An unnamed diplomat says several NATO F-16s have engine damage from flying through the Iceland volcano ash cloud. “Glasslike” particles were found inside the jet engines after a mission to patrol European airspace.
Volcanic ash tends to stick to a jet engine’s interior parts, such as the turbines, where it melts to form a glassy coating. This restricts air flow and heats up the engine, leading to engine failure.
There was no word on when the damage was done to the F-16s, whether in the earlier days of the eruption of The Eyjafjallajokull or more recently. Lufthansa reports that their test flights had no damage to their aircraft. Some flights will resume service over Europe tomorrow.