Argentine, Uruguayan Flights, and more Cancelled due to Volcanic Ash

An ash blanket has covered Buenos Aires today June 9, 2011.

The Puyehue – a Chilean volcano – has been erupting since June 4, and as a result, all the aircraft have been grounded, as well as all the flights have been cancelled at the main Buenos Aires airports – Ezeiza International Airport (also Ministro Pistarini International Airport); Jorge Newbery Airport; and Ástor Piazzolla International Airport. Flights have been cancelled in Uruguay at Carrasco International Airport.

Traffic troubles had begun in Argentina on Tuesday, then the flight resumed on Wednesday. A huge ash cloud is still hovering over the Argentine capital at FL 290 (9,000 m). The cleaning operation are going on.

Watch the video hereafter:

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:

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:

Cold weather DC3 cargo aircraft flights to Antarctica

The Canadian Kenn Borek Ltd. DC-3 you can see below has been modified to perform landing on ice strips with skis. This aircraft, as well as another DC-3T – a Basler BT-67 – carry out Antartica Logistics and Expeditions (ALE) flights. Therefore they have been upgraded to sustain take off, flight, and landing at very low temperatures. Please, listen to Philippe Cousteau:

Air Force SERE – Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape

SERE stands for Survival-Evasion-Resistance-Escape for the US Air Force, and Survive-Evade-Resist-Extract for the Royal Air Force. Watch the video shot at the USAF Survival School, Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), Fairchild AFB, Washington: