The Finnish Air Force has released information on a flight of Boeing F-18 Hornet fighters whose engines were affected by airborne volcanic ash immediately prior to air space closures last Thursday.
“A post-landing inspection revealed accumulations of powdery volcanic dust in the aircraft’s air intakes. Imagery thus obtained indicated that even a short-duration flight inside an ash cloud may cause substantial damage to aircraft engines,” the Finnish Air Force says on its website.
According to the report, the fighters of the Lapland Air Command had been flying training missions over Northern Finland on Thursday morning while airspace was still open to traffic.
“Images show that ingested ash has melted under the extremely high temperatures – which may reach approximately 1,000 degrees centigrade – prevailing in the combustion chamber,” the report says.