flaps30
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Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 3:29 am

With the tragic tornado in Oklahoma last week, it got me wondering whether a tornado has ever directly hit a major US airport in the modern jet age era and have any jet aircraft ever been destroyed by a tornado?
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mhkansan
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 3:34 am

There was a tornado that directly hit STL airport in 2011, damaging the terminal and aircraft - including three flights with passengers aboard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_St._Louis_tornado
 
iowaman
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 3:35 am

There was one in April 2011 that hit STL. There weren't any aircraft destroyed as far as I know, but there was significant damage to the terminal.

Quote:
The reported tornado twisted metal and blew out plate-glass windows in the airport's main terminal, CNN affiliate KSDK reported.

Four people were transported to nearby hospitals with injuries, Slay said.

Passengers were hit with flying glass and debris as winds ripped off part of the roof in the airport's C concourse, the station reported.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/04/22/missouri.severe.weather/index.html
 
flaps30
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 3:37 am

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 1):

There was a tornado that directly hit STL airport in 2011

Thanks. I had forgotten about that one. What were the aircraft involved? Were the aircraft written off or did they return to service?
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BreninTW
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 3:48 am

An older thread asking pretty much the same question.

Has A Tornado Ever Hit A Major Airport? (by DiscoverCSG Jan 10 2008 in Civil Aviation)

EDIT:

The thread about the tornado hitting STL: Tornado Hits STL Lambert International (by RyeFly Apr 22 2011 in Civil Aviation)

And one about a tornado hitting Gainesville in Texas Gainesville Texas Airport Hit By Tornado (by BravoGolf Apr 29 2006 in Civil Aviation)

[Edited 2013-05-23 20:51:32]
 
9lflyguy
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 5:11 am

There's a video somewhere of a tornado spinning a CRJ. I can't find it now.
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mke717spotter
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 5:57 am

There was a rare occurrence back in 2000 when a weak tornado sprang up on the northwest side of MKE. I remember watching the local news and they were talking via telephone with the guys up in the ATC tower about it.

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mkx/document/tor/030800.php
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KELPkid
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 6:07 am

There was video of a Tornado tearing up the flightline (and a brace of KC-135's) at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, in 1991...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkxRaX62Hkk

[Edited 2013-05-23 23:10:07]
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uncgso
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 6:08 am

In May 2008 a tornado hit GSO damaging planes and buildings ...

http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=103203
 
sdf880
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 6:12 am

March 1986 a tornado hit the south side of CVG smashing the Comair hanger and some planes inside and destroying some smaller aircraft on the Servair ramp next door.
 
PHX787
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 6:47 am

MEM was hit in 2008 by an EF2. Tornado emergency issued; a fed ex hanger was damaged.
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kordcj
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 7:13 am

Not a major airport but on Christmas 2006 a tornado touched down in Daytona Beach and destroyed a good majority of the Embry-Riddle fleet and a few buildings on campus.
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Plainplane
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 8:06 am

Also LAL got hit by a tornado during the Sun 'n Fun 2011 airshow, I got to see a little bit of the aftermath first hand.


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rwessel
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 8:33 am

A tornado hit Carswell AFB on 1-Sep-1952, damaging 2/3rds of the entire USAF B-36 fleet at the time. Of the 83 B-36s* damaged, some quite seriously, 81 were eventually returned to SAC service (the last repaired aircraft was return to SAC in May of the following year). One B-36 was outright destroyed, and the other eventually flew again as part of the nuclear powered bomber program as a NB-36H.


*Several other aircraft were damaged as well.
 
aswissinmad
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 11:28 am

When I was working for TWA in the early 90's I remember our company newsletter mentioning a tornado hitting the Trans World Express hangar at PHL and damaging the facility and possibly an aircraft or two. Could not find anything on the web though. Does anyone remember this?
 
SEPilot
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 11:36 am

There was a tornado that hit BDL a long time ago-I think it was the 80's. It was not a big one (we do not see big tornadoes in New England, and even small ones are rare); it did not hit the passenger terminals, but some of the GA facilities were hit. The biggest damage was to the Air Museum; a B-17 and a B-29 were very badly damaged.
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AVLAirlineFreq
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 12:00 pm

A major tornado hit Wichita Falls, Texas and Sheppard Air Force Base in 1964:

http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2008/apr/02/twisted-memories/
 
globalflyer
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 12:12 pm

During Hurricane Andrew in the 90s, MIA was affected. I remember seeing a beautiful Braniff 727-200 in the Ultra colourscheme being slammed into a drainage ditch. This was Braniff version III I believe.
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ouboy79
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 1:08 pm

Probably one of the most important of all is March 25, 1948 when Tinker AFB in OKC/Midwest City was struck. The uniqueness behind this was this is also the first verification that conditions favorable for tornadoes was forecast.

http://www.outlook.noaa.gov/tornadoes/torn50.htm
 
CO953
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 8:18 pm

"February 2006 tornado

At about 2:30 EST in the morning on February 2, 2006, a tornado touched down on the grounds of MSY. The damage from the tornado was significant but primarily confined to Concourse C, where American, United, AirTran Airways, and international arrivals were based. Many temporary repairs dating from Hurricane Katrina failed, including one roof patch, forcing airlines based in the concourse to relocate operations to vacant gates. Jetways and other ground equipment also sustained damage. The damage was rated by the National Weather Service and the tornado was rated F1. As of late 2006, all of this had been repaired."

