3 News/AP: Volcano in Iceland: Questions and Answers

Questions and answers about the volcanic ash cloud in Iceland, and its effects

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Q. How do we know this cloud is dangerous to airplanes?

“A. A NATO F-16 fighter suffered engine damage after flying through the cloud, a Western diplomat said.

“Q. Can’t planes just fly above the ash?

“A. With current technology, scientists can’t pinpoint just exactly where the top of the cloud is, Osiensky said. Planes might have to ascend or descend through it anyway. And planes can’t fly below the cloud because ash falls out of the cloud to all levels. So warnings extend from the calculated top of the cloud to the ground.”