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#200217 - 04/15/10 02:03 PM UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster.


Bizzare story, apparently the UK is now covered in the fall out of Icelandic volcanic Ash and this has caused the complete closure of the UK airspace with no International and Domestic Flight allowed. Looking out of the window at the clear blue skies right now. Yet the satellite photographic evidence suggests otherwise confirming no ash cloud even over eastern Scotland.


#200219 - 04/15/10 02:21 PM Re: UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Tyber Offline

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 304
Loc: ST. Paul MN
I can't help but laugh. I am truly sorry for those that are inconvenced by the Ash. But the irony of sudenly having almost all of Eruope being shut down by this ash ploom makes me laugh.

Man as a whole has a tendancey to think that it is all powerful, that we can handle anything and that our daily lives and travel will not be interupted by weather, or enviorment. I remember once a guy got stuck on an island in Maine and couldn't get out for 5 days. His employer was shocked and upset at the thought that the man counldn't just fly out or drive out. Alas there were no roads, no planes and the rivers were too high and dangerous for guides boat.

Often we travel thinking that our travels will be no more than a few hours delay, but this cloud reminds us all that, "Mother Nature is Queen"

#200221 - 04/15/10 02:26 PM Re: UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
adam2 Offline

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 470
Loc: Somerset UK
I dont think that the UK is covered in ash !
Central London certainly is not ! the weather is sunny with light cloud or haze at high level, this might be the ash cloud or it might be natural.

No non-emergency air flights are allowed due to the risks of engine failure caused by volcanic ash/dust.
Helicopters can still fly, at relatively low level, one was used earlier today for a medical emergency.
I would expect that small fixed wing airplanes could still fly at low level, though this is prohibited.

Most unforunate for those wishing to fly, but I doubt that we will see much effect on life otherwise.
I saw hundreds of potential passengers queing at the Eurostar terminal a few hours ago.

If this carries on for long, I can forsee shortages of luxury or out of season foodstuffs as these are flown in.
I would not expect any effect on supplies of basic foods as these are either produced in the UK or imported by sea.

Although not truly an emergency, this situation must be extremly inconvienient for those wishing to fly and being held up for a day or or two.
Shows the importance of being prepared not just for major disasters, but for this sort of thing.
I wonder how many of those delayed are equiped with a change of clothes, ready cash, and a credit card , and phone numbers of friends and relatives, and coins for payphones.
I could not obtain cellphone service earlier today near St. Pancras, it normally works fine, and I suspect that the network was overloaded by the huge numbers trying to make alternative travel arrangements.

#200224 - 04/15/10 02:58 PM Re: UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster [Re: Tyber]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
There is some experience with these ash plumes shutting down jet engines. It definitely doesn't take much.

It might be possible to design a jet engine that could operate in that environment but that would probably require accepting a bunch of trade-offs to handle a rare situation, i.e. economy would be very bad.

I understand British SAR services are still open, but working on a case-by-case basis. I take that to mean they're only doing cases needing surface activities for now.

#200225 - 04/15/10 02:59 PM Re: UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster [Re: adam2]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

Photograph of the Icelandic Volcanic fallout from my front door step looking skyward in a south easterly direction taken at around 16:54 BST. Its so exciting to make the world wide news media following a natural disaster as nothing much happens around here in this part of the world. Now where on earth is that sarcasm smiley.

#200227 - 04/15/10 04:09 PM Re: UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3760
Loc: TX
I do an occasional same-day fly in/fly out business trips and my coworkers always wonder why I bring an overnight bag with clothes and toileties. I keep telling them a ticket home is not a guarentee.

An now for the tinfoil portion of the show, what if this no-flight thing was enacted by the Powers That Be for something else and the volcano was just an excuse... whistle

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#200233 - 04/15/10 05:26 PM Re: UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster [Re: Blast]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
It seems volcanic ashes is not something to be taken lightly... All air movement over Northern Europe is essentially stopped.

Some effects of volcanic ash on air planes (from recent news articles).

- Sealing off vents and openings that are supposed to be open. Like pivot tubes (air speed gauge). Pilots don't like that, for some reason.

- Sandblasting anything that's on the outside: Fuselage, engines, windows, instruments...

- Causing havoc inside the engines. Among other things, it melts (it's partly very fine powdered glass particles) and sticks to parts that are not supposed to be covered in glass.

- Creating unpleasant atmosphere inside the air craft.

That you don't see any from the ground doesn't mean there aren't any particles to create problems.

I was halfway supposed to be flying today, but was told I could skip that meeting. Stroke of luck, I guess... Alternative transport to get home would be at least 8 hours by train or bus, and tickets to those are not exactly abundant at the moment.

#200239 - 04/15/10 06:49 PM Re: UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster [Re: MostlyHarmless]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

I was expecting a spectacular sunset this evening with the supposed high level volcanic fallout dust, but nothing out of the ordinary I'm afraid.

#200262 - 04/16/10 12:59 AM Re: UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
NobodySpecial Offline

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 197
So America is completely cut off ?

#200267 - 04/16/10 02:02 AM Re: UK Airspace Closed - Volcanic Ash Disaster [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Pretty wild. A bit scary if you know what ash can do to a jet engine and what happens to airlines when the engines stop working, they pretty much fall out of the sky.

I take this as a call for diversity. Ash does a number on jet engines but trains and ocean liners are much more tolerant. The experts expect this to be a short term event but there is nothing that says it has to be. This sucker could potentially be pumping out ash for years.

Back in the 40s and 50s ocean liners used to ply the US to England route and make the run in about three and a half days. Slow by modern standards but sitting at an airport waiting it may take many a passengers longer. And going by ocean liner is not a bad way to travel. Rail, particularly high-speed rail, could replace many airline flights across the country.

Having options is valuable enough that it could pay to subsidize alternative means. It isn't like we don't subsidize airlines by building airports and operating an air traffic control system. We all pay a penalty for carrying a spare tire. The small decrease in fuel efficiency is offset by the peace of mind and the option of self-rescue.

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