Airline Passengers Amused As Plane Takes Detour To See Iceland's Erupting Volcano

Airline passengers were given a once-in-a-lifetime, fantastic view of an erupting volcano in Iceland from above as the pilot took a slight detour.


(Photo : Pexels/Peter Stewart)

Simple Flying reported that on July 10, PLAY Airlines aircraft OG122 took off from New York Stewart International Airport bound for Keflavik International Airport.

The plane, an Airbus A321neo, got off on time, albeit nine minutes later than planned.

As the plane approached Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, the captain decided to offer the passengers a surprise as it made a quick diversion through Keflavik to a volcano eruption about 10 miles from the airport ten minutes before arrival.

The vibrant red and orange colors are putting on a spectacular show.

The lava can be seen erupting from the volcano, accompanied by an ash cloud in the sky above.

In an interview with ABC News, Matthew, one of the passengers onboard the flight, was in awe.

“Ten minutes before landing, the captain told us with a very happy voice. He took a little detour over the eruption site and just turned around and so everyone could see it on both sides. It was just unreal. We could just see a fountain of lava emerging from the earth. It was an amazing experience,” he said.

On Saturday, another PLAY Airlines flight made the same detour.

Most of the passengers on PLAY Airlines flights from Europe get the chance to see erupting volcanoes, as the flight path for arriving aircraft passes close to the site.

Read Also: Volcanic Eruption in Iceland Threatens to Shut Down Air Travel in US and Europe

Danger of flying over erupting volcano

Authorities do not recommend flying over erupting volcanoes.

When a volcano erupts, it spews a large cloud of volcanic ash into the atmosphere, which is disastrous for planes.

“When a plane flies through an ash plume, it ingests that ash and it melts. It gets so hot that it actually turns into liquid that collects in the cooler parts of the jet engine. This buildup can block the engine and bring it to a halt. And if the engine fails, the aeroplane starts falling out of the sky,” said Mike Burton, Professor of Volcanology at the University of Manchester, as reported by Euro News.

In 1982, British Airways flight 009, a Boeing 747, had quadrupole engine failure after flying through volcanic ash near Jakarta, Indonesia.

All of the engines failed, and the plane plummeted to the ground until the pilots were able to restart the engines at an altitude of roughly 4,000 meters and make a successful emergency landing in Jakarta.

Seven years later, a KLM plane made another dramatic emergency landing in Alaska after its engines failed while flying into an ash cloud from Mount Redoubt.

Volcanic activities in Iceland

Iceland is known as the “Land of Fire and Ice” because of its numerous volcanoes and glaciers.

Previous reports said that the volcanic activity began on July 10, around 30 kilometers from Reykjavik. This came after a 5.2-magnitude earthquake hit the country.

So far, the activities of the volcano have not disrupted the operation of the airport as well as the flights or travel of tourists.

Related Article: A Look Inside the Earth: Iceland Volcanic Eruption Opens Opportunitites for Extensive Study

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