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Bushfires & Effect Of Airliners.

Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:23 am

As most of you would be aware from the news coverage,

and if living in Victoria the blanket of smoke around the state, massive bushfires are raging through North-Eastern Victoria (bottom ot Australia) with thick smoke billowing all over the state, especially around Melbourne Airport,

My question is would that amount of smoke have any ill effect of aircraft flying in?
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RE: Bushfires & Effect Of Airliners.

Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:57 pm

Cannot speak of the effect on aircraft but as wood smoke is not made up of the hard rock particles that volcano plumes are often comprised of the effect is likely less.
What I do know is back in, must have been the time of the horrendous 1994 fires here in NSW, flying back into Sydney from the USA you could smell the bushfire smoke in the cabin some hundreds of miles out to sea.

If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
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RE: Bushfires & Effect Of Airliners.

Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:06 pm

I think there were delays on Saturday because of the smoke. It was pretty bad at times.
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RE: Bushfires & Effect Of Airliners.

Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:19 pm

IIRC a bush-fire was blamed to be the reason for an a/c crash (engine flame-out) few years agon in Asia (Indonesia?), but I'm not sure.

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RE: Bushfires & Effect Of Airliners.

Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:54 pm

Forest fires may also sometimes cause flight crew to lose situational awareness under heavy workload and nearly land at a general aviation airport rather than the planned destination airport.

The incident I'm thinking of is the one at Vernon (rather than Kelowna), British Columbia, Canada several years ago. They had been flying VFR because the full Kelowna ILS approach could not be flown due to emergency restricted areas [due to the nearby fires].

Around that time, there also were serious forest fires in another Canadian province, causing low-vis flying across a fairly large area. No big deal if flying IFR, but VFR wasn't too much fun while flying NORDO. I vaguely remember visibility was approx 1-2 miles at best and was rather hazy. It was also strange to smell burnt air and see bits of ash hundreds of miles from the source.

Volcanic ash is truly nasty stuff; forest fire ash isn't a big deal per se other than reduced visibility when flying VFR. I'm not sure what bush fire byproducts are like.

EDIT: clarified why the Air Canada crew didn't fly IFR into Kelowna.

[Edited 2006-12-11 11:56:02]