First they took our women, then our money. Now we can't even go on holiday!
UK air-traffic authorities have confirmed that flights will remain grounded until at least the early hours of Saturday morning as dangerous ash clouds from an Icelandic volcano continue to blanket the nation. Volcanic ash graphic 16 April 2010. Credit: London VAAC Pesky volcano. The National Air Traffic Service (NATS), …
There's a London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre??
Can you imagine what it's like in there at the moment? Maybe they're like the coast guard or something and have normal jobs the rest of the time because i can't imagine they've been very busy over the last few years.
i wonder what they were doing when the volcano went off.
Ah, optimism, I like that.
Note that it has been reported that when this one last erupted in December 1821, it kept on going until January 1823. What has not been mentioned is that in the previous century it erupted for five years*, poisoning the atmosphere and surrounding sea to the extent that they seriously considered evacuating the country.
IANAV**, but that would seem to suggest that there's quite likely to be a cloud of crap like this circulating on and off for some time to come. Just out of interest, what is the economic impact of large swathes of Western and Central Europe possibly being a no-fly zone (or at least a no take off or land zone) at unpredictable intervals of unpredictable duration for the next 12 months plus?
*Incidently, look up the megatonnage of CO2 that five year outburst chucked into the jolly old atmos. Makes yer AGW treaty targets look like pissing into the wind.
**I am not a Vulcanologist.
(which is networked) I was able to see a single flight from Scotland today; the overall number of flights is down from around 960 General Aviation in the air over Europe at any particular second , to around 300 at present. There is little flight activity until you get down to the Alps.
Below the Alps the traffic is running at 25% of normal volume, based on direct reception of the aircraft L-band squawk codes.
... that's the British way - live on a flightpath then bitch about the noise. My manifesto - send anyone that complains about modern technology, which makes the world a significantly better place, to Outer Mongolia (though the residents there would legitimately start complaining).
Seriously, I know I'm a sad git, but I love the sound of planes, and the sight of contrails - they are a daily celebration of human ingenuity (yes, I live near an airport, as I've reported here before). I go to airshows as often as I can, and prefer the sound of heavy metal* to piston engines. I would, though, be very unhappy if I lived near a pub which played music.
While I sympathise with the pax who want to get somewhere, but can't - there is a silver lining to this volcanic cloud. One that benefits far more people than the numbers stranded at british airports. I'm talking about the lack of aircraft noise.
In the part of purgatory known as west London (and repeated at other places of redemption throughout the country) it's not unusual to be woken at about 5:30 when the first flight tears through the sky. After the first plane, they seem to come over every few minutes, leaving those of us who like to sleep with the window ajar cursing all these early birds. Repeat all day until some time around 11p.m. and you get the picture.
We had a similar respite during September a few years ago - maybe you remember that one, too?
Anyway, I'm planning on enjoying the, almost rural, quiet while it lasts and seriously wondering what the effect of increased runway numbers and flight numbers will bring to this already blighted part of blighty..
No doubt you were seriously outraged when they unexpectedly decided that Heathrow was to be converted from a sleepy RAF base into London's major International airport after you'd moved into the peaceful surroundings.
Oh.......wait........it was already there you say? If you find it so annoying, why the f*** did you move in next to it then?
If you moved into an area, and didn't realise there was an Airport there? What were you thinking!
I would like to add, I live under Heathrow's flight path myself, and, not being a retard, I knew that flight levels will increase and airports will expand - just like any other business - when I purchased the property.
Since I was born in W. London and have lived and worked there my whole life, so far. I didn't really have a lot of choice. As don't the millions of other people who have to live near airports all over the country (hint: no one, except maybe a few plane spotters choose to live near an airport).We do it either from necessity, lack of other options, for economic reasons or because a whim of bureaucratic randomness draws a flightpath on a map, where there hadn't been one before.
However, the real point is that when it stops this is actually a very pleasant part of the country - you just don't realise it until you get a brief respite from the otherwise incessant noise pollution.
I live an hour away from Heathrow, in lovely sunny south london, and when I'm in the garden I frequently have to raise my voice over the noise of some jet lumbering overhead. I don't consider SW16 the 'surroundings' of Heathrow, nor would any sane human being.
That rancid cesspool of a so-called airport is not only an absolute nightmare to travel through, it messes up the peace and quiet of over 2 million people. Worse than that, if you want to get away from the flight paths of Gatwick, Heathrow, City, Stanstead and Luton you practically have to move to Wales.
