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New eruption starting in Iceland? (merged)

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New eruption starting in Iceland? (merged)

Old 25th May 2011, 14:50
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Has anyone considered what will happen when the 'high concentraion' of ash is overhead at high altitude?

The 5 day projection has the entire country covered in high density ash between FL350 and FL550 on Friday. Now we know we can fly over it, but can we fly under it?
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Old 25th May 2011, 15:10
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Dart

The Dart didn't have compressor blades, because it wasn't an axial flow engine, but it did have two centrifugal compressor stages - and to think that it would operate at all with 25% (presumably, of the area) of their vanes (as RR called them) eroded away is either a tribute to the engine's robustness or a "misunderstanding" ...
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Old 25th May 2011, 15:30
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Risk is based on frequency and severity. There is on average more than one volcanic eruption worldwide every week. In the period 1980 to 2005 there were only 100 incidents of volcanic ash damage to aircraft. There were only three aircraft that suffered temporary engine power failure. Two of these flew overhead plume and the other was some 600nm downstream. In the 25 years no aircraft have been lost as a result of volcanic ash.

With 50-60 volcanic eruptions each year over a 25 year period one would have expected a few large losses but would have also expected there to have been many more small to medium sized events.

Those measuring risk seem to be concentrating far too much on the theoretical probability. Fine by me if Ryanair and BA cry the emperor has no cloths.
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Old 25th May 2011, 15:43
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To imply that managers of the status of Willie Walsh would cavalierly put passengers at risk in the pursuit of profit seems quite a desperate attempt to boost the case for the prophets of doom. As someone once said, "If you think safety is expensive, try having an accident."
All flying involves a balance of risk but the accumulated wisdom and experience of many thousands of aviation professionals has made commercial aviation the incredibly safe experience it is today.
and
Er, only part right... Ensuring that their respective airlines don't have a high profile safety incident/accident, which sends passengers scurrying to another airline is also a very big part of their jobs.
I didn't say otherwise - maximising profits and publicity doesn't mean or imply running an unsafe airline - however they have people in their organisation who look after safety, so they can concentrate on commercial. MOL can say one thing (charge to use the toilet, moan about flying in ash), but historically does another (doesn't charge, doesn't fly in ash) However their priority is to make money, get publicity and increase passenger numbers and awareness. They're not going to do that by having a crash once a week and their safety teams and regulators will hold them in check, but equally they're not going to do that by just rolling over and ignoring business and customer pressures at times where risk increases!

I'm not criticising, however that is the nature of the beast!

Which I guess puts the focus onto the regulators, ICAO and manufacturers, with pressure and funding from the airlines, whos best interests would be served by more research!
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Old 25th May 2011, 16:19
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If the dangerous concentration of ash is above FL350......

As predicted on the Met office web site for Friday 27th.

Do you think flights will operate with a cealing of FL350?

Below 350 its predicted to be fine.

Got a flight to Belfasst booked early friday morning on a visa mission at the US Consulate Office, really hoping the flights will be ok, dont fancy a 1500 mile reound trip on my motorbike!!

Thanks
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Old 25th May 2011, 16:57
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Pace wrote:
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.
Well I make each thimblefull equal to of the order of 10Kg per hour through each typical engine. But it's interesting to know, that you, as a pilot, are comfortable with that.
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Old 25th May 2011, 17:09
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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).
You all need to face the facts that neither the CAAs, nor the manufacturers are going to come up with a standard of acceptance when everybody is flying different products under different operating conditions, in different routes.

Futhermore no manufacturer is going to risk carrying increased liability for any operation outside his certificate.

The current way forward in this is for the operators to review their own operations versus available info regarding plotting ash densities and to offer their own risk assessments that demonstrate that they can operate safely under known conditions.

Every flight that operates safely in known concentrations of ash is real evidence. Just as we consider that incidents are evidence according to their level of severity.

If you hide your head in the sand you can not see the evidence even though it is there.
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Old 25th May 2011, 17:37
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Now, instead of a very coarse contour plot, labelled with emotive terms like "low", "medium" and "high", why not produce a fine grained plot with many different numerical values and then allow airlines to generate a safety case relating to the level that they are prepared to accept (if any of this is really necessary vice "see/sense and avoid", in any case)?
Why hasn't this been done? Could it be because the computational power required to generate such a detailed model is not available to the Met Office, or likely anyone else in the meteorological community?

Also, who fancies having a quick sniff of an erupting volcano to have a look at what it's spewing out? Any model is only be as good as the initial conditions, which in this case would require detailed information of what's actually coming out of the volcano (fall rate, particle type/size etc).

Now, is MO'L (or indeed WW in his time at BA) going to cough up the cash to do this? If not, then for now, and no doubt some time to come, we're stuck with the low, medium and high coarse plot, from the existing NAME model the Met Office uses.
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Old 25th May 2011, 18:27
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Friday Midday

Given it's fair to say the high concentrations are moving in a South Easterly direction, a few hours earlier and it could prove difficult to get above FL200.



http://
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Old 25th May 2011, 18:45
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Code:
Why hasn't this been done? Could it be because the computational power  required to generate such a detailed model is not available to the Met  Office, or likely anyone else in the meteorological community?
AFAIK the most sophisticated met model is the Global Forecast System (GFS) and it is known to be very inaccurate. Which is why serious airmen and seamen never rely on GFS alone -- it's hugely useful as one of many inputs but not the whole story. Resolution is reduced for longer-range forecasts however you find that some met portals supply GFS data in Gridded Binary format (GRIB) to a resolution many times finer than the model can possibly predict to. A bit like taking an original recipe for salad dressing of 1/3 vinegar 2/3 oil to find that some bright spark has converted to five places of decimals! The accuracy of the model can never be better than the accuracy of the raw data input.

