Archive | April, 2010

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Volcanic ash: who says flying’s not safe?

The problems with decisionmaking about whether to fly – or not – in the volcanic-ash-affected skies over Europe is that so little is known about these circumstances. The situation is unique in that this ash cloud is affecting a large area of intense aviation activity.   The Met Office weather research Dornier 228 at work Vocanoes somewhere on the planet […]

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Volcanic ash: the day we learned what it can do

It was on 24 June 1982 that the world learned, in dramatic fashion for the first time, precisely what kind of damage tropopausal volcanic ash can do to an aircraft. Since then a network of volcanic ash advisory centres – nine of them worldwide – have been set up to monitor occurrences and track their […]

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The Polish accident: circumstances

As more information emerges about the accident flight, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand the justification for its planning and execution in the marginal weather that prevailed. On 10 April the Polish air force Tupolev Tu154M operating the presidential flight took off from Warsaw for the 800km journey to Smolensk Severny (Smolensk North). The latter is a former air […]

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Behind the toxic smokescreen

Following the world’s first court verdict establishing the previously missing legal acceptance that there is a connection between contaminated cabin air and crew/passenger health, it’s a good time to examine the law and politics behind the courtroom arguments. We’ll start with a comparable set of legal circumstances in another industry: tobacco. This comparison is useful only as a study of the way […]

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