Volcanic ash posing a threat to flight safety

Sunday 5/22/2011 – Breaking news:

The Grimsvötn volcano began erupting yesterday. It is located underneath the uninhabited Vatnajokull glacier in southeastern Iceland. As it has been sending ash into the skies up to flight level 650 i.e. 65,000 ft or around 20 kilometers or 12 miles.

The European fleets might be grounded due to the spreading of an ash cloud which is forecast to drift over Scotland on Tuesday – May 24, 2011 – and expected to reach France and Spain by Thursday or Friday. Here is an interesting short documentary about how the scientists examine the volcanic ash, and how they determine that it can pose a threat to aircraft.

Watch the video:

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Solid-as-a-rock A380 aircraft struck… by lightning!

It is not uncommon for aircraft to be struck by lightning but this super heavy Emirates Airbus A380 got hit by a jagged bolt of lightning right over the pilot’s seats.

A huge amount of electric energy must have passed through the airframe of the aircraft during its approach at London Heathrow last week. Amazingly the commercial aircraft escaped damage, and nobody was hurt.

Is it any wonder this airplane may sustain such a stress in a clap of thunder? The size and the nature of the A380 airframe seems to be the right solution to such hazards. Thanks to its thick metal structure, the plane behaved as a perfect Faraday cage:

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Sukhoi Su-35S multirole fighter first test flights

Russia begins test flights of Su-35S series fighter

14:40 03/05/2011 Russia’s Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer has started test flights of its first series-produced Su-35S Flanker-E multirole fighter, the company said on Tuesday.>>

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Deborah Hersman – NTSB chairman – about what happened on Southwest Airlines B-737

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Enigma of Yuri Gagarin’s death on March 27 – 43 years ago

The cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin – the 1st man to have travelled into outer space on his Vostok 1 spacecraft on April 12, 1961 – died on March 27 1968. However, the precise cause of the jet crash remains uncertain.

Colonel Gagarin and his instructor Vladimir Seryogin (as Gagarin, director of the Star City, had to obtain his fighter pilot rating again), flew a MiG-15 Midget that day, and they should not have kept the fuel tanks under their jet. As the spin turned into a deadly crash, it has been suggested since 1986 that the afterburner turbulence of a Sukhoi Su-11 Fishpot-C interceptor aircraft could have caused the MiG-15 to go out of control.

The MiG-15 had first been designed to intercept USAF nuclear-capable B-29s.

Some governmental documents were declassified in 2003. They revealed that in addition to the official investigations, the KGB tried to advance a new line of inquiry. Since then, it has been deemed that the accident could not be due to any conspiracy theory. Though little is certain about this mistery, you can click on the frame below to read further information:

What killed Yury Gagarin: Soviet report’s findings

09:30 27/03/2011 On March 27, 1968, news of a terrible tragedy broke: Yury Gagarin, first man into space, had been killed in a plane crash. Although experts continue to debate what caused the crash, they all agree that Gagarin’s death was quite bizarre.>>

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