Helpful tips

What indications on your instruments if you happen to fly through volcanic ash?

What indications on your instruments if you happen to fly through volcanic ash?

An acrid odor similar to electrical smoke. Multiple engine malfunctions, such as compressor stalls, increasing EGT, torching from the tailpipe, and flame-outs. At night, St. Elmo’s fire or other static discharges accompanied by a bright orange glow in the engine inlets.

What happens if volcanic ash gets into a jet engine?

Volcanic ash ejected into the atmosphere by explosive eruptions has known damaging effects on aircraft. Ash particles can abrade forward-facing surfaces, including windscreens, fuselage surfaces, and compressor fan blades. Ash contamination also can lead to failure of critical navigational and operational instruments.

Can airplanes fly through volcanic ash?

Because volcanic ash is made up of tiny particles of rock, it has a severely abrasive effect on aircraft. This means it can destroy the outer surface of the aircraft’s fuselage, which can be especially bad news for the wings.

Should airplanes attempt to fly through ash clouds If not then why?

A very dense cloud of volcanic ash could affect the ability of the pilot to see and if you are flying through the plume, it could have an effect on the wind screen. They can land aircraft on instruments but it is nice to be able to see.

How long does it take volcanic ash to clear?

The simplistic view of ash behavior in the atmosphere would suggest that very small (> 30 μm) ash should stay aloft for days to weeks – the settling rate is between 10-1 to 10-3 m/s if you apply Stokes Law to the settling of the ash.

What 3 things can volcanic ash do to aircraft?

Volcanic ash is hard and abrasive, and can quickly cause significant wear to propellers and turbocompressor blades, and scratch cockpit windows, impairing visibility. The ash contaminates fuel and water systems, can jam gears, and make engines flameout.

How long does volcanic ash stay in the air?

The aerosols can stay in the stratosphere for up to three years, moved around by winds and causing significant cooling worldwide.

Is it safe to fly over a volcano?

Yes. Encounters between aircraft and clouds of volcanic ash are a serious concern. Jet engines and other aircraft components are vulnerable to damage by fine, abrasive volcanic ash, which can drift in dangerous concentrations hundreds of miles downwind from an erupting volcano.

What are some dangers of volcanic ash?

Unlike the ash produced by burning wood and other organic materials, volcanic ash can be dangerous. Its particles are very hard and usually have jagged edges. As a result, it can cause eye, nose, and lung irritation, as well as breathing problems.

What happens when volcanic ash hits an airplane?

When volcanic ash, which is usually already very hot, enters a jet engine, it heats can melt and stick together as clumps of molten material. This can quickly cool, solidify and destroy an engine, rendering it completely inoperational, and leaving the aircraft without power.

How did the Jumbo Jet get back to life after volcanic ash?

Eventually, after quarter of an hour without any power, the engines were brought back to life. Ash had clogged the engines, which only restarted when enough of the molten ash solidified and broke off. “We glided from 37,000ft to 12,000ft before we got [the engines] going again,” recalls Capt Moody.

How does ash cloud affect a jet engine?

According to a USGS study, the melting temperature of the glassy silicate material in an ash cloud is lower than combustion temperatures in modern jet engines. You can see the problem here: ash particles sucked into an engine can melt and accumulate as re-solidified deposits in cooler parts of the engine.

How does an erupting volcano affect a jet engine?

An erupting volcano spews ash and particles into the sky, predominantly made up of silicates. The very high temperature inside a jet engine will melt these particles but in cooler parts of the engine, they will solidify again forming a glassy coating.