...Nature's Cruel Joke...

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There are also some cruel ironies. Mallard said many airplane owners rushed to move their aircraft to "safer" areas only to have the storm shift suddenly eastward and put them in harm's way. Others found hangar space for aircraft usually left outside only to have the hangars collapse. Some owners weren't about to surrender to Charley without a fight. Greg Sterling, of AOPA Insurance Agency, said one of his staff heard of a married couple that "rode out the storm" in the hangar with their beloved Grumman. He said both the hangar and plane were slightly damaged but the owners were thankfully unharmed. Mallard said he believes there must have been tornadoes embedded in the storm to cause the level of structural damage he saw, including virtually new hangars reduced to scrap metal. Aircraft damage varied from cowl damage from pushed-in hangar doors to planes that were virtually unrecognizable. Those in the collapsed hangars pose a special challenge. Mallard noted that some hangared planes are unscathed but are surrounded by the wreckage of both the hangar and other aircraft. "The question is, how do you get them out?" said Mallard.