Flight training on the RAF's Typhoon jets were 'temporarily suspended' today after ash deposits were discovered in an aircraft's engine.
Safety inspectors took the 'precautionary measure' to check all of the jets - costing £69million each - based at RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, after finding small deposits yesterday.
The move comes after UK airspace opened after a six-day lockdown caused by volcanic ash drifting south from Iceland.
An MoD spokesman added: 'These are very high performance jets so they are just being extra cautious.'
The ash was found on one of the jets which landed at the base yesterday.
He added that 'operational flying will continue'.
IN statement issued later, the MoD added: 'A small number of Typhoon fast jets were found yesterday to have volcanic ash deposits on them following routine post-flight inspections.
'Typhoon operational flying - such as the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) - has not been affected and continues.
'As a precautionary measure, non-essential flying – for example, Typhoon training - has been temporarily suspended pending the outcome of further checks and analysis.'
The development came as it emerged a pilot had to dramatically abort a flight travelling to rescue stranded passengers after reporting an 'intense' smell of volcanic ash and an engine fault.
In dialogue posted on the internet by flight enthusiasts, the pilot of the Boeing 757 heading from Manchester to Crete, alerts air traffic controllers to the problem at 20,000ft after take-off.
The revelation comes as flight training on RAF Typhoon was 'temporarily suspended' today after inspectors found deposits of ash in one of the fleet's engines.
The Boeing 757 pilot said: ‘We got the smell of the ash from about 16,000ft in the climb. It stayed with us even when we were well above flight level 200 [20,000ft].’
Moments later, the pilot says: 'We've lost one of our engine bleeds, possibly through a contaminated valve.'
He is then forced to return the aircraft to Manchester airport after making a detour over the North Sea.
The TCX952P Thomas Cook flight left the UK at 1am with just crew on board.
It was due to head to the Greek Island to rescue passengers stranded due to the Iceland volcano ash cloud chaos.
In the cockpit recordings, the unnamed pilot said: 'We've had the smell of ash in the aircraft and twice one of our enging bleed-airs has failed.
'We're pretty sure it's volcanic ash.'
It came on the first day the skies were re-opened and the government admitted it had been 'too cautious' after closing the airways for six days following the eruption of Eyjafjallokull.
When asked by the controller if the situation was an emergency, the pilot responded from the cockpit: 'Negative.
'But I think we may be requesting descent to 350 [35,000ft] when we've got ourselves sorted. We may be requesting further descent if we can't get this thing to pressurise properly."
The flight was then given permission to land at Manchester airport and the captain added: 'In the climb, we could smell the ash.
'The smell stayed on for a while. Once we'd levelled at 39 [39,000ft] we then lost one engine bleed, so we've taken all the required actions for volcanic ash encounter.'
The Boeing landed safely at after the pilot requested an immediate landing.
A spokesman for Thomas Cook denied the flight had been re-routed due to volcanic ash and blamed a 'minor technical fault with its air conditioning'.
She said the aircraft was back in service and had been used this morning for another rescue flight.
'When the Thomas Cook Airlines TCX 952P developed a minor technical fault with its air conditioning, we took the decision to return the aircraft to Manchester as a precautionary measure,' she added.
'The development of the fault categorically had nothing to do with volcanic ash and whilst there were no customers on board, at no point were our crew or the aircraft in any danger.
'The plane is already back in service and joining the many Thomas Cook Airlines rescue flights currently returning stranded passengers to the UK.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267996/Iceland-volcano-RAF-suspends-Typhoon-flight-training-ash-engine.html#ixzz0lqvU2MWb
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