A good number of aeroplanes are probably fine with huge amounts of ash clogging up their engines, airline chiefs said today .
As henpecked safety officials and worried passengers were ‘preparing for the big one’
airline bosses backed up my maverick scientists with a devil may care attitude to public safety insisted that the chances of you and your loved ones being wiped out in a horrific sulphur-tinged fireball of death are significantly less than fifty-fifty.
The news follows the results of a recent research flight which came back down coated in a heavy layer of soot with most of its engines working ‘just fine’, despite some minor damage to the fuselage , a heavily congested tail fin and an indeterminate problem with the landing gear.
Captain Stanley Leonard, lead pilot on the research mission, emerged from the plane white-faced and, with what appeared to be a large damp patch in the region of his groin, told a group of scientists funded by BA : ‘I pray to God you know what you are doing’ .
His co-pilot, Jeff Snelson, is reported to have bailed out at twenty thousand feet somewhere over the Faroe Islands after what officials describe as ‘an attack of hysterics’ brought about by ‘inexperience’ and an ‘insane wish to see out the rest of his adult life with all the existential problems that such a choice poses’.
Meanwhile scientists have drawn up new guidelines which will allow pilots to make informed choices as to the risk posed by millions of tonnes of highly-corrosive soot being sucked into engines which are primarily designed to cope with clean air and the occasional goose. The zones, published in conjunction with the Met Office, are listed as:
a) ‘Instant Death’ - a region which contains fifty thousand particles per cubic inch and indicated by a deep crimson colour with a superimposed skull and crossbones
b) ‘Iffy’ – between twenty and fifty thousand particles per cubic inch, shown as red on the map and an accompanying ‘worried face’ emoticon.
c) 'We Just Don’t Know' – fewer than twenty thousand particles pci, easily recognisable by the ‘person scratching their head’ emoticon and highlighted on maps by a striking yellow hue which closely resembles the gigantic piss stain on Captain Leonard’s trousers.