Well the blindingly, ludicrously obvious answer (which I'm surprised you didn't think of) is to locate the airport(s) somewhere where the flightpaths can be routed where there are no people. When you consider that Britain is an island the answer presents itself.
For 40-odd years there's been talk of locating an airport to the coast. That way all the planes in and out can fly low over the sea. Latterly Boris has been talking about an airport on the Thames estuary. We built and gave away an airport in Hong Kong that was built on an island - including all the transport access to go with it. If we can do it for the chinese, it should be possible to do it for the people who actually pay for it.
Manchester (MAN), Birmingham (BHX), Doncaster-Sheff (DSA), Leeds-Bradford (LBA), East Midlands (EMA) and Heathrow (LHR) etc...
all to the coast then.
I'm sure everyone just wouldn't mind travelling across the width of the country to the nearest coastal airport before undertaking an even longer voyage overseas. And what with the increase in Traffic congestion and noise this would cause, it would kind-of defeat the object wouldn't it.
Find me an unpopulated area around Birmingham where we can route all flight paths around large populous' of people and I might actually take your idea seriously.
I'm imagining a dusty office buried in some university building where two old professors who are just round the corner from retirement spend the day with the crossword and pots of tea and occasionally (once every few months) an old teletype machine splutters into life. The only reason it's still got funding is because nobody is in government is aware of it.
LVAAC seem to be doing a bang up job, they issue some nice graphics. the next one along, Toulouse, only issue pesky words.
i'm not sure who has the hardest job. London only has to cover iceland and the UK, Toulouse covers Europe, Africa, Middle East and Russia. But then the volcano is in iceland.
At least with this going on, there aren't all these planes spewing hot gases into the atmostphere, causing global warming........no, just a fecking big volcano........quick you greenhouse gas protester types, get up to Iceland (by plane if you like) and go picket the volcano......Just wondering now how the government are going to tax me for this one?
1. the planes will be spewing gasses into the atmosphere - they've got all those extra flights to catch up.
2. The particles that are creating the problem for aircraft will fall to earth in rainfall and have FI_ICK all to do with greenhouse gases. If enough gases are spewed out it may have a minimal effect on the effects of global warming - but you aren't the first person that is ignorant of the level of scientific consensus on this topic to demonstrate their gullibility in the past day or so.
Are you really suggesting that aircraft put up more greenhouse gasses than volcanoes?? Presumably you are also going to suggest that it isn't putting up enough particulates to make any difference? Alternatively, and more likely, you are not going to come back because after trolling as an AC you feel big and clever.
Is this Iceland's response to the UK government's demands to repay their bank debts?
I smell a conspiracy... they must have got hold of some of that lost Russian fissile material and blown up the Volcano on purpose.
And all over a few frozen prawns... (or am I confusing them with Kwiksave?)
last night was another of those odd times where you only notice the impact of noise in modern life by its absence. Between that and the cooling effect of the added sulphur and dust in the atmosphere allied to reduced emissions from aicraft, just watch the usual loons jump about insisting that more volcanos are just what we need
According to the Met Office, there are only 7 VAACs worldwide. London VAAC is operated by the Met Office, naturally, as they are the guys with the wind modelling tech. It is the control centre for the zone including Iceland, and it is in charge of some of the busiest airspace in the world (most transatlantic travel whether by sea or air tracks away from the equator to take advantage of the reduced circumference of the Earth). It may not be needed every day, but it's a massively important role.
Have none of you commentards ever heard of Google?
.. if history is any guide. At the moment it doesn't exhibit any signs of an impending eruption, but that's because the unpronounceable is still at it. A bit like the US economic warfare against Switzerland: let's not talk about another bank until we've done one to death (and the Swiss fell for it, hahaha).
Use a tactical nuke. You know; one of those "useless" battlefield weapons?
There'll be a bigger bang in a shorter time, allowing a lot of pressure to vent but the area will collapse back in fairly quickly. The method's been theorised for longer than tac. nukes have been available.
But you might want to consider evacuation prior to dropping the bomb.
I was just in the Eve Online forums and spotted a thread on the volcano.
It's pretty disheartening to see that all the players care about is the continued operation of the servers - absolutely no consideration for the staff or other people of Iceland. So don't anyone believe it when they're told "mature people" play Eve Online.
