Volcano eruption creates chaos in Europe !Another Earthquake !Red Bull Race in Perth !

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday April 18 2010     ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

A phenomena hit Europe last week with a giant impact. An active volcano erupted in Iceland ,– a very heavy eruption –and a huge cloud full of dust and ash was on its way, with the NW later E wind to “attack” Europe on Thursday. Airfields in Scotland, Norway , Sweden and Ireland have been closed and from Schiphol there were no flights to Scandinavia and the UK, and all flights to the USA were diverted , creating delays. All the dust and ash is very bad for the engines of the planes, they even stop them,  so they will be not allowed to fly through it. As the cloud went from N to S more airfields were hit which meant more airports were closed and the disruption of the traffic created chaos.
The volcano erupted  under the Eyaflallajokull glacier, making a hole in it and forcing authorities to evacuate hundreds of people. The lava is not the biggest concern for these people but flooding is.
 There have been smaller clouds like this , but never from this magnitude! You might be still able to see the cloud at ;  www.flightradar24.com
At 7 PM that Thursday Schiphol Airport closed totally. The sunset was absolutely fantastic, but I guess the more then 2500 people , sleeping on beds brought in by the Red Cross  at the airport were less happy. All hotels were booked, so a small bed was the best they could get. At-least better then the ground or a chair. Even kings and queens were in trouble. Queen Margrethe from Denmark, celebrated her 70thiest birthday and our Royal family had to go by train. Other royals did not go at all.

On Friday slowly some Scottish and Irish airports started flying again. With the cloud moving to the East,  Germany got more into trouble. In 12 countries NO flying was possible. That is a HUGE impact!!!! In the end NO flying on Friday! Stranded passengers are either angry or resigned;what can we do? With 20.000 from 30.000 flights cancelled you can imagine this will cost!!! Estimated is 5 to 10 million  Euro PER DAY,…ONLY for the KLM!!!!!!! And ….airliners have , with the recession , already problems enough!!!!
Saturday morning  still no action and when you live , like I do not too far from the airport you really notice the Silence, pretty weird! But I would not like to miss the the noise of air-plane-engines.
Extra trains all over Europe are brought in to help out and hotels are booked till far from the airfields. Rich people just grab a cab to drive from Oslo to Brussels; cost 3800, -Euro!
Experts say that this is not yet the end of the eruptions from this volcano, and what if the cloud just remains on the same spot???!!!
!!! We can only hope the wind changes to another direction, but then maybe others will get into trouble.
As the Dutch airspace is closed  gliders, balloons and ultra lights are limited admitted,  as long as they can fly visual. When they fly , they do so on their own risk.
One motor-glider in Holland  , however , neglected the law  and will be traced by the aviation -police!!!!! Yesterday gliders in France, Germany , Austria, Italy  and Switzerland were flying; 490 were entered on the OLC. Friday and Saturday…no glider-flights in Holland.

Sunday morning with the latest news; The volcano is still spewing ash and rubbish! The UK and Germany will NOT fly till 8 Pm today .France and Denmark are closed till Monday and Finland till Monday evening!!! As the cloud is moving to the East, also Bulgaria has closed the airspace. KLM is going for another test flight and the Dutch airspace will be closed at least til 2 PM. I hope no airliner will “fall over”after these very unexpected hitches.

Yesterday evening , still with daylight, a 737 from KLM went up , with the KLM president. He wanted to see how it is to fly on a lower level. The plane has been checked during the night and MAYBE today , they are flying again after 2 o’clock. They went up to 13 km. first and checked also the lower levels later, saying without ” any problem “. President Hartman has critic on  European Air Traffic Control, saying “planes are grounded for too long”! He thinks the problem is not every where the same and those problems should be solved more adequate.
I received another critical blog from Frank Versteegh. He was our one and only Red Bull Racer and gives amongst other things, lectures about aviation as guest speaker or on TV programs. He is a real ” insider “.
Here is his opinion;
—-For many years I have been trying to explain that our government and our civil servants seriously suffer from the HEV syndrome.
HEV stand for Hercules-Enschede-Volendam. Three disasters we had in the Netherlands.These disasters paralised our society. The reason is that nobody in this country has the guts anymore to take responsibility.
Our government just took the decision of keeping our airspace closed for everything.
From hot air balloon to glider.
Of course we all know that the air intake of gliders is very sensitive to dust. The engine in the glider (OOPS, gliders have no engines) …

So, the nose of the pilot is very sensitive to Vulcanic ash of dust. Serious sneezing can be side affects.
In the backyard of my house I rescued thousands of Nile Geese who were sneezing and coughing. An environmental disaster, the Geese are grounded, Storchs just came in for the last landing.
Our aviation experts from the government decided to also ground hot air and gas balloons.

The burner of the balloon will re-ignite the  vulcanic ash and the result will be that we have people on Mars much earlier than President Obama promised us
Fantastic, to see shooting stars launched from The Netherlands direction to Mars. I am so proud of my country. We did it.
A small step for men, a giant leap for mankind.
Finally we show the World that Dutch people have brains and spirit. The old VOC mentality is back.—-


The replay of the investigation from a British Airways plane showed us this week what can happen, when you really fly through a cloud. That 747 in 1982 entered such a cloud full of ash and the pilots had no clue what happened to them. They “lost”engine by engine and the pilots tried hard to start them. Without engines the plane of course went lower and lower, and …when they were under the ash-cloud they could, to their huge relieve start each of the 4 engines again. When they had landed they could not believe their eyes. All paint was stripped from the plane and the glass in the windows was sandblasted!!!Amazing !

