Silver lining to volcanic ash cloud:

May 18th, 2010

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ash cloud
Northern Europe’s air travellers may have been left grounded by clouds of ash created by the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajoekull, but one group of fliers were up, up and away. Hot air balloonists revelled in the empty skies.  West country balloonists took the opportunity to drift into normally prohibited air space over Bristol airport for previously unseen views.

Terry Chamberlain, 64, who is chairman of the Pennine Region Balloon Association, which represents amateur balloonists in the north of England, said: ‘The volcanic ash cloud had no detrimental impact on balloonists. Although the UK Civil Aviation Authority issued a notice that balloonists should keep clear of controlled air space, air traffic controllers were still working, so balloon pilots radioed them if they wanted to enter controlled air space. They were probably glad of someone to speak to,’ said Terry.

Moreover, in Stranraer Met Office scientists launched balloons into the sky to help measure the particle levels in the volcanic ash cloud.

If you are interested in hot air ballooning and want to get close and personal with the clouds, click here.

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