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Hi Academias,

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi erupted Saturday with pyroclastic flows of searing gas clouds and lava. Almost half of Merapi’s eruptions have always been carrying superheated gases and incandescent solid particles.

Merapi, on the densely populated island of Java, unleashed clouds of hot ash and a mixture of rock, lava and gas that traveled up to 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) down its slopes.

The eruption surely triggered authority to do safety mitigation for residents evacuation. Praying utmost safety for all.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.
The eruption is not merely effecting land transportation within Magelang and also neighboring cities of Yogyakarta and Semarang but also impact serious alert for air transportation.

The aviation community and much of the world learned in about 1982 , triggered by massive eruption of Gunung Galunggung in Indonesia, a British Airways B747 aircraft lost power on all four engines while flying at 11 300 m (37 000 ft) from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Perth, Australia. Fortunately the pilots were able to glide the Boeing 747-200 far enough to exit the ash cloud, before three of the engines were restarted, allowing the crippled flight to divert to Jakarta and perform a safe landing.

Three weeks later another aircraft, a B747 of Singapore Airways bound for Melbourne, Australia, reported a similar incident. This time power was lost on two engines and the aircraft also diverted successfully to Jakarta.

Volcanic ash can damage an airplane in multiple ways. One of the most dangerous is by gumming up the engine. Volcanic ash contains tiny glass particles that can melt in a jet engine’s heat. This molten glass can stick to key components, cutting the engine’s power, or killing it completely, reports natural hazards.

Expert also said at such high speeds, ash pummeling the exterior of the plane can also break antennas, cloud windscreens, and generate static electricity that distorts navigation and communication signals. If ash flies into tubes that measure airspeed, it can also break the plane’s speedometer.
Impact with an airframe or ingestion by an engine (or engines) of volcanic ash and gases can adversely affect the performance of an aircraft in flight a number of ways including engine surge or stall/flame out, erosion of avionics and engine components, choking of filters and pipes, degradation of fuel performance, abrasion of windshields and other leading edges, and corrosion of metallic surfaces due to the presence of acid droplets.
Due to those severe impacts , flying within any volcanos eruptions shall be avoided at all means. And for sure passengers have to be educated properly and shall be bond to accept safety as priority.

Salam Sehat dan Semangat

Bambang Purnomo , SS-BA, CSCA, CAVM Solution Consultant

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