there are several lava dome peaks the tallest of which, Mt. Kamiyama, reaches 4,721ft. The last eruption was some 3,000 years ago, and current volcanic activity includes fumaroles and hot springs, so Hakone is famous as a hot spring resort within easy reach of Tokyo. In the right weather, splendid views of Mt. Fuji some 16nm to the northwest can be had from Hakone.

Fly over the lake (shows up on GPS) to Mt. Kamiyama, then fly east then follow the road and funicular railway roughly northeast towards the castle town of Odawara on the coast. We can descend to lower level here commensurate with our magnetic track (odd thousands + 500ft).

From Odawara, track towards Zama NDB (DF 401kHz) on a course of 034M, flying on the edge of the Kanto plain and keeping the mountains of the Tanzawa range to our left. We’re forced to take this route to avoid the CTZ of Atsugi air base to the east of Kastner, which goes up to 6,000ft. Atsugi houses the carrier wing of the USS George Washington based at nearby Yokosuka and real world fast jets may be operating. Before Zama descend to about 2,500ft.

Overflying Zama NDB, track outbound 077M for some 8 nm until reaching the Yomiuri land amusement park on a small hill south of Chofu airfield. Yomiuri land is a VRP on the southwest edge of the Chofu zone. Approaching Yomiuri land, contact Chofu radio in 138.0MHz to get the weather and runway in use. Then follow the standard approach route and position to join the circuit and land.

Return Maps Google Earth KML file

Airfield Information
RJTF Chofu
Runway: 35/17 800m
Elevation 139ft
Variation: 7W

•    Chofu Radio 138.0 (Flight Advisory Service station, not official ATC and not manned on VATSIM).
•    Overhead airspace is in the Yokota VFR Radar Advisory Area, controlled by the United States Air Force Yokota RAPCON 127.0/123.8 (unmanned VATSIM).
•    Flight information from Tokyo Info 134.7 (unmanned VATSIM).

RJTO Oshima
Runway 03/21 1800m
Elevation 124ft
Variation: 7W

Oshima Radio 118.6 (Airport Mobile Communication Service)

Instrument approaches: VOR/DME/LOC approach to runway 03 in real world but the localiser does not exist in FS2004, relegating you to the old NDB approach (if you have the old charts).

Online AIS publications: (registration required, free of charge)

Differences Japan--UK Airspace prohibitions
VFR flights cannot be operated within Positive Controlled Airspace (PCA), Class A (FL290 or above within controlled airspace), Class B, C or D (control zone) airspace unless authorized by ATC. However, if you have clearance from ATC and maintain two-way radio contact, you can operate VFR in PCA. See for airspace designations.

Aerodrome Control Zones
Control zones are radius 3nm for towered aerodromes, otherwise 5nm, and have vertical extent to 3,000ft MSL for civil aerodromes, 6,000ft MSL for military aerodromes. VRPs are established around the edge of the control zone, and traffic enters and leaves at these points.
When a VFR flight enters control zone, the pilot reports to tower his position, altitude and intentions over the VRPs or over appropriate geographical points located outside control zone. (In the case of Oshima, three of these are 10nm from the airport and over water.)
Japan uses QNH in the circuit, and there are no overhead joins. Traffic patterns are shown at
For VFR traffic, takeoff and landing are prohibited when ceiling is less than 1,000ft, or when ground visibility is less than 5km. Takeoff and landing are possible below these minima if the flight is permitted under “special VFR” clearance but ground visibility must be 1,500m or greater, you must be in continuous visual contact with the surface and clear of cloud.

VFR minima
VFR not in sight of ground or water is permissible above 1,000ft AGL, provided that a ground pinpoint can be obtained within a certain distance or period of time.

•    SSR: VFR traffic below 10,000ft squawk 1200. VFR traffic at or above 10,000ft squawk 1400.
•    Since the highest elevation in the Fukuoka FIR is 12,389ft (Mt. Fuji), transition altitude is 14,000ft.
•    VFR cruising altitude (below 14,000ft AMSL): track from 000°to 179°: odd thousands+500ft; track from 180°to 359°: even thousands+500ft. Note that an aircraft operating VFR within designated “congested airspace” must not change its cruising altitude when except if necessary to avoid bad weather conditions or due to unavoidable circumstances.

Radar Service
If you wish to venture into Tokyo TCA over Tokyo Bay, radar identified VFR aircraft in the TCA can obtain a radar advisory service. Radar navigational guidance for VFR/SVFR aircraft is without assignment of altitude. “Even when a heading was assigned for vectoring, the instruction does not relieve the pilot of responsibility to conduct flight clear of clouds. If the instructed heading cannot be flown, the pilot shall advise ATC of flight conditions.”

When contacting a facility for radar service, you state your current altitude and use the term “VFR”; e.g. “Tokyo Control, JA3151, 10 miles north of Yokosuka VOR, 3,500 (‘three tousand fife hundred’, not ‘three fife zero zero’), VFR, request TCA advisory”. (Note: if the facility is a TCA, you request a TCA advisory, otherwise radar advisory.)

If you want ATC to tell you where you are, use the term “REQUEST RADAR POSITION”. If you want a vector, say “REQUEST VFR VECTOR” but be advised you’ll be expected to then stick to the heading given and ask if you need to change course to avoid weather. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if the controller says “TCA advisory terminated”.

VOR and NDB Tracking

The Instrument Flight document in the Training section of the club web site contains a section on VORs and NDBs, and how to use them. If you are unsure how to track a VOR radial, download and have a look at this.

The document covers the use of NDB and DME for direction and distance measurements as well.

Radio Discipline

Take care not to let our Teamspeak chat cut across ATC. Stop any conversation immediately the R/T comes alive, then continue if "he wasn't talking to us". This is difficult because when transmitting on Teamspeak you can't hear the R/T. So be brief on Teamspeak, and be aware that ATC might be trying to get through. If anyone hears an R/T message which seems to be being ignored, just say "ATC is calling G-CIXN" if you have identified the callsign, or "ATC is calling us" which is a cue for everyone to be quiet on Teamspeak until ATC call again (which they will). Remember too that if asked to "Stand By" by ATC, you do not reply - not even "Roger", but simply wait until you are called again.

Remember also that there are several different ATC frequencies in use, and you may not be able to hear when communications are taking place. Make sure you have set and know how to use a Teamspeak mute switch.
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