Wed, Oct 26, 2011
Golf-Ball-Sized Hail Grounds 27 Of 30 Trainers At KMBT
Middle Tennessee State University has made a big investment in
its aerospace program over the years, including a fleet of 30
training aircraft including 19 Diamond DA40s (similar plane
pictured) and a handful of Piper Arrows, Seminoles and other types.
Sadly, 90 percent of the fleet, 27 airplanes, are now grounded
indefinitely after getting caught in golf-ball-sized hail on
Wayne Dornan, who chairs the Middle Tennessee State University
Department of Aerospace, told The Daily News Journal that
controllers at Murfreesboro Municipal Airport (KMBT) saw the storm
on the way, and a new storm detection system being tested provided
enough warning to get the planes in the air at the time on the
ground before the storm reached the airport.
Dornan said of the hail, "It could have done some serious,
serious damage and I don't particularly see a plane being able to
make it through a hail storm of that intensity."
The cost for repairs has yet to be estimated. Dornan says he
prefers not to think about what that will cost.
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