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Storm wrecks aircraft at Arizona airport

A powerful storm tore through Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, Arizona, September 12, leaving a swath of destruction including wrecked aircraft and damaged hangars.

Photos courtesy of Trevor Jones.

Airport officials and locals spent the next morning assessing the damage and cleaning up the destruction that included significant damage to many hangars, businesses, and aircraft, including hangars that have been on the airport since 1941 and World War II-era aircraft.

Scott Andrews, president of the Falcon Warbirds Foundation, told local news outlet Fox10, “This is a historic building in and of itself. Built in 1941 for the war effort in World War II. It survived all these years only to sustain this damage from Mother Nature." Andrews added the group plans to rebuild to continue its mission of serving veterans.

Pilot and local resident Trevor Jones, whose father keeps his Lancair at Falcon Field, received an early morning call from a friend urging him to go check on the aircraft. “I drove out there, and complete carnage,” Jones wrote in a text message exchange. “Hangar doors are gone, airplanes flipped over everywhere, I believe 12 airplanes are complete losses.”

Hangar damage at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona. Photo courtesy of Trevor Jones.

Thankfully for Jones, the Lancair only sustained minimal damage to the tail hook. “It was a miracle," Jones wrote. “There is an old, scrapped T–28 parked beside it and if it wasn’t for that airplane, I don’t think my dad’s plane would be ok at all. It could have been flipped. There is a nearly 5-foot hole in the T–28.”

“I have friends that work for one of the flight schools and their whole fleet is gone,” Jones continued. “They don’t know if they have jobs now. Luckily nobody was hurt but I just feel bad for those affected with their jobs. Falcon is such a tight-knit airport and we all care about each other, everyone knows everyone so we’ll pull together as a whole.”

Niki Britton

eMedia Content Producer
eMedia Content Producer Niki Britton joined AOPA in 2021. She is a private pilot who enjoys flying her 1969 Cessna 182 and taking aerial photographs.

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