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Old 04-11-2018, 07:26 AM   #1
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Default Citation Excel vs. Tornado at KFLL

Excel landed on 10R at FLL under blue skies. By the time they taxied to the FBO ramp a storm had moved in and wound up dropping a funnel cloud about 100 feet in front of them. The crew saw the line guys running for their lives and prudently decided to stop the jet. Here's a YouTube link with Video from the FBO camera:

https://youtu.be/nZefsMHiJ-Y

The FedEx containers caused major damage to the jet, probably more than $1M.

Here's the delay message the Captain sent the company:

Tornado hit airplane. Unknown delay, large fedex container lodged into back of wing. Don't think plane will fly with container attached, don't think container will fit in baggage compartment. Both pilot seats possibly soiled. Will keep you up to date.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:39 AM   #2
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Ouch!

That a NJA Excel? A bit hard to tell...
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:46 AM   #3
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Ouch!

That a NJA Excel? A bit hard to tell...
Yes, and unfortunately it was an XLS, not one of the older XL's they're getting rid of anyway. Murphy's Law.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:48 AM   #4
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Seems hard to believe that it was clear skies, given the obvious clouds. Storms don't form and spawn tornadoes in the time it takes to land and taxi clear; the system had to have been visible plainly and on radar.

Another aircraft lands (downwind) right behind the citation as the camera is bouncing around and shipping containers are tumbling into view. Basic airmanship might suggest a more prudent approach, like diverting.

A rope twister formed near an airport where I was working last year. We had a fire call about the same time, or just before. It didn't take a lot of watching the weather to refuse the flight, and shortly after that, we were filming a tornado. Certainly tornadoes can develop quickly, but they don't come from nowhere. It's also best if everyone in the area is prepared by not flying near such convective conditions in the first place.
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:49 AM   #5
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Look at the start of the video. You can see clear skies in the left 1/3 of the screen. The crew said it was a very rough ride down final, with a big direction split with winds aloft from surface winds. I don't know what was showing on radar, but I've had a small, innocent looking rain shower set off the wind shear warning in a 737. Near BOS one day I had a shower that wasn't more than 1/4 mile in diameter send out a bolt of lightning. Definitely got our attention.
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:58 PM   #6
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Containers that were (presumably) un-chocked/brakes not set; I'm curious if FedEx will be footing the bill.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:52 AM   #7
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Containers that were (presumably) un-chocked/brakes not set; I'm curious if FedEx will be footing the bill.
I'm sure there are a bunch of lawyers getting ready to debate that very issue.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:46 AM   #8
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Look at the start of the video. You can see clear skies in the left 1/3 of the screen. The crew said it was a very rough ride down final, with a big direction split with winds aloft from surface winds. I don't know what was showing on radar, but I've had a small, innocent looking rain shower set off the wind shear warning in a 737. Near BOS one day I had a shower that wasn't more than 1/4 mile in diameter send out a bolt of lightning. Definitely got our attention.
I see the "clear skies" to the left of the frame...which are not clear skies. I also see a lot of dark sky, and the fact that a tornado touches down adjacent to the aircraft is proof positive that it was NOT clear skies. If indeed this was a tornado, the fact that the crew landed and taxied in during such conditions, or the aircraft seen landing right behind them, downwind, adjacent to a tornado, doesn't speak well at all for the decision making that was going on in either cockpit.

It's pretty tough to be surprised by a tornado after approaching in a radar-equipped turbine airplane and landing at a towered airfield. It's not like they simply generate from blue skies. They don't.

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Containers that were (presumably) un-chocked/brakes not set; I'm curious if FedEx will be footing the bill.
Container brakes? Chocks? No. They're containers.

There were four containers in a train that passed the Citation, which were on wheels and together, but the rest were not.

"Act of God" springs to mind, for insurance purposes.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:31 AM   #9
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If indeed this was a tornado, the fact that the crew landed and taxied in during such conditions, or the aircraft seen landing right behind them, downwind, adjacent to a tornado, doesn't speak well at all for the decision making that was going on in either cockpit.
What about ATC?! Where the hell were they?

Why didn't they call a missed?
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:33 AM   #10
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In 2006 a tornado destroyed ERAUs fleet on the ramp in Daytona.

https://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcon...&context=jaaer

There was a news article saying that the tower was still clearing people to land as the tornado was barreling across the field
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