I flew into MSY the morning after the tornado hit. Was a heck of a sight, with blown-out & boarded-up windows. Having just weathered Katrina 5 months before, and MSY still being nearly a ghost town anyway, seeing the tornado damage and the seas of empty gates really felt like pulling into a war zone. Eerie feeling.
 
Mcoov
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 8:19 pm

Didn't a tornado-produced phenomenon down a USAir DC-9 in 1991? CLT I think.
 
9lflyguy
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 8:26 pm

Quoting Mcoov (Reply 20):

Didn't a tornado-produced phenomenon down a USAir DC-9 in 1991? CLT I think.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzsTZlKX4m4
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JBAirwaysFan
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 8:28 pm

Quoting kordcj (Reply 11):

Not a major airport but on Christmas 2006 a tornado touched down in Daytona Beach and destroyed a good majority of the Embry-Riddle fleet and a few buildings on campus.

Not to mention a DL* CRJ landing from LGA as it hit.
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sparky35805
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 8:29 pm

Atornado hit HSV in November 1973,heavily damaging the FBO hangar.One hit the freight terminal at ATL late 70s-early 80s damaging several aircraft.
 
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UltimateDelta
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 8:39 pm

Looks like Altus AFB took a hit in May 1982...towards the bottom of this page is a series of pics of the damage and several beaten-up C-5s and C-141s:

http://www.c141heaven.info/dotcom/places/altus.php
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PC12Fan
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 9:22 pm

Quoting flaps30 (Reply 3):
Were the aircraft written off or did they return to service?

All returned to service.

An AA 757 that had a metal panel impaled in the rudder and weather vaned away from the jetway. Other damage unknown.
An AA MD-80 with unknown damage.
A Southwest that got spun while on gate, but I believe the damage was not too bad on that one IIRC.

The Main Terminal and Concourse C took the brunt of it. It was surreal walking in C on nothing but broken glass.
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 9:27 pm

Quoting Mcoov (Reply 20):
Didn't a tornado-produced phenomenon down a USAir DC-9 in 1991? CLT I think.

A microburst. Usually found in severe thunderstorms but not necessarily produced by tornadic conditions.
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delawareusa
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 9:36 pm

Denver late 90s. I don;t think it damaged aircraft, but we all evacuated to the "shelters" aka bathrooms.
 
CairnterriAIR
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 10:59 pm

The tornado that hit BDL on October 3, 1979 was INDEED a big one...an EF4 that while didn't hit the terminal, it did indeed cross the runways, destroyed the CT Air National Guard fligh line of helicopters..strewing them all over the main runway...destroyed the Air Museum, demolished hundreds of buildings in not only Windsor Locks, but Suffield as well...and killed several people. Still to this day, it is ranked in the top 20 of the most costly tornadoes. And as for twisters not being big here in New England...let me tell you about the nice big fat low end EF4 wedge that did took a direct hit on Springfield and did a 40+ mile dance across half the state..just two years ago. They're still picking up wreckage and cutting up downed trees from that one!
 
md80fanatic
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 11:03 pm

The old AUS (Robert Mueller) airport in Austin was hit by a tornado and part of the roof of the terminal building was damaged. It was NOT a major airport, nor was it a major tornado .... but it did do significant damage nonetheless.

http://www.kvue.com/news/Remembering-the-1980-tornado-121788579.html
 
777fan
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 11:13 pm

Quoting delawareusa (Reply 27):

Denver late 90s. I don;t think it damaged aircraft, but we all evacuated to the "shelters" aka bathrooms.

Hence the "tornado shelter" signs posted on each exterior bathroom entrance wall at DIA these days.

777fan
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LoneStarMike
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 11:45 pm

Re: the STL tornado - I think most have seen the footage taken by the security cameras, but there's another video taken by a passenger who was sitting at an AA gate when the tornado hit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfsZhWfAO0I

It starts out and he's just filming the gate area from his seat. You catch a quick glimpse of the AA gate agent standing at the podium with her back to the windows. You can hear the tornado coming about 1:02 and you'll see this woman seated in front of one of the windows jump up and start running. Later, you can see the busted out windows and the AA gate agent (who had run around to the front side of the podium and was crouching) start to get up.

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rcair1
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Fri May 24, 2013 11:55 pm

There have been several small tornadoes near DIA in the past few years. No real damage.
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tardis
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Sat May 25, 2013 1:23 am

Can't we just google things like this? I don't mean to be nasty, but really.
 
flaps30
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Sat May 25, 2013 1:51 am

Quoting Tardis (Reply 33):
Can't we just google things like this? I don't mean to be nasty, but really.

I guess we can Google just about any topic that is brought up on this forum, so what is your point? Sometimes we just like the input from aviation people and not stupid news reports that regularly get the facts wrong regarding aviation.
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ouboy79
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Sat May 25, 2013 2:39 am

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 26):
A microburst. Usually found in severe thunderstorms but not necessarily produced by tornadic conditions.

Really? A microburst not "necessarily produced" by tornadic conditions? That would be pretty darn interesting if it were even possible to happen. You are talking about the complete collapse of the updraft and the storm going outflow dominant. Tornadogenesis requires healthy inflow into the storm, something that will be extremely difficult to have with the storm being undercut by outflow.  
 
trent1000
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Sat May 25, 2013 8:40 am

Kansas City MCI has certainly prepared for such an event with emergency shelters within the terminal buildings. I assume that other major airports have the same facilities, which hopefully will never be required for sudden mass evacuations.
 
copter808
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RE: Has A Tornado Ever Directly Hit A US Airport?

Sun May 26, 2013 1:05 am

Don't remember when, but MSN took a tornado hit which flattened a hangar and aircraft on the east side of the airport.