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Gonzalo
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Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:49 pm

Looking the big destruction left behind for the recent tornadoes in the U.S., and considering that this things appear and move very fast ( and very randomly ), I was wondering, has a big airliner ever been hit by one ?

Probably if you have a wide body parked in a remote stand and one of this things appears in the horizon, there is no time to save the aircraft leaving the airport before the tornado arrives...
I only can guess what kind of damage can do, but my guess is BIG... or Am I wrong ?

Any info ??

Thanks...

G.
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roseflyer
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:00 am

Faro airport in Portugal was hit by a tornado last year:

http://www.algarve123.com/en/Article.../1-1329/Mini-tornado_brings_Faro..


It damaged a few light airplanes and also moved some of the jets at the airport. It did quite a bit of damage to the terminal as well.

The tornado did damage one 737. The result was that rudder PCU mounting hardware broke. There isn't a high wind inspection procedure for that specific case so the airplane did not get inspected correctly. The broken hardware was not found until the airplane took off and squawked excessive rudder trim required.

Airplanes are designed to sustain very high wind forces, so the damage itself isn't going to be that bad from the wind. The problem is debris. A tornado can have quite a bit of debris that can cause impact damage to an airplane. Also sudden wind direction changes can overstress components such as the rudder.

More commonly strong windstorms will cause an airplane to weathervane in the wind. There are some youtube videos of airplanes rotating in strong wind conditions. Airplanes are relatively light and the vertical stabilizer can easily cause the airplane to rotate in the wind.
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cytz_pilot
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:03 am

I don't know of any specific incidents, but I would guess that a widebody would be too heavy and structurally strong to be moved or mangled by the tornado itself, but the flying debris would be another story...
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:08 am

In the mid 1980s, there was a tornado that hit, I believe Altus AFB, OK, and several C-5A/Bs were damaged. Does that count? There were also damaged to some C-141Bs and KC-135As that were also stationed at LTS.

In the early 1990s a tornado hit McConnell AFB, KS damaging some KC-135Rs, I don't remember if it crossed the airfield to the (then) Boeing side. Boeing usually had some B-747s and other WBs there, as well as KC-135s and B-52s.
 
maxpower1954
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:50 am

[quote=cytz_pilot,reply=2]I don't know of any specific incidents, but I would guess that a widebody would be too heavy and structurally strong to be moved or mangled by the tornado itself, but the flying debris would be another story...[/quote/]

Trust me, ANY airplane can be moved or destroyed by a tornado. Check out the link below...

http://www.cowtown.net/proweb/tornado/tornado.htm
 
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BreninTW
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:00 am

A couple of years ago JNB was hit by high winds. A few aircraft (including, if memory serves, two A340s) were damaged. Mostly when they were blown off their moorings and into jetways.
 
tommy767
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:05 am

An AA 757 took a hit when a tornado hit STL last year:

http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&g...6&ved=1t:429,r:21,s:0&tx=134&ty=46

http://diachra.blogspot.com/2011/04/...louis-airport-to-reopen-after.html

http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&g...tart=0&ndsp=26&ved=1t:429,r:23,s:0

And yet the 757 still looks good compared to the actual terminal building. Just shows the 757 is a beast.
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lindy field
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:37 am

Here are before and after photos from the New England Air Museum, which was hit by a tornado in 1979.

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Steve Williams
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David A. Grant

 
bennett123
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:54 am

Was the Constellation repairable or was it parted out.

I am sure that they were more plentiful in 1979.
 
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Gonzalo
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:32 am

Quoting cytz_pilot (Reply 2):
I don't know of any specific incidents, but I would guess that a widebody would be too heavy and structurally strong to be moved or mangled by the tornado itself, but the flying debris would be another story...

I was also thinking in damage to the flight control surfaces as ruder, ailerons, spoilers... some tornadoes ( F5 ) can have winds over 450 km/h and I figure that can be enough to rip off some of the components of any airliner parked out there if the wind hit form the "wrong" direction...

Rgds.

G.

[Edited 2012-03-02 03:36:42]
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:53 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 9):
I was also thinking in damage to the flight control surfaces as ruder, ailerons, spoilers... some tornadoes ( F5 ) can have winds over 450 km/h and I figure that can be enough to rip off some of the components of any airliner parked out there if the wind hit form the "wrong" direction...

Yes, they can get damaged. Those control surfaces are (relitively) light weight and have very little structual components inside them. High winds from the wrong direction can easily damage them. You may recall that in large propeller driven airplanes, those surfaces are made of canvas, and when the airplane is (properly) parked for any lenght of time, the ground crew installs what are called "gust locks" to prevent the surfaces from moving in high winds from the wrong direction.
 
AngMoh
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:01 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Looking the big destruction left behind for the recent tornadoes in the U.S., and considering that this things appear and move very fast ( and very randomly ), I was wondering, has a big airliner ever been hit by one ?

It is not a very big airliner, but a NLM Cityhopper (KLM subsidiary) Fokker F28 flew into one and got torn to pieces...

