Icarus and The Iceland Volcano: A Pilot’s Inside Scoop

by W.M. Wiggins

Do you remember Icarus from Greek Mythology? Well, he may have been the first and original flyboy……… you see, piloting goes w-a-a-a-y back.

Icarus and his father, Daedalus, were being held captive in a sky-high tower of that nasty King Minos of Crete… and it was a far piece to the ground, let me tell you….even by Texas standards.

Icarus’ father, Daedalus, who was widely recognized as the master of ingenuity, concocted flyable wings from bee’s wax and feathers. That was just about all the material to be found in that high, old tower. Once those bird-like wings were securely mounted on Icarus and Daedalus, they were almost ready to take flight…but first, that obligatory pre departure briefing.

“Son”, says Icarus’ father, “Don’t fly too close to the Sun or too close to the water.” “If you do, son, you will be in a h-e-a-p of trouble.”

Well, we know the rest of the story. Icarus, flying in a loose formation behind his father, became bored. He zoom-climbed high toward that hot, hot, sun…melting the wax that held the feathers in place. Ploop! Into the sea he went and drowned.

Fast forward. That was then, this is now.

Iceland’s EYJAFJALLAJOKULL volcano (that’s easy for you to say) goes Ka Boom!

In this explosive eruption, volcanic ash is taken tens of thousands of feet into the air….and that’s the rub. Jet airliners need to fly in this airspace.

So, what’s the Big Deal? Ash, that’s just like dirtier dirt…right?


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Under the Volcanic Ash

by Rachel Dickinson

I was offered a sweet little gig to come to Ireland for two weeks and blog about my travels. I was set up with fabulous rooms in fabulous hotels across the country and then my job was to wander about, find a story, take some photos, then come back and post once or twice a day.

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