The following are general recommendations as summarized by Boeing in 2011. Each operator's flight operations manuals may include more specific instructions.

  • Flight conditions permitting, reduce thrust to idle immediately; turn the autothrottles off.
  • Exit the ash cloud as quickly as possible; a 180-degree turn out of the ash cloud, using a descending turn, may be the quickest exit strategy.
  • Turn on the engine and wing anti-ice devices.
  • Turn on all air-conditioning packs.
  • If possible, start the auxiliary power unit.
  • If volcanic ash reaches the flight deck, the crew may need to use oxygen.
  • Turn on the continuous ignition.
  • Monitor the engine exhaust gas temperature.
  • Fly the aircraft by monitoring air speed and pitch attitude.
  • The Air Line Pilots Association's Safety Department further recommends:

  • Do not attempt to climb out of the ash cloud.
  • Perform engine restart, if necessary.