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ICAO4U – aviation language Tips for Flying in Areas of Active Volcanoes.

Tips for Flying in Areas of Active Volcanoes.

three tips
several volcanoes currently active

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) recently posted three tips for pilots flying in areas with active volcanoes, especially timely now with several volcanoes currently active, including Kilauea in Hawaii and Fuego in Guatemala.


ensure a wide clearance from …

The first rule when flying in an area of volcanic ash: don’t do it. Plan your route of flight to ensure a wide clearance from volcanic ash clouds. Abrasive volcanic ash can cause substantial damage to engines, pneumatic and hydraulic systems, as well as windscreens, contaminate oxygen systems, and block pitot/static systems.


receive current information
provide details regarding …

Several resources are available for pilots to receive current  information about volcanic ash activity. The nineVolcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAAC), SIGMETs and NOTAMs provide details regarding volcanic ash clouds and related information.


refresh knowledge on/ of … 
be prepared to respond appropriately
extend for hundreds of miles

If you’re planning to fly near areas of volcanic activity, refresh your knowledge of operations in volcanic ash before you go, and develop and document operating procedures. For example, if encounter volcanic ash, be prepared to respond appropriately by reducing thrust to idle (altitude permitting) and reversing course out of the ash cloud. Do not attempt to fly through or climb out of the ash cloud, as ash clouds can extend for hundreds of miles.

degraded breaking action

Pilots may stay clear of volcanic ash during flight, but then find ash has impacted their destination or departure airport. When landing at an airport with volcanic ash deposits on the runway, breaking action might be degraded. Pilots taking off from airports with volcanic ash deposits on the runway should wait for ash to settle before departing and might find it appropriate to delay flap extension.

ENTER HERE to watch the film about flying over an active volcano in Iceland.
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