In this edition of quirky aviation news, just as the world forgets the Icelandic volcano that caused flight delays and ash-gate, CASA tell us nature is back at work reviving a primordial threat: locusts.
"Locusts can fly up to 3000 feet and can be in swarms of up to 50 million," CASA warns. "In sufficient numbers they can mask ground features and cause reduced visibility by impacting windscreens. Ingestion of locusts into engine intakes and pitot tubes can cause damage and result in instruments providing unreliable readings."
Adding to the threat mixture, CASA says "locust infestations can attract large bird numbers, increasing the risk of aircraft bird strikes."
The flying grasshoppers have already been found in "high density" hatchings in central west and far west of NSW, north-west Victoria and the Flinders Range region of South Australia, CASA says, warning they could travel further. "Individual swarms can range over tens or even hundreds of kilometres. The insects are also active at night, travelling up to hundreds of kilometres in the right conditions."
Unlike volcanic ash, locusts have not--yet--lead to any flight cancellations, but like ash can result in dirty situations: