More than 100,000 flights canceled. At least 10 million passengers blocked at airports. More than 1,000 million euros of losses for airlines. The corridors that unite North America and Europe, practically empty. Eyjafjalojokull: it is not a keyboard error, but the name of the Icelandic volcano culprit from the historic closure of air traffic from April 14 to 20, 2010. Now, when the old summit volcano launches to the atmosphere tons of ash in thick clouds is Inevitable to ask ourselves without we are in the anteroom of a new cellar of flights.
Is a new closure of airspace envisaged in Europe?
It is not ruled out, but a global closure is not likely. The amount of ash launched to the atmosphere and the height that these have achieved are not enough for an alert of the entire short-term area. However, flight or destination flights in La Palma and its vicinity receive daily several parts updating the situation. In fact, Binter Canarias, Canaryfly and Iberia have canceled all their flights with the island, which in practice leaves incommunicado by air. As for airports, the one of the palm performs permanent cleaning from the beginning of the lava emissions, both on the takeoff track and the tread and aircraft parking.
What is the real danger for airplanes?
The official manuals that handle the pilots - those who have had access to the world - warn them that it is demonstrated that volcanic ash produces damage to the surfaces of the plane, its windshield and its engines. In addition, essential systems are affected, such as ventilation, hydraulic, electric, and flight data collection.
Is it necessary to enter the cloud to be in danger?
If the dispersion of volcanic particles is wide and dense enough, it is not necessary to fly over the volcano: even thousands of kilometers away can be harmful for vital flight systems. For example, because the particles expelled by the volcano melt within the engine and those melted materials are stuck to their internal components, producing serious failures in the passage of air inside. That is why there is a close monitoring of air quality in height at nearby airports, which may also have to close your operation.
Does the radars of the plane detect the danger?
Not necessarily, its function is another. But in addition to the parties issued by the aeronautical authorities, the pilots approaching these critical areas are pending other warning signs: strong smell of burning in the cabin, failures in the yields of the engines, unexpected changes in pressurization. .
Foldably, yes. The areas that are really dangerous have already been closed to air traffic. Doing it in the rest is safe. First, because the takeoff, landing and overflights of aircraft would be forbidden if there is evidence that the volcanic cloud has reached a dangerous height and extension. Second, because the minute by minute of the movement of volcanic clouds in collaboration with the State Meteorology Agency is followed and informative parties are issued for the whole world. Third, because the crews are perfectly trained to know what to do in the unlikely event of venture with one of these phenomena unforeseen.
What do the pilots do if they meet a volcanic cloud?
Turn around. That's how it easy. Given the first doubt that a cloud of volcano ash could be treated, the maneuver is called "Giro 180": it turns around immediately; nor divert the plane left or right nor is it ascended or descends. By not having concrete data on the width and height of volcanic remains, it is the safest thing is to return where it has come.
Only that: Turn around?
No. In addition, the power of the engines is lowered, so that they are less residated; The oxygen masks are released (because the air that is breathed in the cab is from the outside); and all flight systems are checked in duplicate and even tripled, in case the ashes would have affected some of them.
Why can it fly but it has been forbidden to navigate?
A commercial reactor scrolls at 850 km / h (around 500 km / h if we talk about a turbohélice like those operating between islands). That speed gives a wide range of maneuver to leave the area in case of danger (besides that circumstances are not given at this time). Boats, however, are many more exposed to fully receive the impact of toxic gases that are released into the contact of lava with sea water and the violent explosions that occur by the abrupt change of temperature (of 1,000 At 24 degrees Celsius). Therefore, a security perimeter for maritime navigation is established.
The eruption will last weeks, probably. Will the airspace be closed?
The answer is hidden in the entrails of the Earth. But it is not foreseeable. If we stick to how they usually behave the palmers volcanoes, their clouds of sustained ash do not usually ascend beyond a kilometer or kilometer and a half, an unimportant height for commercial aviation. In addition, the landing wind regime is likely to help disperse those ashes, instead of geographically concentrating.Updated Date: 24 September 2021, 10:57