Last Ash Update for a While

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I don't know what the European aviation authorities will do tomorrow, but here are two interesting developments:

The British weather office is reporting "no significant ash above FL350." FL350, or Flight Level 350, is about 35,000 feet. (For another time: why it's not exactly 35,000 feet.) Not sure how they can be confident of this, but it's significant especially for planes flying over Europe en route some place else. The latest map, containing the altitude info. Click for larger.

Thumbnail image for VAG_1271634757.png

Also, our old friend FlightRadar24 is showing some airline flights in progress over Europe, at altitudes around FL350. For instance, a little while ago, this United flight en route from Dubai to Washington Dulles. (Click to see in detail.) That's the plane with the dark blue trail. The light blue crosses are airports. The other activity is, of course, centered on Istanbul.

Screen shot 2010-04-18 at 11.29.47 PM.png

So, who knows what tomorrow brings. That's it on this topic from me for a while. Back to "real" work. Thanks to Krishna Kumar, watching these developments at the same time I was.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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