Sally Wrecks Airplanes, Distrupts Gulf Coast Operations


Hurricane Sally disrupted operations and wrecked some airplanes but most of the facilities affected along the Gulf coast and inland in Alabama are open and cleaning up the mess. AOPA found five facilities either closed or with limited operations in the storm’s aftermath but most were back in business by the weekend. The impact stretched from Mississippi to the Florida Panhandle and included Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Navy’s main pilot training base and home of the Blue Angels.

Some of the most visible damage happened at Jack Edwards National Airport in Gulf Shores where the outside tiedown area looked like a demolition derby. Images taken by WKRG showed at least six single-engine aircraft whose tiedowns didn’t hold and most looked like write-offs. Mobile is also home to Continental Aerospace Technologies and Airbus. Other than production delays due to power outages, they seem to have weathered the storm. “We are glad to report that our team is safe, mostly without power, but safe with plenty of debris to clean up,” Continental spokeswoman Andrea Bertagnolli told AVweb. “Power continues to be restored daily but for some people in extreme parts of our neighboring counties it could be weeks.” She said their facilities remain intact.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Whatever happened to insurance companies offering to pay or split the cost of flying GA aircraft out of a hurricane’s path?
    Still done today?
    By which carriers?

    • Some carries do reimburse a small amount of relocation costs. Many operators are unable to move their aircraft (flight schools often do not have enough pilots volunteering to relocate aircraft) or are unwilling to move small aircraft since they can’t get their whole family + baggage on board.

  2. I surely would have flown my plane clear of the projected path & take a bus or something to get back home. (or stay there)
    To trust a tie down!!! Ha Ha

  3. Aircraft owners think “I have insurance, no worry”. This sanguine attitude leads to increasing hull insurance costs for everyone.