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19811006-0
727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739/ER 742 743 744/M 752 753 762 772 77E 773 77W 788 A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A345 A346 A359 A35K A388 DC-9 DC-10 MD11 MD81 MD82 MD87 F70 ERJ145 E170 E175 E190 E195 ATR72 Q400 CRJ200 CRJ700 CRJ900 BAE146 RJ85
 
tommy767
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:08 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):

Yes indeed. We learned a lot from DL 191 crash. Microbursts (which in many cases can turn into Tornadoes) can detroy an entire aircraft.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:16 pm

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 12):
Microbursts (which in many cases can turn into Tornadoes)

Microbursts and tornadoes are vastly different weather phenomena. Almost directly different. A microburst is nothing more than wind coming straight down out of a storm, going in all directions when it hits the ground. A tornado is a rotating mass of the storm which causes a violent rotation that ends up on the ground.

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rfields5421
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:18 pm

If an F-3 or higher tornado actually touches an airplane, it is going to take it apart. Be it a Cessna 150 or the An-225. Airplanes simply don't weigh enough given all the surface area of the wing to avoid damage (of course if they weighed that much, they could not fly.) A tornado can throw a 85,000 lb truck over a mile. A 500,000 lb airplane is going to be destroyed by such force.

Usually the tornado does not actually tough an aircraft. Winds near a tornado can be extremely high, and swirling. While an aircraft is designed for higher winds than near a tornado - it is designed for the winds to come at one direction. An aircraft weathervaning into the wind would help reduce damage. If a high enough wind hits a tied down aircraft from the side or aft, it can break the rudder, elevator, aerilon, flaps control mechanism.

In the B-36 pics linked above - a major cause of damage is debris being blown into a stationary object. A tow-bar blown across the ramp at 150+ mph 15 feet off the ground striking the fuselage of a B-767 is going to go right though the side of the plane, and maybe out the other side.

A tornado actually striking an airport and being close enough to aircraft to cause damage is very rare. Just as rare and unlikely as a tornado hitting my home. But if it does, the result is going to be about the same - major damage and likely loss of life if anyone is in the home/ airplane.

A bigger threat to your safety is all the glass in the terminal. It is going to shatter and become a shredding machine.
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tommy767
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:24 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 13):

If I'm not mistaken, can't a microburst can often turn into a Tornado?
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
EMBQA
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:36 pm

In most cases the aircraft are not even at the airport. When a strong storm line is approaching an airport flight operations will shut down and no flights arrive. Flights will leave until the last little bit. I live near an airport and I can always tell when storms are getting close, or have passes as they start flying again
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:47 pm

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 15):

If I'm not mistaken, can't a microburst can often turn into a Tornado?

They may come from the same storm complex, but AFAIK, there is no way that a straight down microburst is going to turn into a tornado.

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rfields5421
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:08 pm

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 15):
If I'm not mistaken, can't a microburst can often turn into a Tornado?

The weather that produces tornados also can produce microbursts in the area, and vice versa. The aspects of thunderstorms and tornados known as 'rear flank downdraft' or 'forward flank downdraft' often result in microbursts.

The DL191 microburst may have been part of a forward flank downdraft.

[Edited 2012-03-02 08:13:28]
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c5load
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
In the mid 1980s, there was a tornado that hit, I believe Altus AFB, OK, and several C-5A/Bs were damaged. Does that count? There were also damaged to some C-141Bs and KC-135As that were also stationed at LTS.

The story I heard was the the tornado came through the front gate, went across any buildings in its path, went to the flightline and actually picked up a C-141 and it ended up in the farm fields next to the base. Again, just what I heard.
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DocLightning
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:57 pm

Quoting cytz_pilot (Reply 2):
I don't know of any specific incidents, but I would guess that a widebody would be too heavy and structurally strong to be moved or mangled by the tornado itself, but the flying debris would be another story...

The ratio of mass to aerodynamic control surface area (wings, stabilizers) will be the same. So there is no reason why a tornado can't shove an A380 around. Sure, it's big. But then again, so are the wings and tailfins.
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citation501sp
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:06 pm

Here is a website that goes through the tornado that touched down at the Convair plant and damaged several B-36's

B-36 tornado
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litz
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:17 pm

Altus AFB pictures here ... the planes are at the very very bottom of the page.

http://c141heaven.info/dotcom/places/altus.php
 
rscaife1682
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:30 pm

Here is great video of microbust on RJ's think it was at KBGR not a tornado but still shows planes react in intense winds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDLyssxqabc
 
EMBQA
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:43 pm

Quoting rscaife1682 (Reply 23):
Here is great video of microbust on RJ's think it was at KBGR not a tornado but still shows planes react in intense winds

That's not Bangor.. it's Tulsa, OK
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larshjort
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:06 pm

Aircraft use movement of air to fly, so if the windspeeds is high enough it can move an aircraft small or big it doesn't matter.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 14):
If an F-3 or higher tornado actually touches an airplane

Like this one?

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © André Inácio - Aerospray


  
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dave2
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:48 pm

I don't remember what aircraft types were damaged when the tornado hit STL last year. I saw a few pictures mainly of the terminal area.
 
rscaife1682
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:44 pm

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 24):
That's not Bangor.. it's Tulsa, OK

Sorry thanks for the correction
 
al2637
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RE: Has A W/B Aircraft Ever Been Hit By A Tornado?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:41 pm

There was this incident, not sure it was a Tornado tho or just strong winds:

Aer Lingus A330 Ground Incident (by B777ER Jan 1 2005 in Civil Aviation)

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