Flying through sandpaper

aviation, photo

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(image courtesy of Robert Cole and PenAir)

Mt. Redoubt in Alaska is being pretty cranky. An eruption yesterday sent an ash cloud 32,000 feet into the sky causing Alaska Airlines to suspend flights to Anchorage.

Volcanic ash can cause incredible damage to aircraft engines as well as effecting instrumentation and, of course, playing havoc with visibility.  The FAA has issued a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) restricting the airspace around the volcano until further notice.