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Helicopters and Volcanic Ash?

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Helicopters and Volcanic Ash?

Old 16th Apr 2010, 18:12
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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............only IFR 'grounded'

Volcanic ash does not affect VFR aircraft....
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 18:22
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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I guess they are not telling you stay on the ground just to be awkward and spiteful, more likely they are doing it for a good reason, i.e. trying to give you a better chance of reaching pensionable age!
It is a sensible thing to follow the rules and if they say No then thats it, when its safe to play outside they will let you know
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 18:24
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Aftenposten.no issues a forecast for ash cloud dispersal.

Article on Flightglobal about Finnish F-18's eating Icelandic ash.

Live update about airspace restrictions due to the volcanic ash on Flightglobal

Funny thing is that we have flight restrictions of only 10 NM radius from the craters at Eyjafjallajokull.

News coverage of the volcanic ash some 50km to 100km east of the eruption site. Note that the video is shot at noon

Last edited by Heli-Ice; 16th Apr 2010 at 18:40.
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 18:29
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Volcanic ash does not affect VFR aircraft....
You might like to ask the Shetland Coastguard?

BBC News - Helicopter flies through volcano ash in Shetland rescue

Helicopter flies through volcano ash in Shetland rescue


The decision was taken to use a helicopter for the patient

A rescue helicopter was flown through clouds of volcano ash to help a woman on Shetland who was in a "life or death" situation.
The woman was seriously ill in the Out Skerries, and it was feared ferry travel may take too long.
The Shetland Coastguard helicopter crew decided to fly through not only ash, but low visibility caused by rain and mist on Friday morning.
The casualty was taken to Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick.
Pilot John Grant told BBC Scotland there was evidence of ash deposits on the helicopter on their return.
Martin Sykes, watch manager at Shetland Coastguard, explained: "After discussions with ambulance control we realised that this was a life or death situation with a casualty in a very serious condition.
"The helicopter crew made the difficult decision to fly through the clouds of ash, mist, and rain in a bid to save the woman who is now receiving treatment in hospital."
He added: "After every operational trip the helicopter is given a thorough clean thereby removing any debris that has built up."
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 19:11
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Volcanic ash does not affect VFR aircraft....

In June 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines. The volcanic ash drifted across to Brunei where I was flying the S61s based there. One of my colleagues experienced compressor stall as he applied power at the end of his approach at our base. On inspection, it was found that substantial build up was occuring to the compressor blades which required the implementation of 2 compressor washes per day to prevent further engine problems.
It was very rare that any of the helicopters there operated IFR, so I think the above statement isn't exactly true........
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 19:30
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Helicopters are blind ....

Yes the helicopter probably doesn't know whether it is being flown VFR or IFR ...

.... I am sure the ash would have the same effect on the engines whether the pilot is flying VFR or IFR.....

The restriction is only for IFR though....

Presumably because if you are looking out of the widow and free to adapt your path there is no need to fly through the dust particles ....?

(It seems rarer for twins to have particle seperators though ... is that true?)
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 19:31
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Absolutely Volrider ...Nanny knows best
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 19:37
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Satalite image of ash location..............

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Old 16th Apr 2010, 19:50
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Volrider ?

Belfast-London looks ok don't you think?

Of course we must obey the rules....

... but when the rules stop people doing thing which are quite obviously 100% fine in all other respects other than being against the rules then it undermines the credibility of the rules.

We can strive to improve the quality of the rules - don't you think?

What cost can an economy bear for the sake of unaccountable 'safe' decisions?
500,000,000?

(nigelh - bet you love being told what to do by 'nanny' - eh?)
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 21:12
  #70 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AnFI View Post
Of course we must obey the rules....

... but when the rules stop people doing thing which are quite obviously 100% fine in all other respects other than being against the rules then it undermines the credibility of the rules.
Are there rules about only flying aircraft types for which you have a licence? Are there rules for only flying aircraft which have an appropriate airworthiness certificate? Why should flying in airspace be treated any differently. I'm an Air Traffic Controller and our priority is safety, it seems a real shame that some portions of the aviation community don't view safety in quite the same way

BD
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 21:34
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BDioNu,

I agree with you 100%. This thread is just loaded with "Experts" who think they know better. Give them the responsibility to say "YES IT IS OK TO FLY" and risk several hundred thousand lives an hour and watch their little pink arses fall out.

I never read such a total crock of sh-one-t in my life.

If you look at the sattelite imagery the cloud has almost encircled UK and down into Europe. Where can anything fly with a 100% chance of not getting goosed by the ash.

Maybe they should have watched the Sky Documentary re-run of FLIGHT BA-009 from Perth last night. The paint jobs alone would run into millions.

