We were trying to get to London from Madrid in my plane to attend Google Zeitgeist. As I insisted in going there, and as the airports reopened, my pilots alerted me to the fact that the trick airlines are using to avoid the ash cloud is to fly long distances at very low altitudes.

This is something that I haven’t heard in the media. Flying long distances, at say 3000 feet, may be good to avoid the ash cloud, but it’s terrible for the environment. Aircraft consume twice the fuel to fly the same distance, and in general it is less safe. While most people think that low and slow may mean safety, the opposite is true in aviation where high and fast somehow works better.

We did not go in the end. We did not think it was safe to fly long distances at low altitude. And we did not know what effect that would have on the range of our small Citation Jet.

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steven on May 18, 2010  · 

Why didn’t you take the TGV/Eurostar?
Nice connection from Paris to London in 1hour…
Eg Fly to Paris first… imho only in the UK they close down at the moment the airports

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Martin Varsavsky on May 18, 2010  · 

Because I have 4 kids and I was afraid I could get stuck in the UK, as last time friends were there for 5 days.

Rafael Arribalzaga on May 18, 2010  · 

Do you really think it is possible that flight at 3000 feet? From Madrid to London? Madrid is 150 feet or so without Cantabria and the Pyrenees … Any idea as it should be the route to use? Greetings from Argentina!!

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steven on May 18, 2010  · 

How much time does it take to cross it by sea with your boat from Nord-Spain towards London/thames?

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javier on May 18, 2010  · 

It might be a waste of money, but you can buy in advance the eurostar and Paris – Madrid night train tickets. In case you don’t need them you don’t have to use them. It takes a longer time, but the difference is no so big because you’re sleeping.

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