Will Icelandic Ash Ruin Airplane Travel Forever?


It’s starting to seem that way! If it’s grounding Obama, you know something is seriously wrong. But it’s making for some killer photos.

The unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption continues to unleash clouds of ash up to four miles high, leading to the cancellation of thousands of flights worldwide, including the one that would have sent President Obama to the funeral for Polish president Lech Kaczyński and his wife, who died last week in a plane crash. If the U.S. military doesn’t have some sort of smoke-defeating device for emergency flights, then how will Ryanair or Lufthansa ever fly again?

Forever is a mighty long time though — it could just be until Wednesday. But that Mother Nature sure is touchy. “We’re into the third day of this; there is no sign of this abating,” said one analyst. “It may go on into the middle of next week, and it’s going to get more difficult before it gets better.”

But you’d think Roland Emmerich was directing this thing if you just read the headlines:

Today, Huffington Post busted out the huge font on the homepage to display the Lost-referencing headline “SMOKE MONSTER,” amid announcements that the ash-oriented delays would last well into the week. CNN says it’s “volcano chaos,” and the “crisis deepens.” One dairy farmer said, “This is bad. There are no words for it.” But that’s why we pay you for milk, not meteorology.

Speaking of experts, Fox News puts the air safety question to those in the know. “You Decide: Should Airlines Be Pressing to Resume Flights?” On one hand, “stranded passengers are fed up.” On the other hand, the engine of your plane might get clogged and kill you. So why don’t we all just be patient and look at the beautiful photos.