The global press is no better. The only thing that's important is our own asses - i.e. flights and stocks of cheese. Nobody seems to give a shit about the Icelanders, unless it's at the butt of a joke.
Call me a bit cynical but should the skies be closed to all forms of air transport? Would be a bit pissed off myself, if I was stuck on some oil rig and losing out on my shore leave.
BBC Helicopter footage of erupting volcano in Iceland
I am no expert in aviation or volcanology but I would even have a bet that there would be more particles of ash in the air in the footage above, than could ever be encountered today, drifting at low alititude hundreds of miles away, over the North Sea.
A conspiracy of ignorance but sadly without the black helicopters.
Would be affected by the ash as well if only in terms of blade erosion, however you can put filters on their intakes without causing a drop in performance whereas on a fixed wing aircraft it's not possible. The hot bit still gets to 600 degree C minimum so it can still cause problems.
The big difference for the helicopter filming the volcano is that all the ash etc. is in that big well concentrated cloud coming out of the hole in the ground making it nice and easy to avoid, by the time it gets here it's much more spread out and intermingled with the clouds. I do wonder if there's actually a problem in areas where the visibility is greater than say five KM as that'd imply the concentrations of dust aren't that great.
"Filters" was not the best word. What is used is something like a bowler hat. A semi-circle put in the front of the engine.
When it sucks the air in, the special format of the filter creates a vortex, wich sucks away the dust trough a small point.
It can be overloaded, of course. But it doesn't clog up like the filters we are used to.
Here, in wikipedia, we can find a mention on it (the "PZU air intake filters"):
On past form we can expect significant cooling of the northern hemisphere caused by the ash cloud.
Next winter is going to be a great deal worse than the last one. I'm not a climate expert but I can tell that a few months of solid freeze will have a much larger economic impact than a few days of air travel restrictions. It will also seriously disrupt everybody, not just air-passengers.
Last time this volcano erupted it was active for two years. This was many hundreds of years ago.
One can only hope it will put planes out of the sky for two years :-) maybe then people will use less polluting methods of transport and the government will scrap a third runway at Heathrow.
Concord could fly at 70k feet - above the ash, I believe - ooopps no more Concord.
This event demonstrates nicely the adverse effects of 'eggs in one basket'. Fast Ships can traverse the Oceans. High Speed rail can move goods and people. (Ask PO if post can still be sorted on trains in Transit)
However, we don't have a competitive & complete European High speed rail system nor fast ships or other volume alternatives. We didn't need to rely on planes but, sadly, now we do for too many things.
Our political and economic masters have so decreed. TINA. A bit like banks, really.
If business demands that all costs be minimised and that the systems become like highly tuned racehorses or cars don't be surprised if, occasionally, a "tits-up" moment occurs and things crash to a stop. Flexibility comes at a cost. JIT may become JTL.
That being said it would, however, upset me if I was just about to go on/return from a holiday or other important trip by air. I'd probably live though.
...less polluting form of transport do you suggest I use to get from the US to the UK and back again this summer? Bearing in mind that I don't have an extra spare week to spend going by boat, and swimming is clearly out of the question.
This sort of enviro-numpty idiocy is why the Green movement is not, and may never be, taken seriously by the people it needs to be taken seriously by.
With both RR and Airbus having facilities affected by this, if it lasts longer than a week I imagine they will have designers locked up in rooms making plans for dust-proof engines, which they can then sell at a massive profit.
Can't roll back time you know. We have moved on from the horse and cart already.
"All Eurostar cross-channel seats are reportedly sold out"
I was in Paris on the day the ash cloud appeared and was due to fly back to good ol' Blighty. Supposedly, the next free seat on a Eurostar was Saturday. However, that was no problem for the nice SNCF lady in Charles de Gaulle; she gave me a ticket for a non-existent train and this confused the Eurostar staff enough to let me wait at the departure gate for one of those "extra" seats that become free at the last minute (usually people who don't turn up, but also those "seats" in the carriage ends which cannot be sold).
The ticket may have cost me over £200, but I was back in the UK by 6pm.
there was one lady who said she lived right next to a airport and was suffering unending noise pollution.....
till yesterday!, she was positively quiveringly happy, utter silence, she took the reporter out the back of her garden and asked.."can you hear that?... to utter silence, "to what?" replied the reporter, "nothing" replied the unbelievably happy lady :D "i can hear the birds for the very first time ever! whilst living here :D))) "
it was really funny
i wonder how the airlines will spin this disaster....