If there is doubt - there is no doubt. I just take people to work and back. I understand the more difficult decisions for EMS/SAR pilots and their management because they are not just taking people to work and back - are they!!!

Well done NATS for having the balls to make a tough decision without waiting for the body count.
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 21:37
  #72 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
Well done NATS for having the balls to make a tough decision without waiting for the body count.
It's not NATS decision to make, nor any of the other ANSP's throughout Europe who have responded similarly, it's a government decision.

BD
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 21:44
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BdioNu,

Well OK then, well done to whoever in the Government had the balls to make....blah blah..blah.............................

DB
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 22:30
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Danger looking for trouble.....

This is one of the Finnish F-18's which went to play with the cloud - note the date:


PICTURES: Finnish F-18 engine check reveals effects of volcanic dust ...
Link is here:
PICTURES: Finnish F-18 engine check reveals effects of volcanic dust-16/04/2010-London-Flightglobal.com

As for rules... sure if there is doubt then no doubt.
but if there is no doubt then don't doubt too much.

Only IFR are banned ... VFR are not banned ... how does the ash know what the flight rules of the pilot are? Good rules are good ...

........ and sure it's a difficult decision - can this stuff be seen and can safe passage routes be established? How much would it cost ? Is it worth it? Do we care? Could we do better?
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 01:37
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Just like Y2K.............................like every other uninformed opinion on here.

Y2K was a non-event because the risk was seen, mitigated, eliminated.

Rather than wait until an aircraft blunders into a high ash concentration area the risk has been seen, mitigated..............

You can blame the endless parade of ambulance chasers and greedy 'victims' for the level of caution.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 04:04
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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I am reading that a lot of European airline staff are quite worried about this at the moment due to the financial losses that the airlines will be taking from this event.
What effect is it to the helicopter staff over there? Will some companies be fitting FDC Aerofilters and take advantage of the demand? Will others look like shutting down until it clears? What will the North Sea oil companies do.. go to boats? West African touring crew.. what are your plans for rotations?
It certainly has the potential to change aviation in Europe and the people that rely on it for a living.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 07:11
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It will be interesting to see just how long this goes on before there is a massive climbdown by the govt/NATS/CAA/met office and business gets back to normal - the eruptions haven't stopped and the weather pattern seems set to stay.

No one doubts that flying through volcanic ash is bad for engines but at what concentration of ash does it become a factor? The 1982 incident happened in an ash cloud so dense it looked like thick 'normal' cloud - what is above most of UK and the surrounds is barely visible to the naked eye.

Since what there is of the ash cloud seems to be easily trackable by satellite and forecastable in track by the met office, why not route aircraft round the 'high risk' areas and get on with it?

We seem to be victims of an internationally agreed protocol where 'volcanic ash' seems to be the trigger for a chicken-licken 'the sky is falling down' reaction rather than accepting that volcanic ash is present in the atmosphere all the time and defining concentrations that are either safe or not to fly in.

If I was an airline boss I would be demanding some decent scientific evidence of concentration level Vs risk.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 08:06
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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CRAB, why do you beleive that the management should be able to determine when we should be flying (re "If I were an airline boss") if you actually work in civil aviation you would know that the management would want us flying regardless of what risks exists (generally) and it is only through sound regulation, hindisght and experience that systems are put in place to prevent this kind of attitude.

What kind oif "climbdown" are you expecting. Is it that eventually we will fly and say see...SEE....I haven't died.

God save the unsuspecting passengers from the likes of you and the others on this forum who have suddenly become VULCONOLOGIST ENGINE SPECIALISTS in less than a few days.

I have no idea how much ash constitutes risk and I would hazard a guess that the powers that be probably are not 100% sure either.

What is definitley sure is that no-one will be put at risk if aircraft do not fly in the ash cloud.

This volcano could go on for weeks....months and I am sure that eventually other factors will come into play. More information. Data on how the ash is concetrated and where.

I am pretty sure that in my lifetime...no volcanos have erupted near the UK and Northern europe before, so it is going to take some time for the Authorities to create a safe operating environment around such phenomenom and feel comfortable again about the risk to passengers and crews.

Making a tough decision is just that....TOUGH. Tough because to reverse that decision you need a definitive change in circumstances, perception and/or attitude.

I am more than happy to wait for the Authorities to come up with a definitive answer.

DB
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 08:25
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Double Bogey - you must be expecting to continue to be paid while you "wait out the volcano". In short order, no revenue, no payroll.

And no manager is going to risk damage costs in excess of revenue. Darwinism of the capital system.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 08:40
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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NATS announce restrictions in place until 01:00 Sunday... interesting video at BBC
BBC News - Ash plane 'finds a lot of muck' in UK airspace
Worringly he states lower level crap that wx radar etc does not see..... Maybe this will explain the dangers a bit more clearly to doubters???
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