What puzzles me (though there might be a perfectly good reason) is why they are not using weather balloons for monitoring ash. They are cheap, cheerful, reliable and with modern transponders, easily recoverable if they land on land (or even at sea, come to that).

All the talk in this thread and on the news about sending aircraft into ash clouds seems very odd. There is no control. The aircraft might, by happenstance, to fly through a high concentration or a low concentration -- nobody, seemingly, knows how homogeneous the ash is. Surely it would be better to use balloons to check concentrations and to take samples then test vital components (e.g. engines, critical airframe components) on the bench/windtunnel? That way you can get repeatable and accurate engineering data rather than rely on guesswork.
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Old 25th May 2011, 18:48
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Philw1981

Those diagrams are assuming the eruption continues at the same intensity.

I was under the impression the eruption ceased between 2 and 3 zulu this morning.
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Old 25th May 2011, 18:57
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Yes but the ash at the upper levels had already been emitted, started heading towards Canada and the change in wind direction sees it headed back our way, if I am interpreting the charts correctly.
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Old 25th May 2011, 19:18
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Where does Eurocontrol come into all this ? No mention thus far.

Where is Joe Sultana ??

Mr Joe Sultana, Chief Operating Officer, Directorate Network Management | EUROCONTROL

In April 2003, Mr Sultana was appointed as Head of Business Division Network Capacity. Subsequently, he was assigned additional responsibility for the Dynamic Management of European Airspace Network (DMEAN) Framework Programme. In October 2006, Mr Sultana became EUROCONTROL’s Head of Airspace, Network Planning and Navigation Division.

On 1 June 2008, Mr Sultana moved to the Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) as Head of Operations and on 2nd Jan 2009 became the Deputy Director CFMU responsible for Network Operations and Information Management.

Joe Sultana was appointed a Director of the Agency, holding the position of Chief Operating Officer in the Directorate Network Management with effect from 1 January 2011.

One (silent) big cheese. Where is Joe Sultana - is he a pPRUNE'er !!!???

Lid
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Old 25th May 2011, 19:41
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That's never a real name...
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Old 25th May 2011, 19:42
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MOL on CH4 news now.

Talking some sense but mostly bowlarks.
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Old 25th May 2011, 20:11
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Did MOL mention that his flight "into the ash cloud" was restricted to VMC by the CP?

Last edited by mona lot; 25th May 2011 at 22:23.
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Old 25th May 2011, 20:24
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He avoided mentioning lots of things. Sidestepped the remark from the newsman about his aircraft being tracked by radar and not flying through the 'contaminated' area.

PR and BS all in one package. Genius.
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Old 25th May 2011, 20:43
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It is fine drawing predictive maps created by computer simulations. But there doesn't seem to be any form of verification of the concentrations? Also in order to create predictions and draw maps, there must be an initial input into the simulation, where does this value or values come from? As a former scientist and current flight deck crew, I have never seen such poor science.
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Old 25th May 2011, 20:49
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Originally Posted by flying lid
Where does Eurocontrol come into all this ? No mention thus far.

Where is Joe Sultana ??

Mr Joe Sultana, Chief Operating Officer, Directorate Network Management | EUROCONTROL

In April 2003, Mr Sultana was appointed as Head of Business Division Network Capacity. Subsequently, he was assigned additional responsibility for the Dynamic Management of European Airspace Network (DMEAN) Framework Programme. In October 2006, Mr Sultana became EUROCONTROL’s Head of Airspace, Network Planning and Navigation Division.

On 1 June 2008, Mr Sultana moved to the Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) as Head of Operations and on 2nd Jan 2009 became the Deputy Director CFMU responsible for Network Operations and Information Management.

Joe Sultana was appointed a Director of the Agency, holding the position of Chief Operating Officer in the Directorate Network Management with effect from 1 January 2011.

One (silent) big cheese. Where is Joe Sultana - is he a pPRUNE'er !!!???

Lid
Oh dear, Flying Lid ('retired engineer'), Joe Sultana is closer to the heart of this issue than you will ever be. If there is ever going to be a satisfactory resolution, a core group of experts, of which he is part, will be at the centre of it. Google EACCC (European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell) which has convened every day since the start of this event.

But then, mocking someone because of their name is never going to help your credibility.
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Old 25th May 2011, 22:04
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Just a question for the Pro's!

I see the charts for Friday are not looking good for the UK, But a I right in saying the high density ash will be between FL200-350. If so then would you be able to fly at lower altitudes (FL150 for example) and then climb once clear of the danger area? I know that would mean using ore fuel and restrictions in traffic and so on, But would it be possible?

Last edited by kazzie; 25th May 2011 at 22:46.
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