'Closing down sale..Everyone MUST GO'
'special one way-one day only tickets, never to return (to europe)'
'Ash-(Monday/insert particular day) specials'
'having a particularly bad week, hop on a flight and be ASHurred of a smooth flight away...'
Please be aware that all the closure advisories so far have been couched in the following terms:
UK airspace will be closed/restricted until x:xx at the earliest etc.
That is not an estimated time for all air traffic to resume, it's the earliest time that the ash cloud could dissipate if a miracle happened.
Posted Friday 16th April 2010 11:04 GMT
Those stranded in airport terminal buildings can at least console themselves that those great big glass windows will give a wonderful view of a spectacular sunset this evening...
Except in BAA run airports where the big glass windows have been obscured my luxury goods shops, fast food joints etc ..
If only so that I can get on with my job on the railway, without the constant stream of bloody Virgin Trains getting in my way. There has been a lot of extra traffic on my stretch of railway, so much so, that planned renewals jobs are being cancelled for Saturday night/Sunday morning. Presumably to allow trains to run later and earlier (West Coast Line is normally completely shut down on Sat night/Sun morn).
Working on the railway would be much easier without trains.
I am already preparing my excuses for Fault Control about it being the wrong type of ash. :-)
So we've got sunny, clear, cloudless skies and not a trace of this magically dangerous ash cloud anywhere to be seen and yet we've caused billions of pounds worth of damage to the economies relying on flights to and from London, including our own bankrupt economy!
The state of science and the media these days is so bad it wants and sometimes causes everything to get shut down over baseless fears.
Everything that could be hypothesised here about ash turning to glass inside turbines is nonsense. There simply isn't enough ash up there, the amount if not dense enough, it's not at the right altitude for most flights, and flights would only be affected for a fraction of their journey time. And I mean a very small fraction!
Why cant we just NUke the volcano, so at best it will wi.den the mouth and all ash/lava will be scattered locally. Better still it might just seal it off. the small spout is making it worse currently.
Remember we did this in Iraq in first gulf war to put out the fires.
Paris, cos she still burns bright
Though my previous post has not turned up, it went something like this "The media and Met Office are still doing the dirty work of the anti-flight arm of the green lobby. We haven’t seen a sign of this ash cloud over us. We’ve had three days of absolutely clear, blue, cloudless skies over northern Europe and no sign of any ash or dust. Yet the hysteria over something that could not effect airplanes continues and behind it all are the same organisations as ever."
Now we have this:
I figured out how bad the flawed science was myself using a bit of logic. How come the Met Office and the media with their millions of pounds can't figure it out.
Test flights show no problems...the threat has been exaggerated by the Met Office, computer models, regulators and the media
I went to visit Kirkcaldy up from Edinburgh on Saturday and boy did it smell of rotten eggs.
This eastern town of Scotland has most of its car parks on the coast so as I drove in and got out I was hit by a strong smell of Sulphur dioxide.
The smell followed us as we walked into the town centre but thankfully once indoors it seemed to fade away. :-)
Really brought the whole thing into perspective!
No ash on cars though. Well I had to look didn't I?
Of course it's true, anyone with not the slightest knowledge of how aircraft engines work can solve this current difficulty "using a bit of logic".
That everyone from the engine manufacturers themselves through to every regulatory and aviation services agency is flatly refusing to do so is because they all want European airports to lose £millions in usage rights and airlines already on the verge of going bust to now do exactly that.
Every European Government is also very much in favour of this as the more businesses and the more jobs that are lost, the lower the tax take will be and the higher the unemplopyment benefits total.
Even NATS itself, which -- as you, with your "little bit of logic" will know full well -- is financed thanks to fully operational airline traffic, has decided to eschew logic and let its coffers run dry.
For the first time ever, UK and Western European airspace has been affected by a volcano that is venting through a glacier. It's a Doomsday scenario that not even the aviation industry itself foresaw.
However, all of us involved in this current problem are most grateful to you for announcing that the exercise of a bit of your own logic brings an immediate resolution of the problem.
I very much look forward to reading on here precisely which bit of that logic you're referring to -- seeing as how it is only "a bit", you will presumably have no problem at all in explaining it in a couple of sentences.
Thank you again then, Aron, for your valued assistance.
Your post has certainly convinced me that instead of continuing to work with aviation industry OEMs on this issue, I should recognise that you alone are the Whitney, and everyone else is a complete Pratt.
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