Cessna 195 Keepsake Ornament from Hallmark

This Cessna 195 ornament from Hallmark looks sleek enough to have Santa consider giving the reindeer a break this year and getting his own plane. While this ornament's nose is not red and shiny like Rudolph's, it does have a propeller that turns.

According to Hallmark...

This winged Keepsake Ornament is so richly detailed it seems just about ready for takeoff. The little Cessna will make a great addition to the tree or a treasured stocking stuffer for a child or armchair pilot. Comes with a full-sized Hallmark greeting card, with your personal message.

Source: Hallmark
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AOPA Sweepstakes prize Cessna coated by Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings

A 1977 Cessna Cardinal 177B aircraft, being given away by the world’s largest pilots association, AOPA, hasbeen refurbished with coatings donated by ANAC (Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings) through their distributor network.

US based AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) is giving away a Cessna Cardinal aircraft in their annual sweepstakes. The sweepstakes, which features a different restored aircraft each year, is the mainspring of the annual membership drive with every member entered. The members, who own and operate primarily single and twin-engine planes for business and personal use, are able to follow the progress of the work on line and through AOPA’s publications, taking notes for their own projects. AOPA has a membership of 414,000, two thirds of all pilots in the U.S.

The paint design, applied by Advanced Aircraft Refinishers of Georgia, was created by Scheme Designers, owned and operated by Craig Barnett of Cresskill, New Jersey, who also works with OEMs on paint schemes. His inspiration for this project was the Cessna Cardinal logo, originally displayed on the tail in a smaller form.

After the complete disassembly of the airframe into more than 280 parts, each piece of the airplane was put through a thorough the paint refurbishing process to ensure the best possible protective finish was achieved.

Following the removal of the existing paint layers, the surfaces were chemically cleaned and a conversion coating applied. A zinc chromate epoxy primer was followed by ANAC’s Alumigrip Matterhorn White topcoat, producing a superb, high gloss finish. The white was then masked for the application of the red, gold and black trim, all in ANAC paints. The paints were donated by ANAC distributor Aero Performance.

The high gloss finish delighted the entire restoration team. “The result was a long-lasting shine most aircraft owners would envy,” commented Julie Boatman of AOPA.

The refurbishment of the Cessna was the biggest that AOPA has undertaken so far.

The ‘Catch-a-Cardinal’ sweepstakes will be drawn in January 2008. In the meantime, the beautiful and fully restored airplane has been on display at aviation events around the U.S.

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Cessna Aircraft Company to acquire assets of Columbia Aircraft

Cessna Aircraft Company recently announced it was the successful bidder for select assets of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Company, a Bend, Oregon-based producer of high-performance, single-engine aircraft.

The bid of $26.4 million was the high bid in United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon.

According to Cessna...

“This is a significant day as it brings together two top aircraft design and production companies to offer the global general aviation community the widest range of propeller aircraft, along with world-class product support, all under the Cessna brand – one of the most trusted names in aviation,” said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack. J. Pelton. “I would like to thank the 400-plus Columbia employees for their continued hard work and dedication during the bankruptcy process. We look forward to welcoming them to the Cessna family.”

Cessna is the world’s largest general aviation manufacturer in terms of annual unit sales, producing single-engine piston aircraft, turboprops and the world’s best-selling line of business jets, the Cessna Citation. Columbia has produced more than 600 aircraft in its 10-year history.

“The Columbia models are a good fit with our existing product line,” Pelton said. “We look forward to providing existing Columbia owners with improved levels of service and support and introducing new customers to these outstanding aircraft.”

“We plan to make significant investments in Bend, in people and operations, to bolster customer satisfaction and business profitability. We will continue to improve quality, reliability and performance as we strive to deliver customer value and fulfill our commitments,” Pelton said.

Source: Cessna Aircraft Company
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Beijing Airport to be the world’s largest and most advanced

China is getting ready for the 2008 Olympics in a big way. Travelers from all over the world will get their first glimpse of China from inside the world’s largest and most advanced airport building.

According to Foster and Partners website...

