News – No Ash On The Horizon

Be me
The only photo me too, copyrighted

With the sky eerily devoid of contrails and the comm frequencies populated by nothing more than static and random noise, I thought I’d at least make some light of the current unenviable situation and head out to Lučko for some spotting, expecting a more spectacular sunset that usual. The surface front of the ash cloud had caught up with us in the morning, having forced a preemptive closure of the country’s northern airspace at 2 AM local (midnight UTC). Interestingly the airspace was closed for all flights, VFR and IFR, in contrast with Western and Middle European airspace where a “zero flow rate” was imposed – that is, no IFR flight flow was permitted (or more specifically, no IFR clearances would be given), leaving VFR flights to operate at their own risk. Forced to dump the idea of taking a short hop above the field – for the dubious honor of being the only aircraft flying in this part of the country 😀 – I took the camera and went to see what had Eyjafjallajökull thrown at us…

At 18:53 local (16:53 UTC) on 17 April, things weren't looking all that out of the ordinary. Only a slight, vague haziness in the distance - reminiscent of Saharan sand that had on occasion been blown across the Balkans - told of the presence of the ash cloud, here with a concentration 1000 times less than above Iceland (as per the met office)...

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