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Scott Cram
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Profile of Scott Cram
Remember that ash cloud? It didn't exist, says new evidence

The National Air Traffic Control Service decision to ban flights was based on Met Office computer models which painted a picture of a cloud of ash being blown south from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

These models should have been tested by the Met Office's main research plane, a BAE 146 jet, but it was in a hangar to be repainted and could not be sent up until last Tuesday - the last day of the ban.

Evidence has emerged that the maximum density of the ash was only about one 20th of the limit that scientists, the Government, and aircraft and engine manufacturers have now decided is safe.

Short version: Somehow, computer models got climate data wrong, with the result that needless havoc and panic was inflicted on numerous individuals.

I sincerely hope nothing like that happens ever again.
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Profile of thorndyke
I was kind of wondering....is you tube flooded with home videos of European skies covered by ash?I've seen the images of the volcano chuffing away, but nothing of the killer clouds blocking out the sun anywhere.
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Profile of stoneunhinged
Wait a second. Wouldn't there have been visual confirmation--or some other kind of report regarding the safety of the skies--by military pilots and other sources before actually shutting down air traffic?

I find it hard to believe that all the decisions were being made on computer modeling.


Kind of makes me feel good about mankind, in a way. If it were true--as we often hear--that all decisions being made are only in consideration of the bottom line, this would seem to suggest that is not true. The decision cost millions (probably hundreds of millions).

Of course, we all end up paying for it in one way or another. Smile
Jon Hackett
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All final decisions will have been decided upon by NATS.

At the end of the day, it caused frustration, annoyance, difficulty and expense.

But no one died, and no one truly knows the consequences of flying on those days. The evidence (in hindsight remember) that it was all perfectly safe, but that was just a risk not worth taking.

More over, before the ban was put in place Finland had fighter jets up on a training mission, they came back with very heavy 'glassing' of the jet engines, they could have dropped out of the sky at any point. (Glassing is what happens to volcanic dust when it goes through jet engines, essentially it turns into beads of glass)

So all in all, I'm still bloody waiting for my new magic from america! Grrr.

Jon Hackett
It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them -- the character, the heart, generous qualities and progressive ideas. Doystoyevsky
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Profile of RS1963
I think they did what was needed to be done at that time, Yes it was a hardship on a vast amount of people and was a costly choice to make. But it was the right one to make. sure now they say that it would have probably been o.k for the airlines to fly. But no one really knows for sure. So all the crying over the ban is pointless.
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Profile of balducci
Of course, the story is only talking about the density of the ash cloud over part of the U.K. It says nothing about the ash cloud elsewhere over Europe.
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
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Profile of Nosher
Lidar systems have been measuring the location,width and thickness of the 'non-existent' ash layers in Europe and the U.K. Manchester University's Geraint Vaughan's lidar system in Cerdigion was providing information to the MET.

Another terrific science story from the Daily Mail.
Escapemaster-in-chief from all sorts of houdingplaces - Finnegans Wake
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