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New eruption starting in Iceland? (merged)

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New eruption starting in Iceland? (merged)

Old 25th May 2011, 09:52
  #201 (permalink)  
 
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Can someone ask Eric Moody what the PPM concentration was on BA9; my guess is that it was about 1,000 times greater than the red zone over Britain. None of the aircraft that have flown in the red zone have reported any issues at all. His flight deck windscreen was sandblasted opaque !

Here's an interesting comment over on an AH&N thread, which might seem unrelated at first, about a turborop operation in the Gulf 35 years ago :

The Dhahran airbridge was operated by 1 F27 from PLAD based in BAH ..... It was maximum punishment flying, very short flights at low altitude in humid air laden with dust. I've seen Dart compressor blades reduced to 25% when removed on scheduled overhaul.

http://www.pprune.org/aviation-histo...ge-herald.html

If aircraft can operate quite safely in conditions like that (I presume they haven't changed), and engines last through to SCHEDULED overhaul when operated continually in such conditions, then without a doubt they can operate in the UK today.
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Old 25th May 2011, 09:55
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Sabenaboy, what military aircraft would you suggest? They all have fairly different aerodynamics and engines from airliners for a start, if you're thinking about fast jets, and the transport aircraft are all rather busy elsewhere, besides which, why should an RAF crew put their lives on the line for the profit of airlines and convenience of travellers? But with all the cuts, do you really think the RAF can afford do deliberately wreck an aircraft anyway?

What about the Finnish F18s and Belgian F16s that damaged their engines flying in what appeared to be clear skies last year? Why do you chose to ignore that? Their engine cores are very similar to those of the CFM56...

A lot of the authorities' and manufacturers' reactions are based on avoidance of liability for accidents or incidents, but they are also liable for loss of business if they over-react, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt when there is so little scientific data on which to base a more informed decision over this issue.
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Old 25th May 2011, 10:01
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WHBM

I'm no engineer, but to my knowledge, the temperatures of modern engines are much higher, so the bleed air cooling the turbines is that much more critical than on older engines, making modern engines more susceptible to cumulative damage. furthermore, the sand would have been merely highly abrasive, but would not have bonded to the blades or fuel nozzles in the way that ash particles are claimed to.
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Old 25th May 2011, 10:24
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I'm no engineer, but to my knowledge, the temperatures of modern engines are much higher, so the bleed air cooling the turbines is that much more critical than on older engines, making modern engines more susceptible to cumulative damage. furthermore, the sand would have been merely highly abrasive, but would not have bonded to the blades or fuel nozzles in the way that ash particles are claimed to.
I`probably pedanic, but cooling air doesn´t enter into the severe hazard of glassification.

The glassifying occurs in the burner flame which is hottest in the latest high perf engines. The cooling air is aft of this melting zone and promotes the solidification of the glass on the critical bits of nozzles behind the flame.
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Old 25th May 2011, 10:25
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Problem is that if you instrument an aircraft for a task (and I don't think we're talking about rolling pallets on an off the aircraft), then it'll take time to reinstrument it for another task.

The second aircraft is obviously being provided primarily for the volcanic ash role, so will permentantly be instrumented, only it isn't ready. I guess that is a fair question - why has it taken so long?

For those stating that they can operate in the desert off sand dunes after dragging their engines across beaches for a week, can I just point out that sand does not equal volcanic ash, and in fact volcanic ash is a VERY different beast? (Mind you, given that I've also seen the result of sand damage to an engine, I dread to think what ash might do!)

There are clearly a certain number of ignorant people trolling on the thread, but there are some with a very reasonable level of scepticism who are asking fair questions, listening to answers and actually applying logic and reason to their comments.
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Old 25th May 2011, 10:31
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DA50,

you obviously don't have a clue, which is worrying if you are a pilot.

The Met office has no power to stop airlines flying, it merely provides a forecast of where the ash cloud will be (and if you have never done a Met Forecaster course, you will probably not have an appreciation of how imprecise a science it can be).

The airlines are not flying in high concentration areas for one reason - they do not have dispensation from the CAA.

Why don't they have this dispensation? Because not one of them, even Ryanair despite their claims otherwise, have submitted a safety case deemed acceptable. Most of them haven't even tried, why? Because the manufacturers of the powerplants have so for been unhappy (for perfectly fair reasons) to sign a piece of paper stating that they are happy the engines would be fine.

Because the engine manufacturers have not signed off on this, the majority of airline operators have not even bothered trying to get dispensation... how can you prove a safety case it the engine manufacturer won't say they are happy?

Germany has closed some of it's airports - is the the fault of the UK Met Office as well?

