Torrential rain, heavy snowfall, and mudslides have plagued the entire state of California this past week, taking their toll on Corona Municipal Airport (AJO). Flash flooding in the area covered nearly half of the airport in water several feet deep, submerging hangars and aircraft. Pilots worked to save aircraft that had not been flooded, breaking into hangars to relocate airplanes to higher ground as melting snow in the mountains caused the water level to continue rising for several days.
"My heart goes out to all those affected by the disastrous weather," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Thankfully, the water in that area has started to recede. That will be one less worry for pilots as they clean up the airport and tend to their families and homes."
A video clip (broadband connection recommended) from AOPA member Dan Checkoway, who is based at nearby Chino, California, shows flood water covering about half the runway at Corona. Some pilots used the exposed end of the runway to fly their aircraft to Chino Airport (CNO).
Corona's transient ramp, which typically can fit nearly 60 aircraft, has about 400 packed together, according to AOPA member Ron Rapp. A twin-engine Cessna 320 Skyknight didn't make it. It was spotted floating in the water at the west end of the airport.
As pilots clean up their hangars and aircraft, they can turn to the technical specialists in the AOPA Pilot Information Center and the AOPA Insurance Agency for answers to any of their questions about insurance, aircraft value, and more. The Pilot Information Center can be reached weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time, toll-free at 800/USA-AOPA, and the AOPA Insurance Agency weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central time, toll-free at 800/622-AOPA.
January 13, 2005