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Aircraft, hangars damaged in Michigan wind storm

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.

The wind storm that swept through Michigan flipped Cessnas tied down outside Lakeview Airport in Michigan. Photo courtesy of Michael Matthews.

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.

A Stearman was damaged when the wind blew in the hangar doors at Lakeview Airport. Photo courtesy of Michael Matthews.

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.


Tiedowns couldn't hold the Cessna down against strong winds that hit Lakeview, Mich. Photo courtesy of Michael Matthews.
Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: Weather, Training and Safety

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