Thursday, April 22


By REVSdaile.

Icelandic Volcano Claims Japanese Victim!

THE plume of volcanic ash spewing into the stratosphere from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland has claimed a victim in Japan – the MotoGP world championship round scheduled for the Motegi circuit north of Tokyo this weekend (April 25).

The Motegi race has been re-scheduled to October 3, a week before the Malaysian round of the championship.  This means the Asia-Pacific area will now host three MotoGP events in successive weekends:  Japan (Motegi), October 3; Malaysia (Sepang), October 10 and Australia (Philip Island), October 17.

High altitude volcanic ash presents a considerable danger to passenger jet aircraft.  The volcanic dust can stick to hot gas turbines and eventually lead to flame-out – as happened in 1982 to a British Airways flight enroute from London to Auckland.  The BA 747-236B flew into a cloud of volcanic ash from the Mount Galunggung volcano in Indonesia and lost power in all four engines.  And in 1989 a KLM 747 had all four engines fail when flew into a cloud that turned out to be volcanic ash while descending to Anchorage, Alaska.

For more on how volcanic ash effects jet aircraft, go to:

So with European airspace shut down due to the ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, the motorcycle Grand Prix Permanent Bureau met and decided that a case of ‘force majeure’ existed, which obliged it to postpone the Grand Prix of Japan.
In this they had the agreement of Japanese Grand Prix promoter, Mobilityland Corporation, a Honda-owned company.

As a result of this, the next race on the MotoGP calendar will be the Grand Prix of Jerez, Spain on May 2.

Meantime, for a British spin on how a 1783 Icelandic eruption led to crop failures, famine and a very cold northen hemispehere winter, go to: