Flying over the volcano
• Flying over the volcano
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines was one of the most powerful in the 20th century. 2 Air Force Base and the US Navy have been destroyed, the 40-kilometer zone around was covered with ashes.
Today in the crater of the volcano is incredibly beautiful lake with water gently turquoise. In this feature, I will talk about the flight of the volcano on a small light aircraft Cessna-172.
Fly on a small sports plane can be almost anywhere, but much more interesting to do it in a very ideological position. That's why when he saw the opportunity to fly to the crater of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, I thought long :)
Pinatubo - active volcano, located on the Philippine island of Luzon, 93 km north-west of the capital Manila and 26 kilometers west of the city of Angeles. Its height is 1486 meters today, and before the eruption in 1991, it amounted to 1 745 m. Prior to this eruption of the volcano was considered extinct.
The last eruption of Mount Pinatubo occurred in June 1991, the first time in 611 years. From the eruption and its aftermath killed 875 people. The eruption destroyed the strategic US air base Clark, located 18 km from the Mount Pinatubo and the US naval base. The eruption was recognized as one of the strongest in the XX century (6 points on a scale eruptions). Pinatubo development activity happening very rapidly. The first signs of activity were found in April 1991. After the quake appeared over the top of a pair of pole. Philippine authorities have decided on the immediate evacuation of the population within a radius of 20 km (about 40 thousand inhabitants) from the volcano. 7 June over the top of the volcano started to form a dome viscous magma extruded pressurized gas inside the mountain.
The eruption lasted from 12 to 17 June 1991. The maximum height of the eruptive column was 34 km. Ashes thrown this eruption closed the impenetrable veil of the sky plot area of 125,000 km². The territory in this area for a few hours plunged into total darkness. Ashes dropped in Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia. In just a few days of the eruption was thrown about 10 cubic kilometers of rock (according to this indicator, it is inferior in the XX century, only the eruption of Katmai-Novarupta in Katmai National Park in Alaska).
The consequences of Pinatubo eruption were felt worldwide. It led to the most powerful release of aerosols into the stratosphere since the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. Over the following month in an atmosphere observed global layer of sulfuric acid mist. temperature drop was recorded at 0, 5 ° C, and excessive reduction of the ozone layer, in particular, the formation of very large ozone hole over Antarctica. Other notable effect of dust in the atmosphere was the appearance of lunar eclipses. Normally, even in the middle of the eclipse of the moon is visible, but within a year after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the moon remained barely visible during eclipses because of a much greater absorption of sunlight by dust in the atmosphere.
At least 16 commercial aircraft were damaged after a collision with an ash cloud. A total of 10 motors have been damaged and replaced, including all four of the engine 747.
A huge crater 2, 5 km, formed by the eruption of 1991, is the centerpiece. The eruption is not accompanied by a gathering of debris avalanches from the summit and slopes of the mountain. The crater lake was formed from rain food, the level of which is gradually rising (up to 1 m per month), while in 2008 most of the water from the crater was drained to prevent flooding of the surrounding area in case of a sharp rise in the level of the rainy season. The initial temperature of the water in the lake was + 43C, + 26C today.
There are two ways to see the volcano: a one-day trekking to the volcano, including a guide, all the permits, travel by jeep to the starting point of the ascent. Cost - 60-80 dollars. At the lake in the crater at the same time you can buy! The second option - is to look at Pinatubo on top of a small single-engine light aircraft. Runway and clouds over the mountain range, it is there is Pinatubo:
The flight lasts 1 hour and at double or quadruple aircraft Cessna-152 or Cessna-172. Cost - $ 100. The best time of year to fly - November-March (dry season), most likely will be minimal cloudiness early in the morning and afternoon. I booked the flight at 9.00 am, the sun shone clear and single cloud floated over me ... but the mountain range and Mount Pinatubo was densely covered with clouds. The weather was changing rapidly, and soon the whole sky overcast ... The sky was relatively clear until after noon, I took off at 16.00 (!) Instead of the planned 9.00.
Before the flight, the pilot checks according to a check-list:
Omni Aviation air base above:
In order to somehow get people back to the devastated area after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo Philippine government has established here a special economic zone (Clark Free Port Zone), land rent was virtually free, but do not forget that all this land had to be cleared of volcanic layer ash that had covered everything in a radius of 40 km. On the site of a former US military base Clark built a low-cost airport (CRK aeropotra code).
Supervisory Control Mission as a small light aircraft, as well as large passenger and freight carried from the tower Clark Airport.
I flew on four-seater plane Cessna-172, he was currently free, but this day I was a tourist one. On the plane quite noisy, but in dense insulation gorgeous headphones and hear all the talks with the tower.
An old airplane at the bottom:
And there are mountains:
Riverbed, which is formed by pyroclastic flows after the eruption:
And the volcano itself. Incredibly beautiful both on-site and on fotgrafii:
What is good in small plane - it is an opportunity to open a window, but it opens in the vertical plane, so to capture the overall plan will still need to shoot through the glass. And, you can piglets pilot: "A little more to the left, right, above, below ..." :)
Making the crater two circles at different heights, we flew back to see along the way some concert hall:
cottages and a water park:
The cottage village in Angeles:
And this is the usual plan view of the town in Asia:
Angeles City and other extinct volcano on the background:
Sticker with the radio frequency in the cockpit:
The pilot, with whom I flew - Jeffry Neil Mabborang:
The flight on a small plane - a very interesting experience, very different experience from staying in the sky: