Volcanic Eruptions and Air Travel: What Happens When a Plane Flies Through an Ash Plume?


Recent volcanic eruptions are creating a minefield for pilots who have to be on watch for volcanic ash clouds capable of shutting plane engines down completely.

The Calbuco volcano in Chile, one of 1,500 active volcanoes worldwide, erupted in late April and forced major cancellations and delays at Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport.

In December of 1989, 231 passengers aboard KLM Flight 867 – a 747 jetliner headed for Anchorage, Alaska – dropped through 2 miles of air after all four of the aircraft’s engines blew out when it entered a cloud of ash from the erupting Redoubt Volcano, according to United States Geological Survey.

via Volcanic Eruptions and Air Travel: What Happens When a Plane Flies Through an Ash Plume?.

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