The air transport industry was caught off guard in April when huge plumes of ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano effectively shut down flying in Europe for a week, stranding thousands of passengers and draining at least $1 billion from air carriers.
Honeywell’s engine division scored a unique opportunity last month when two TPE331-5 engines arrived at the company’s Phoenix headquarters. The two engines were removed from a Dornier Do-228 operated by the UK’s National Environment Research Council on flights into volcanic ash clouds resulting from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The Dornier flew 10 hours in the heart of the ash cloud and 22 hours in the outer zone.
A bold move by British Airways in April–the launching of 26 airplanes toward the UK while British airspace was closed–finally broke the European airspace logjam caused by volcanic ash clouds from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
Dramatic photos circulating on the Internet purporting to show a Williams International FJ44-3A-24 installed on a Cessna Citation CJ2+ destroyed by exposure to volcanic ash from the recent eruption in Iceland are “complete fiction,” according to Brad Thress, Cessna vice president of product support. The incident occurred about a month before the April eruption, he said. “It’s viral,” Thress said.
While pilots need to be careful not to fly through heavy concentrations of volcanic ash from the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in Iceland, the glass particle-laden ash clouds don’t have the same effect on acrylic windows as other volcanic eruptions. According to Bob Cupery, who founded Torrance, Calif.-based Aircraft Window Repairs 31 years ago, volcanic eruptions that are more gaseous pose a bigger problem for aircraft windows.
Engineers at Honeywell’s Phoenix engine division have received two TPE331-5 turboprops removed from a Dornier Do-228 operated by the UK’s National Environment Research Council on flights into volcanic ash clouds resulting from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano.
Ash from a volcano in Iceland brought disruption to European air transport last month on a scale that far exceeded the combined efforts of global terrorism and the financial crisis. Huge swaths of the continent’s airspace were closed for prolonged periods and hundreds of thousands of travelers were stranded at various points around the world for days on end.
Operators of turbine-powered aircraft must avoid flying through volcanic ash clouds, according to engine and airframe manufacturers, but if ash is encountered in flight, there are specific techniques that pilots should use as well as post-flight maintenance procedures. According to the U.S.
Business aircraft grounded by ash from an Icelandic volcano were back flying in Europe's skies minutes after authorities lifted widespread airspace closures Tuesday night. Charter operators and brokers have reported an exceptional flurry of bookings as displaced passengers try to beat the airline backlogs to get home.