Scientists establish how much volcanic ash jet engine can safely suck in

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Washington, April 22 (ANI): The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) claims to have succeeded in establishing volcanic ash levels that a jet engine can safely take in following a slew of engine strip-downs and instrumented test flights through Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull's ash clouds.

"Current international procedures recommend avoiding volcano ash at all times," New Scientist quoted CAA, as saying.

The public corporation added: "Manufacturers have now agreed increased tolerance levels in low-ash-density areas."

According to the CAA, it used two sources to establish the new standard.

The first was the findings of the UK National Environmental Research Council's propeller-driven instrumented test aircraft, which has been flying monitoring missions near the ash plume all week.

The second was a three-hour Boeing 747 test flight undertaken by British Airways, after which its engines were taken off and analysed for damage.

Jim McKenna, the CAA's head of airworthiness, said engine makers General Electric, Pratt and Whitney and Roll-Royce, as well as plane makers Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier were instrumental in drawing up the new standards.

The volcanic ash tolerance level set by the CAA is a concentration of 0.002 grams per cubic metre at regular cruise altitudes.

Any airspace with a greater ash concentration is not safe for aircrafts. (ANI)

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