Wednesday, May 25, 2011

News: Ash Cloud threatening from Iceland threatening again the European skies!

On the 21st of May the icelandic volcano Grímsvötn erupted breaking the ice covered glacier and sending ash plume up to 65000ft(20km), causing many flights to be canceled mainly in UK region but today also Germany and maybe Berlin later.Last year the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull caused the biggest air disruption in Europe since the WW2 and one of the most costly also,lasting for almost 2 months.Planes typically can fly in almost any condition but volcanic ash can cause damage to almost any part of the plane and mainly the engines.The ash from this volcano is thought to be thick so it must fall faster to the ground reducing the damages from more cancelations later this month.Going back in history we can see 2 examples where an airplane flew through a volcanic ash and had all its engines shut down.

24 june 1982:British Airways Flight 9,a Boeing 747-200 flew into an ash cloud created from the eruption of Mt.Galunggung,southeast of Jakarta,Indonesia.All of the engines had failed and the pilots tried desperately to restart them after losing height fast.In what can only be described as a passengers worst nightmare the pilot made this announcement "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress.".After a while of losing altitude and hope together the plane passed the ash cloud and the crew where able to restart all of the engines,except from one which failed again later again and made a safe landing in jakarta.

15 December 1989: KLM Flight 867,identical to the first one again a Boeing 747-400 flew through the ash cloud of Mt.Redoubt,Alaska which had erupted the day before causing again all engines to fail.After falling over 14000ft Captain Karl van der Elst and crew were finally able to restart the engines and safely land the plane. In this case the ash caused more than 80 million dollars in damage to the aircraft (requiring all four engines to be replaced), but no lives were lost and no one was injured.