Volcanic ash causes travel problems - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Volcanic ash causes travel problems

LONDON (ABC)--  The Friday morning headlines in Britain call it "air chaos" and "paralyzing."  Every plane there, grounded until at least Saturday morning.  In the U.S., it means no planes are leaving for northern Europe, which might include Air Force One, scheduled to take the President to Poland this weekend. Thick volcanic ash from that Iceland volcano can quickly cripple any jet that flies through it.  Passengers on the nearly 700 daily flights between the U.S. and Europe are stranded.

The chaos is all caused by a volcano in Iceland erupting beneath a glacier.  It's continuing to spew ash and molten debris into the air, causing floods and bringing European air traffic to a near halt. 

As the ash moves eastwards across Europe and into Russia, it's showing now sign of letting up.  Air travel has been thrown into turmoil, and some airports are expected to remain closed over the weekend, as the volcano continues erupting ash into the atmosphere. 

It's a dangerous situation because the fine rock particles present in the volcanic ash can cause immense damage to an aircraft's engines, if ingested, it can cause the plane to stall mid-flight. 

Any hint of danger lingering in the air means that authorities have to proceed very carefully with how quickly they can allow flights to resume as the ash could potentially cause more problems over the coming weeks.

This morning, Germany closed eleven of its international airports.  Most air space over Poland is closed, which could delay Sunday's funeral for President Lech Kaczynski.  

Online Reporter: Jill Courtney

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