When I went to bed last night the skies were still free of aircraft and the plume of volcanic ash was getting thicker all the time. By morning, the fairy godmother of airlines had waved her magic wand and all airports were open. The explanation was unconvincing. There were claims of new scientific discoveries that mean that the volcanic ash is no longer 'the wrong sort of ash' and that it doesn't harm jet engines. The evidence for this seems to be a couple of flights carrying the chairman of BA and persistant lobbying by Ryan air. It is not difficult to work out that in these days of risk assessment, it has now been judged that the risk to the economy of having an indefinate grounding of all aircraft outweighs the risk of a couple of plane crashes.
A colleague asked her father if he would get in a plane at the moment and he replied 'only if it was a jumbo jet with 4 engines and two were turned off and kept in reserve for when the other two seize up after hitting a cloud of ash. On the news they reported that Easyjet were operating flights but no one was turning up for them! Can't say I blame them.
Someone commented to me tonight that in all this all we have heard about is grounded flights and British holiday makers stuck overseas. No one seems to give a thought about the people of Iceland who are living with the volcano on a day to day basis.
Ian sent me this message today. It was sent to a friend of his who is a horse rider.
I know you are a “horse friend” so I send you some pictures and latest news about our volcano and the Icelandic farmers.
Here is a link with amazing pictures about our volcano.
But here is tragedy, too. The first farmers begin to send their animals to the slaughter houses for they do not have enough space in their stables for all the animals. They send horses, sheep and cattle. Some of them can not use their grounds for the next years because of the ashes and have to abandon their farm. That is quite sad, some of they ran the farms for ages in the same family…… all Icelanders are quite touched by their fate……..
My horses are still save as long as the wind does not change directions.