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Hawai‘i Volcano Overflight Video: Lava Before the Storm

March 28, 2018, 8:47 AM HST
* Updated April 5, 9:57 AM
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Footage was shot by Mick Kalber at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Kawika’s Song by Hilo’s own Ben Kaili.

Rainy weather scrubbed Paradise Helicopters’ regular Thursday overflight, but a window of opportunity, weather-wise, allowed them to access Kīlauea’s east rift eruption zone and document ongoing activity on Saturday, March 24, 2018—just ahead of the rain that morning.

Because of a low, thick cloud cover over the upper slopes, the crew visited the area just above the Pulama Pali to observe a number of small breakouts, then another amazing ‘a‘a flow on the western lobe advancing down the steep hillside.

The clouds and steam closes in over the large breakout just east of the vent, chasing the crew out of the area on March 24, 2018. PC: ExtremeExposure

Steamy conditions allowed them only a few minutes above several very large flows and skylights near Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

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Recent rains caused billows of steam, creating a volcanic wonderland!

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An obscure opening in the low cloud cover presented an opportunity for Pilot Sean Regehr to sneak the crew in over the a huge breakout on the upper spillway, approximately .5 miles from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, before clouds once again enveloped the area.

Numerous smaller, but still sizable breakouts on and above the Pali were also discovered.

A luminous skylight shone prominently on the otherwise dreary upper flow field. There were dozens of little skylights in the area… and skylights are quite uncommon. March 24, 2018.

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