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
The Upwind Summer Scholarship Program, which gives high school students a chance to earn their private pilot certificate in the summer between their junior and senior year, is accepting applications for its 2015 scholarship.
It has an engine from the Golden Age of Aviation, an open cockpit, and a long-range cruise speed of about 90 mph. For the Seattle II, a Douglas World Cruiser reproduction, a brief first flight in December started a new chapter in a Seattle couple’s quest to fly it around the world in 2016.
During a 24-day pole-to-pole adventure filled with dynamic weather conditions and unanticipated routing changes of thousands of miles in a modified Lancair IV single-engine airplane capable of carrying 361 gallons of fuel in nine tanks, 68-year-old Bill Harrelson landed in North Carolina Jan. 21 unofficially shattering the pole-to-pole speed record.
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