Flew to the eruption in Grimsvotn in Vatnajökull last night with helicopter pilot Reynir Petursson. Got a few nice pictures. All rights reserved.
Pilot Reynir Petursson called me 30 minutes afte the eruption started and suggested we go filming. Last year when the Eyjafjallajokull eruption started we lucked out and got the first images of that eruption – and then the airspace was shut down. We sold those exclusive pictures and footage all over the world through Reuters and AP. I saw that footage used anywhere from the Jon Stewart’s Tonight Show to President Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
It took us 90 minutes to fly to Grimsvotn with a strong wind against us. The eruption looked magnificent in the sunset. Once we landed 5 miles away from the crater the cold glacier air hit us like a truck. We tried to work outside but I only lasted for a couple of minutes. Pilot Reynir Petursson also didn’t want to stay on the ground for too long since it was very windy and the ash fall was unpredictable. The light was also disappearing and he needs visual reference which is difficult on a white glacier. Once we got off the ground again we had to stay low because there were so many lightnings all around the eruption. Getting hit by a lightning in that strong wind, extreme frost and next to a live volcano was not desirable. We made it back to Reykjavik at 2am. Now the airspace has been closed in a 20 nautical miles radius because of ash.