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April 18, 2010
Iceland volcano part two
AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Major airlines that sent test flights into European air space found no damage Sunday from the volcanic ash that has paralyzed aviation over the continent, raising pressure on governments to ease restrictions that have thrown global travel and commerce into chaos. Is it safe to fly yet? Airline officials and some pilots say the passengerless test flights show that it is. Meteorologists warn that the skies over Europe remain unstable from an Icelandic volcano that continues to spew ash capable of knocking out jet engines. European Union officials said air traffic could return to half its normal level on Monday if the dense cloud begins to dissipate. Germany allowed some flights to resume. Eighty percent of European airspace remained closed for a devastating fourth day on Sunday, with only 4,000 of the normal 20,000-flight schedule in the air, said Brian Flynn, deputy head of operations for Eurocontrol, which supports the air traffic control network across the European Union's 27 states. (20 images)

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This aerial image shows the crater spewing ash and plumes of grit at the summit of the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier Saturday, April 17. A lingering volcanic ash plume forced extended no-fly restrictions over much of Europe Saturday, as Icelandic scientists warned that volcanic activity had increased and showed no sign of abating, a portent of more travel chaos to come. Although the ash plume has grown, a northerly wind was expected to allow enough visibility for scientists to fly over the volcano Saturday. AP / Arnar Thorisson / Helicopter.is


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This aerial image shows the crater at the summit of the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier Saturday, April 17. AP / Jon Gustafsson / Helicopter.is



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The volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air Saturday, April 17. The Icelandic volcano that has kept much of Europe land-bound is far from finished spitting out its grit, and offered up new mini-eruptions Saturday that raise concerns about longer-term damage to world air travel and trade. AP / Brynjar Gauti



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The volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air Saturday, April 17. AP / Brynjar Gauti



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A film crew working for the National Geographic sets-up on southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier after landing on the glacier, close to the volcanic eruption, on Sunday April 18. Scientists say that because the volcano is situated below the glacial ice cap, magma is being cooled quickly, causing explosions and plumes of grit. The eruption is ongoing and forecasters have predicted that light prevailing winds in Europe mean that the situation for air travel is unlikely to change in the coming days. AP / Reynir Petursson / Helicopter.is



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The volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air Saturday, April 17. AP / Brynjar Gauti



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Volcanic ash seen over Iceland's main ring road near Skogar, east of the eruption as the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air on Saturday, April 17. AP / Brynjar Gauti



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Farmers team up to prepare to rescue cattle from exposure to the volcanic ash at a farm in Nupur, Iceland, as the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air on Saturday, April 17. AP / Brynjar Gauti



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Farmers team up to rescue cattle from exposure to the volcanic ash at a farm in Nupur, Iceland, as the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air on Saturday, April 17. AP / Brynjar Gauti



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Wearing a mask and glasses against the smoke, dairy farmer Berglind Hilmarsdottir from Nupur, Iceland, looks for cattle lost in ash clouds on Saturday, April 17. AP / Brynjar Gauti



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The sun sets over the Lake Geneva as viewed from the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, a UNESCO site, on April 17. Nearly 17,000 flights in European airspace were cancelled Saturday as a vast cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland lingered over the continent. AFP / Fabrice Coffrini



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The sun sets over Epsom Down in south west London, Saturday, April 17. Britain's airports continue their closure as flights across UK have been grounded for the third day due to the volcanic ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull Glacier drifting across Europe, posing a potential threat to aircraft. AP / Sang Tan



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An information board displays cancelled flights at Birmingham International Airport in Birmingham, central England, April 17. Millions of people faced worsening travel chaos today as a volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, which risks lingering over Europe for up to five more days, forced countries to extend flight bans. AFP / Ben Stansall



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An aircraft with its engines covered in plastic sits parked at Geneva's Cointrin International Airport, on April 18, as planes were grounded as a result of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. AFP / Fabrice Coffrini



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Passengers queue at the Prat Llobregat airport, near of Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 18. All flights in and out of Barcelona's Prat Llobregat and 16 other Spanish airports were grounded due to a plume of volcanic ash drifting across Europe emanating from a volcanic eruption near the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland. AP / Manu Fernandez



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Passengers waiting in a line at Bilbao airport, northern Spain, Sunday April 18, after cancellations of all flights during several hours on two consecutive days. The airport was closed due to a cloud of volcanic ash in the upper atmosphere above much of Europe, emanating from a volcanic eruption near the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland. AP / Alvaro Barrientos



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Passengers line up to buy tickets at the central train station in Berlin on April 18. Air traffic remained seriously disrupted across Europe as a cloud of ash released from Iceland's volcanic eruption forced many countries to close their airspace. AFP / Theo Heiman



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Alisha Cole, 7, waits with her father Tim Cole, of Bristol, England, as he talks with a Virgin Atlantic employee in Chantilly, Va. on Saturday, April 17, after their flight to London from Dulles International Airport was canceled due to a plume of volcanic ash originating from a volcanic eruption in Iceland. AP / Jacquelyn Martin



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Pat Thomas, left, and her daughter Rhiannon Thomas, second from left, both from Birmingham, England, lie under a blue blanket and chat as they wait in Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport in the Queens borough of New York for their flight to Dublin, Ireland, Saturday April 17. AP / Tina Fineberg



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A passenger takes a nap at Cointrin Geneva's International Airport, on April 18, as planes were grounded following the volcanic eruption in Iceland. AFP / Fabrice Coffrini



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