April 14, 2014
By Dan Namowitz
Thousands of Michigan residents remained without power late April 14 after strong winds toppled trees and power lines, peeled back roofs, and destroyed at least three general aviation aircraft the evening of April 12.
Three privately owned single-engine Cessnas—two Skyhawks and a Cutlass RG—that had been tied down outside at Lakeview Airport-Griffith Field in Lakeview, Mich., were total losses after being ripped free and tossed about, said Roy Matthews, the assistant airport manager, assessing the damage April 14.
Two more aircraft, including a Stearman biplane, were damaged inside hangars "when the doors blew in," Matthews said in a telephone interview. The Stearman took damage to its wings and tail, but the aircraft was probably repairable, he said.
Three hangars also incurred substantial damage from the wind storm, he said.
The village manager described damage in the community of Lakeview Village as "immense," reported a local newspaper as cleanup proceeded.
At Detroit’s Coleman A. Young International Airport, a Young Eagles flight program for youth run by the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum, and Detroit’s Chapter of the Tuskegee was grounded Sunday after only 18 rides because of the strong winds, said a news account.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
Wind and Gusts,
Safety and Education
Veteran airshow pilot Charlie Schwenker was flying slower to help wing walker Jane Wicker get into position on the modified Stearman’s bottom wing.
Many in-flight emergencies arrive with fanfare: annunciator lights, engine sputtering, smoke. Hypoxia may insinuate itself into the cockpit quietly, without the pilot even knowing. In its subtlety lies danger.
The Tiger seats four, has a 180-hp engine, and burns 10 gph.
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