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I popped over to Radar Virtuel to see how things were doing, after El Reg reported on the, uh, lack of actual data used by the MET Office predictions that helped close much of Europe's airspace for the last, wow, nearly a week...
To say I got a surprise was an understatement. The map was alive with a heaving mass of metal, all apparently not falling out of the sky.
I said to mom that two planes will be coming in from the south west. One from Peru, one from Mexico, both going to Dusseldorf. And, lo, there they were... (mom was dead impressed by that ☺)
...except for the wussy Brits!
Here's the Radar Virtuel map, time as indicated. There are flights crossing British airspace, to Chicago and Houston, and I could have sworn one said Uranium City?
The only only flight that looks like it is specific to the UK? Indicated. A Cessna.
Of course, you could say that the UK is playing it safe (i.e. waiting to see how many of these planes crash&burn), but on the other hand, can you imagine being stuck on The Canaries or somewhere watching a load of Germans boarding a Lufthansa to go home while your British airports are still closed?
Vee get zee towels, vee get zee deck chair, vee get zee airplane. Auf Wiedersehen, baby!
And the worst bit? You just can't argue...
The BBC reported:
Meanwhile, British Airways has said 12 long-haul flights were currently en route to Heathrow, from Beijing, Singapore and the US west coast.
So in other words, planes are coming to land in Heathrow, but it is apparently unlikely Heathrow (or anything near) will be open. Uhhh... Land in Paris and wait forever to see if there's a place on EuroStar?
A spokeswoman said the airline had contingency plans for each flight if Heathrow was still closed but would not say which airports it would use instead.
Flights in the south of the UK are unlikely to resume on Tuesday.
Late evening update - more British logic
As the girl said, numerous times, it is a highly fluid situation.
Heathrow (and others) reopened late this evening. I get the feeling they were pushed somewhat, as something like twenty transatlantic flights were already in the air and heading towards Heathrow. The first three flights to arrive were diverted to other European airports, but given the number of flights already en route plus the number of operational European airports plus the leading news sites not reporting all these planes falling out of the sky...
...to keep British airports closed any longer would have been an embarrassment, above and beyond the flack the MET Office is getting, not to mention the closures were based more on theory and conjecture than solid facts.
If a plane should crash this week...
...I hope that people will wait for actual evidence if a plane should crash this week, rather than screaming about the ash cloud from the unpronouncable volcano (it is ay-a-fyat-la-yo-koot). There are many reasons a plane could crash - two are listed on PlaneCrashInfo.com for April 13th alone.
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|Rob, 20th April 2010, 23:12|
I gather they started by allowing flights that could go over the top of the ash.. but with 22000 flights a day normally across Europe, you can have 99.99995% of all flights going without a hitch and still get one drop out of the sky every day!
|Robin, 22nd April 2010, 02:01|
I feel like I missed out. I wish I'd flown over to see my friends and had an excuse to stay an extra week. And some people got to ride on navy ships! That would've been kinda cool too.
|Rick, 22nd April 2010, 02:26|
It was really something to see the first plane come over after silence for such a long time (it was a bit weird actually). And, hey, what a show - a big jumbo flying a fair bit lower than usual. The picture doesn't do it any justice.
But, wait... the planes start to fly and all of a sudden our lovely sunny days cloud over. Coincidence? <stir!><stir!>
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