Whether you personally think it is safe to fly or not is your opinion, but before you try to argue it, at least get the very basic facts correct!
O'Leary claims to have submitted one to the IAA, but what it was founded on is anyones guess, and it is no wonder it was dismissed with the contempt it deserves.
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Old 25th May 2011, 10:35
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This is just a repeat of what I have said earlier last year, but since the same old arguments keep surfacing, it`s time to counter than once again.

The manufacturers can not tell you how much ash is dangerous, or even safe, since no standards exist.

Safety is relative freedom from risk and can be established from available operational data.

I'm encouraged by the realization from some pilots, that symptoms and actions can be combined to reduce risk to flight. Turn the aircraft away, reduce power on engines etc.

Also keep in mind that this knowledge and action alone is quite likely to keep you out of so called red zones, by allerting you when you are entering a yellow zone which has been demonstrated to have been safely penetrated by test flights.

Thus the challenge today are for the operators to evaluate their route risk based on data, and action plans. To simply sit on the ground and ignore any sense of a measured response is not practical.
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Old 25th May 2011, 10:45
  #208 (permalink)  
 
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From the BA Intranet ...
Verification flight “finds nothing”; minor disruption affects Germany

The preliminary results of last night’s ash verification flight were received earlier today, with no ash found.

Speaking on BBC4's Today programme this morning (Wednesday May 25), IAG CEO Willie Walsh said that the flight operated at different altitudes, through a zone designated by the Met Office to contain high densities of ash – a level at which no commercial carrier has received safety clearance to operate.

"Initially it flew over the north of England, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, back to Newcastle. The aircraft then returned to Heathrow and has been examined. We have made initial checks of the aircraft, including the windows, engines and moving parts such as the leading edges. All the filters were then removed and will be sent to a laboratory for further testing. The simple answer is that we found nothing."

The data will also be made available to the Civil Aviation Authority, and should help develop the understanding of the limitations of the models being used to forecast ash dispersal.
Does the last paragraph translate as 'We think the CAA and Met Office are getting it wrong'?

Ll
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Old 25th May 2011, 10:59
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BBC reporting that the eruption has stopped, citing an Icelandic source. No link available just yet.
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:01
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Originally Posted by Whippersnapper
What about the Finnish F18s and Belgian F16s that damaged their engines flying in what appeared to be clear skies last year? Why do you chose to ignore that?
I didn't chose to ignore that. On the contrary, I was hoping somebody would bring it up! Thanks!

The press was very quick to pick up the initial reports of so called significant damage to those engines. Later, after more in depth research, the press had lost interest.

So perhaps you would like to read those articles:
Finnish F-18 engine checks reveal ‘no significant damage’

ABOUT THE BELGIAN F16's

I hadn't heard about the Belgian F-16's case before today. Googling learns me that there were a lot of news reports on 19 + 20 april 2010 after one US diplomat said something, but after that there's nothing to be found about significant damage to these F16's?
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:03
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Does the last paragraph translate as 'We think the CAA and Met Office are getting it wrong'?
Was the aircraft equipped to collect samples, or merely to fly through high density areas and then 'look' for evidence in the moving parts etc?
Not exactly a scientific rebuttal is it? Do BA engineers know how 'x' PPM density of ash should manifest itself on working parts etc, or is it enough to say we can't see anything therefore the density claims are wrong?

Or does it actually translate to "not enough research has been done on this to date"...

...And if so, who is at fault? The CAA, The Airlines or the engine manufacturers?

I'd suggest it wasn't the CAA... it is up to the engine manufacturers to provide safety limits for airlines to adhere to (and for the CAA to then grant exemptions)- they do in all other aspects of operations, why is volcanic ash any different? The fact that (jet engine) manufacturers have not been willing to do so means that everyone else has their hands tied.

To go back to your original question. The CAA will give dispensation for regular flights in High Density areas as and when the aircraft manufacturers and operators provide a safety case. That safety case cannot happen if the engine manufacturers are unwilling to sign off. For the CAA to do otherwise, apart from 'sampling' fights, would be iresponsible and would mean they were actually operating outside the framework of UK Law.

Now if could be argued that the met office is getting it wrong and that the BA flight did not actually encroach any High densty areas... it would not be the first tme that the met office got a forecast wrong... have you ever done a forecasting course? It's not an exact science.

The forceasts are made even less precise by the fact that they are published in 6 hour blocks. I'd suggest that the reason they do this is to allow airlines some degree of flexibility (although it seems exactly the opposite) as it gives them 6 hour windows of where the alleged high, medium and low concentrations are.

You could get more accurate forecasts if they were done more frequently, but that would reduce flexibility for airlines that need a certain amount of notice, never mind the fact that flight times often mean they need these wide windows in order to flight plan a route.

