Storm causing aircraft to make emergency landings due to “smoke”

Easyjet: Inside the Cockpit

A storm which is currently battering Ireland and the UK has had an odd effect on aircraft making it appear as if there is smoke in the cockpit resulting in emergency landings.

The phenomenon is being caused by dust from the Sahara which has been pulled up to the UK as the storm approached. That, combined with ash from forest fires in Portugal and Spain, has made pilots detect smoke or fumes on the flight deck, a situation that requires an immediate emergency landing.

So far today flights from Easyjet, Virgin, Aurigny and British Airways have all seen aircraft declare emergencies with smoke in the cockpit. These have all been linked to ex-hurricane Ophelia.

The Sahara dust effects also resulted in an unusual reddish sky across parts of England & Wales which made the sun appear as a red disc.

In a statement regarding the atmospheric conditions, the Met Office said: “The same southerly winds that have brought us the current warmth have also drawn dust from the Sahara and smoke from wildfires occurring over northern Iberia (Spain/Portugal) to our latitudes.”

ex-Hurricane Ophelia is expected to continue to bring disruption to air travel until 23:00hrs this evening.

About Lisa Parkes 148 Articles
Lisa is an aviation and engineering journalist who has written for several headline news outlets. Originally from the US, she now calls Swansea her home and keeps a keen eye on the growing aviation industry in Wales.