March 31, 2011-LAKELAND, FLORIDA
A sudden windstorm hit Lakeland Linder Regional Airport today around 12:05 PM today. The powerful windstorm blew around aircraft, tents, displays, port a johns, fences, trees and trailers. The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado did touch down at the western edge of the runway.
An estimated 50 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. There were no serious injuries and everyone is accounted for. The show closed early today so that clean up could begin. The show will open again on Friday as the weather is expected in improve over the next three days in Central Florida.
A destroyed Husky in the commerical exhibit area.
An upside down Piper Cub in the commerical exhibit area.
An Alon A2 upside down with the tiedowns still attached in the aircraft camping area
A classic still tied down with a collapsed landing gear and subsequent wing strike in the aircraft camping area.
Damage was not limited to aircraft. Trees gave way to the powerful windstorm. Power was out at Sun n Fun for several hours until crews were able to restore it. Rain continued to come down until well after dusk.
Trailers on the Lindbergh side were not so lucky against the wind.
Port a Johns were blown into the creek.
Many tents were blown down or blown away.
The headquarters building in one of the camping areas was heavilly damaged.