In Apeldoorn they found a Messerschmitt  which , as they found out, crashed in 1944 on January 30. The remains of the pilot were still in it and with the identity number found on him , they hope to find out who he is and inform his family. The body will be hand over to the German Embassy in Holland.

One of the readers sent an email and wrote; ” Has anyone noticed that earth quake is a bit frequent today. Does climate change have anything to do with these earthquakes?” I also thought, with the last one in China, what’s going on, another one !!??. That whole circle of earthquake areas has been hit more then the years before. So …if there is somebody who knows more about this please share it with us. Thanks!

Continuing on these global problems,the meteorological institute NOAA in the USA , announced that global seen March was the warmest month ever since they started in 1880 ,with 13.5 dgr. C. This was most felt in Africa, South Asia and Canada while N and W Europe were colder then normal.

No problems for the glider pilots in Lienz, who are still enjoying the best spring circumstances you can wish. Flights up to 918 km in a discus 2t/18m. and DG 600 /17m. from 887 km. Holland had on Wednesday again some flights from over 400 km. A pity the Nationals are not flown now in this great weather period, but maybe the weather between Mai 13 and 23 is even better, let’s hope! The infra structure at Twente-Airport  is SUPER , with a real motel, restaurant and bar and for  “military”prices. Not bad , not bad at all! I look forward to the CAE NLS comps.

Today will be the funeral from the President of Poland and  his wife. Both died last week in that terrible accident in the fog. Lot’s of dignities will be attending and even President Obama and Medvedev will be amongst the guests. That means….if they can fly in!

The Red Bull Race practise in Perth  started  with an incident as one of the pilots , Adilson Kindlemann from  Brasil a former airline pilot, hit with the wing the water and crashed . There were gusts of 20 k [37 km/h]  wind, when he was practising.
 No harm done to the pilot, only minor injuries, but the plane “looks” like lost.
Kindlemann is a rookie and the first South American, to fly in this Race. He has 11.000 flight hours as an airline pilot and
1200 hours in aerobatics. This is the first “crash”in the 7 year history of  The Red Bull Races .
For weeks Perth is ready to welcome the Red Bull Racers and the spectators with huge billboards along the road. From Perth I received some messages  from Vanessa, about the race and this is one of them;
—–Perth has had a large number of heavy showers (more than 60mm) and strong gusty winds over the past few days and for a while the forecast for the weekend was looking bleak. I can see patches of blue sky outside my window and although there are still a few showers expected today and Friday, the forecast for the weekend is sunny and around 27 degrees. It will be interesting to see how wet the runway is – as you probably know it is a large grassed park between the city and the river, once Perth airport many moons ago. Should be OK – Perth is on sandy soil and usually drains quickly.—–
And; Pilot ok, plane looking a bit sorry;
—–You have probably already heard the Brazilian pilot’s practice didn’t go according to plan today – an unscheduled dunking in the river. Emergency services were to him pretty fast and they’re keeping him in hospital overnight for obs, but from all reports it’s just a precaution. Know you’re not keen on accidents, but I’ve attached a link to the ABC site with video from about 4 different angles in case anyone is interested. —–
More from Vanessa:
Apparently all the talk among the pilots is not so much the race but how are they going to get home! Qantas has cancelled all inbound and outbound flights to Europe, and I guess other airlines must be doing the same. It must be chaos there and it doesn’t look like the ash cloud is clearing up anytime soon!
I wandered down to check out the practice on Friday and it was all very relaxed, if slightly confusing. The skies seemed very busy with 4 planes “warming up” over Melville Water (the confluence of the Swan and Canning Rivers at the Kings Park end of the course), one plane in the course and another two flying about over Burswood waiting to land. All that plus two helicopters – I’m glad they all seemed to know where each other was because I was having trouble keeping up. They had highlight clips on the news that night and I pointed out to my son the one I liked the look of (thought the livery & upturned wing tips were pretty funky). I was informed  that it was Nigel Lamb, he finished about 5th in 2009 (6th actually, I think) and had a near miss in Death Valley last year. Where does he get this information from? He knew it was Lamb because of the sponsorship on the plane – proof that branding does work, I guess. I think Lamb has the smartest livery from a marketing point of view, anyway.They have been so lucky with the weather. Although it was only 25 degrees yesterday it was very warm by the river as there wasn’t a breath of breeze. As I’ve mentioned Perth is notoriously windy – an easterly in the morning and then between 12 & 3pm it swings to a south westerly sea breeze – although April is usually our kindest month. Yesterday the smoke from the planes was just hanging over the course and the river was very glassy. Rumour was that if the winds had been like they were on Thursday they would not have flown. I’m still going for Lamb, just because I like his plane, and he finished OK yesterday although he was unhappy to get penalties on one of the gates in his second run.——Enough news for today. Hope it is not too much, for you!

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