So what you get from the Met Office is a forecast that decreases in accuracy the longer range it is. I can guarantee the the airlines would be whingeing if the met office only forceast the areas of ash for periods of one hour in advance. It would be more accurate, but would remove flexibility!

Last edited by anotherthing; 25th May 2011 at 11:15.
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:05
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I guess, I am more of a chicken then most here. A few days of not flying is not going to make a difference in my life, becoming a statistic does. Flying is about risk management and as long as the risk is as unknown as it is here, I will happily stay away.
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:13
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Do you get paid for sitting on the ground?
Getting paid or not is not part of my decision making process. For the avoidance of doubt, I am losing out financially, but at least I get to live another day to do it again.
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:14
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Millions of people worldwide believe there is an afterlife despite there being not one shred of evidence. You could call it speculation. The rest of us steadfastly refuse to believe so until we see some actual evidence.

So, here we have people sitting at desks looking into screens at images produced by a computer program which purports to claim that there is ash of varying densities floating all over Scotland. It provides no actual evidence of such. You could call it speculation. On the other hand we have an aircraft (two in fact, that we know of) that flew around the area for some time and no ash of any kind was encountered on the way up, whilst up and on the way down again and an inspection revealed that no evidence was found on the airframe or engines.

It strikes me as extraordinary that people here, probably the majority, prefer to rely on the speculation rather than the evidence. I have little doubt that the real reason for this is that it was Ryanair who set out to prove the "experts" wrong. I seem to recall that last year BA sent up a 747 with WW on board to carry out a similar exercise and got no flak when they came to similar conclusions as Ryanair has now. In the end it was BA who were the heroes and brought their long haul fleet back to the perimeters of the UK Exclusion Zone and embarrassed the authorities into reopening the airports. All that waste of money and inconvenience to millions caused by nothing more than speculation.

The other extraordinary aspect of all this is that, despite last year's events, there is no attempt by the authorities to have a suitable flying program in waiting and ready to run with aircraft fitted with suitable equipment when a volcano erupts and produce real evidence (as distinct from speculation).
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:19
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Maybe some of us are arguing the case the other way to bring some balance into the panic stricken liability driven society we have.
We should not be looking at Longterm damage as that is an economic judgement.
Any long term pollution will shorten engine life!
As a pilot I am interested in what density of ash can bring my aircraft down.
I am sorry but a few thimblefuls in an area the size of a four bedroom house won't do it.
What happened in the 60s and 70s when there was no sophisticated equipment to determine all this ?
No one killed in over 50 years is a pretty good record.

Pace
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:24
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1 Whilst Ryanair claim to have found no ash on their test aircraft, are we forgetting the helicopter and the Loganair aircraft that apparently did find ash?

2 O'Leary's mistake was claiming to have flown through the red zone when it appears he didn't. Hopefully not a "Ratner" moment for him.

He would have been much better explaining how he got to 41,000ft without entering the red zone. Unfortunately he didn't, so his arguments have lost a lot of credibility in many peoples eyes including, I would suggest, the regulators.
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:30
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I am more of a "when there is smoke, there is fire" kind a guy. I'd rather sit in the pub wishing I was at FL410, then being at FL410 wishing I was in the pub.

Until the boffins come up with a reasoned, well-researched and peer reviewed safe way of navigating through ash, I will just pass. I am a driver, not a test pilot.

Ah well, time to find a pub for some lunch.
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:31
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Originally Posted by cldrvr
Flying is about risk management and as long as the risk is as unknown as it is here, I will happily stay away.
Well, you'd better stop flying altogether then. e.g. Can you be SURE Fukushima's radiation poses no threat to aviation safety?

About risk management. Last year, after pushback in Marrakech, I saw 4 storks sitting in the grass about 10 meters away from the rwy edge, about 600 m from the beginning of the rwy. I informed twr about this. Two airliners took off ahead of me, well aware of the storks' presence after being informed by ATC, disregarding the fact that getting a stork in the engines will have a catastrophic effect. I elected to have the birds chased away before taking off.

Last spring, there was a CB with frequent lightning strikes along the final app path. I elected to hold (about 20 mins) to have a clear path to the rwy. Others elected to press on through the CB and lightning to land.
I suppose that's why some average 4 lightning strikes/year and someone like myself averages 0,25 strikes/year.

Where has common sense gone to?
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:36
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ayroplain

Ryanair did not fly through any promulgated high density areas - fact. The flight was observed on radar throughout...
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Old 25th May 2011, 11:44
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Pace said;

Maybe some of us are arguing the case the other way to bring some balance into the panic stricken liability driven society we have.
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