Archive | June, 2010

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Can Europe beat the ash next time?

Eyjafjallajokull is still there, temporarily dormant. So is its more powerful neighbour Katla. So the ash will be back. Surely, Europe has a plan this time? Well yes and no. Mainly no. A plan exists, but individual states have not signed up to it, so nobody really knows what will happen. There may be up […]

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The lonely airline pilot

How many pilots does it take to fly a commercial airliner? At the moment the regulators say two, but any aircraft could be flown by a single pilot. The most basic safety argument for requiring two is pilot incapacitation, but flightdecks are designed so that the one remaining fit pilot can bring the aircraft home […]

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Navigating through the ash

Dr Fred Prata is one of the boffins working with EasyJet and Airbus to test the feasibility of deploying passive infra-red sensor systems on aircraft to enable pilots to navigate safely through airspace contaminated with volcanic ash. In fact this passive IR ash detector system, called AVOID, was developed some years ago by the Climate and Atmosphere Department of […]

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