..... Can just imagine what that volcanic dust would do to an engine. The air filter must clog up very quickly in such conditions. ....Exactly what I was thinking when I saw that photo. Being such a fine powder I would think it would also make it's way around wheel bearing seals, ball joints, tie rod ends, any breathers on the differential, transfer case, engine crankcase, etc.
What a mess that would be to have that dust laying all around like snow on the ground plugging drains and sifting into the house through every little crack.
I saw a program on TV sometime back, either "Air Emergency" or "Seconds From Disaster", that featured a story about a passenger jet that flew into volcanic ash. It was night and the pilots had no warning about the ash and they had no idea what was happening to them. Passengers saw flame like streamers emerging from the jets engines and the front surface of the wings were glowing! The engines started failing and the pilot decided to descend. When he did that the plane went below the ash and the engines came back to normal. Not knowing what had happened they returned to the higher altitude. That put them back into the ash. This time the pilot shut down the engines, I believe, and again he descended. Again, the engines started up and returned to normal. It took some time but they did find out what was happening by talking to someone on their radio. But, they were now blind
. They could not see out the front windscreens. They had been "sandblasted" by the ash particles!!! Whoa! I know they can land with instruments but it cannot be comfortable to not be able to see out the front of the plane!! Wish I could remember more about the incident. It was a great show. It will be on again. They show them pretty regular.