The Alaska Volcano Observatory is celebrating its 25th anniversary today. It was created in 1988, two years after a large eruption of Augustine volcano near Homer created problems for the Anchorage area and the airport. The next year, in December 1989, Mount Redoubt erupted, sending an ash plume more than 30 thousand feet in the air. When a passenger jet on it’s way to Anchorage encountered the ash, it lost power to all four engines. The airplane plummeted nearly 20,000 feet before the pilots were able to regain control and land safely in Anchorage.
John Power is the scientist in charge of AVO and has been with the agency since its first year. He says that dramatic airline incident highlighted one of the main hazards from volcanic ash.
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