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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Oh... it's a plane.

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Aaron Eccles | 12:32 UK time, Tuesday, 20 April 2010


A week ago, few of us could have predicted that our news agenda would be full of stories of a volcanic ash cloud causing travel chaos across much of Europe. Today, it's a story that's starting to feel all too familiar.

This morning, the Breakfast Phone-in had a panel of experts on to answer listeners' questions about volcanoes, airplanes, travel insurance and how long they could expect their mothers-in-law to be stuck abroad.
Great. My mother-in-law is stuck in States. Oh thank you so much Iceland. - Kev (Kent)

On 5 live Connect, many listeners have been getting in touch to say how much they enjoy seeing a bright blue sky without any planes or vapour trails. Here's a message that Sue left on Connect:
Perfect peace without planes overhead from Heathrow and City airports. - Sue (Bow)

Well all that ended this morning during Victoria Derbyshire's programme. After speaking to an expert about how long the UK's airspace would be closed, listeners started getting in touch in droves saying they could see planes in the sky again. And then the pictures started coming in...

Our text console began filling up with mobile phone photos of planes, like the ones above courtesy of Adrian in Fleetwood, Manda in Essex and Marian on the M25.

And then there was this comedy entry from Andy in Newcastle.


As Victoria talked about the photos on air, we published them on 5 live Connect and mentions of them started appearing on Twitter. Here's a tweet from Sarah:
Its all about mystery planes on @bbc5live this morning. Listeners are sending in pics like some UFO spotting frenzy. #ashtag

Well it wasn't quite UFOs but it's funny to think that planes flying over the UK could get people so excited. It also shows how well the Connect page can work when we let the listeners decide what to talk about. Thanks to everyone who got involved for making a radio chat about an ash cloud into an interactive experience with great photos that would have been incredibly dull on any other day. Well except Andy's - that one was funny.

Aaron Eccles is a senior producer at 5 live.

  • You can see all the photos sent into 5 live Connect here.



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