Iceland - Volcano takes revenge!

Not content with messing up the UK’s banking system, the Icelanders have now decided to mess with their aviation as well.

Big volcano eruption has now shut down UK and Norwegian airspace… no idea when it will lift

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/aviation/vaac/data/VAG_1271309704.png

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8621407.stm

There’s been loads of flights out of Ireland cancelled as well.

Irish radio has been particularly bad about it. They interviewed a load of people, 90% of whom said “Sure, stuff happens, and you can’t really do anything about a massive volcano erupting.” And the radio then reported it as “hordes of angry travellers amass in Dublin Airport.”

I’m kind of confused as to what exactly the issue is. Volcanos erupt in Iceland often from what I understand, so it seems odd that this particular one is causing this much disruption. Having been through a volcanic eruption I can see that if, you know, Scottland was covered by a layer of ash or something, you would want to shut down the flights, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

If you look at the met office maps, there is an ash cloud high up in the sky over much of UK and Scandanavia

Volcanic ash and turbojet engines just do not play nice together. It either clogs them completely, turning your plane into a glider, or damages them considerably (think of sandblasting at 600-650 mph) Either way, you don’t fly through it.

for an example

I understand why you don’t want to fly through it, I just don’t understand why you can’t avoid it if it’s “high up in the sky.” If it’s not dumping ash, it’s pretty high up, right?

And aircraft fly where…? 30-38k feet is cruising altitude for jets.

Think of that, but covering the skies over the airports. You can’t land or take off without passing through an ash layer.

It’s an insurance scam.
First they put their nation in debt and then they put it on fire.

And if this triggers the volcano next door, hello freezing temperatures!

It’s in the stratosphere. Jets cruise at that level because the air is thin. If they flew low to the ground, well, they couldn’t reach their destinations without multiple refueling stops because the air is a lot thicker and the engines have to burn more fuel to compensate. Not to mention all the non-stop complaints about the noise from people on the ground.

Ironically, the plume is fairly well disappointed by the time it hits UK; it’s blue sky over London right now. But the silicate particles are still there, and they would chew up a jet engine. Now, if your ass was riding in an aluminum tube with thousands of gallons of jet fuel, would you want to take that chance?

There’d be riots in the street if that happened here.

I dunno… I thought Tommy Lee Jones handled the situation pretty well.

Twenty hundred and froze to death.

God, the last Year Without a Summer gave us goths and Twilight. I’m glad I’ll be dead long before th next one fully pays out with its attempt at cultural suicide.

As a passenger who flew thru the area last night on my way to the UK and one who is hoping to catch a flight to Sydney on Saturday I can only suggest that the Icelandics start lining up the virgins at the top of the volcano now.

I should hope this volcano stops quite soon too as I myself go to England in two weeks. Fucking Iceland.

You could always take a freighter.

That’s been on my list of things I’d love to do for years.

Take the train.

Quick! Get to Iceland! The virgins are going to be lining up to disqualify themselves!

Me too.
If I ever really feel confident enough that I have a novel in me, this is how I’ll write it.

Just because aircraft normally cruise at a certain altitude doesn’t mean that they can’t fly at different altitudes or route around the ash cloud. Some reports are basically implying this is a problem with the inflexibility of the air traffic control system as much as the cloud - they simply can’t manage to do things differently. Plus, they are still allowing emergency flights and tallking about putting in some alternative routes if this volcano erupts for days or weeks and continues to spew ash in that direction.