Beijing's new international airport terminal will be the gateway to the city as it welcomes athletes from around the world to the twenty-ninth Olympiad in 2008. The world's largest and most advanced airport building - not only technologically, but also in terms of passenger experience, operational efficiency and sustainability - it will be welcoming and uplifting. A symbol of place, its soaring aerodynamic roof and dragon-like form will celebrate the thrill and poetry of flight and evoke traditional Chinese colours and symbols.

The terminal building will be one of the worlds most sustainable, incorporating a range of passive environmental design concepts, such as the south-east orientated skylights, which maximise heat gain from the early morning sun, and an integrated environment-control system that minimises energy consumption and carbon emissions. In construction terms, its design optimises the performance of materials selected on the basis of local availability, functionality, application of local skills, and low cost procurement. Remarkably, it will have been designed and built in just four years

Source: Sci Fi Tech Blog and Foster + Partners
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HondaJet interior revealed

The HondaJet website features images of the interior of their new light jet.

Honda made the announcement at the annual National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention. The company showcased new exterior color scheme studies, and an animated tour of the exclusive HondaJet sales and service facilities.

Honda Aircraft Company also announced a partnership with Flight Safety International to create a new flight simulator and pilot training program for HondaJet.

According to Honda's press release, HondaJet's new interior concept was introduced with a special focus on human fit, ergonomic efficiency and safety for the customer.

Honda also reports that the HondaJet's new cockpit design incorporated learning from extensive study on the human factors of pilots and pays special attention to the layout. The production version of HondaJet will also incorporate an all-glass avionics package developed for HondaJet by Garmin.

Honda also provided a glimpse into potential additional production colors.
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Google Earth features hidden flight simulator

TechCrunch reports that Google Earth users can access a hidden flight simulator.

According to TechCrunch, to start the simulator...

...open Google Earth and hit Command+Option+A (note it must be capital A) or Ctrl+Alt+A if you’re using a Windows Machine.

Using Google Earth's vast array of satellite imagery, you can zoom over cities and landscape in a modest SR22 4 seater or the daredevil ready F16 Viper.

YouTube features videos of the Google Flight Simulator in use. Here's one uploaded by InsideDesign.

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Sneaky snake stows away on a small plane

No...it's not a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark or a Samuel L. Jackson movie.

SanDeigo.com.net features an Associated Press story report about a pilot finding a rat snake in the cockpit of his small plane shortly after takeoff.

The pilot was a physician flying a one-seat plane across Mississippi, who preformed aerial "aerobatics" to get the snake to slither away till he could land.

Source: Planenews Aviation
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Replacing a small plane alternator

A pilot in Northern California writes about his experience doing field repairs on his plane on his personal blog.

The story on Jack's Flying Blog details how he detected a low voltage indication on his engine. After landing, he discovered his alternator needed replacing.

Lucky for the pilot, he had friends in the area who could do the maintenance on his plane and installed a new alternator.
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Cessna's new SkyCatcher airplane to be revealed at air show

The Wichita Eagle reports on the revealing of Cessna's new plane at the EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The plane is called the Model 162 SkyCatcher and is expected to be available in 2009.

Cessna is aiming the SkyCatcher at a new market for aircraft, offering the plane at around $100,000 and advancements to make the plane more durable and reliable.
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Will superconductors power a new generation of aircraft?

NASA and the Department of defense are funding research that could result in a new generation of aircraft powered by superconducting motors.

Gasworld.com reports on the research to study liquid hydrogen powered superconductor motors for electric aircraft.

Superconductors use cold temperatures to allow electricity to flow without electrical resistance for greater power.

Superconductor motors would be a leap beyond today's jet aircraft, producing efficient, low-pollution air travel
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Controversy continues over FAA Reauthorization Act

CharterX.com features a story on the debate over The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007.

While the bill is designed to modernize the air traffic control system, critics of the bill are angered by new fees and taxes.

Opponents of the bill say it places too much of a financial burden on small aircraft operators, while giving breaks to large airline companies.

Supporters say the provisions in the bill are needed to update air traffic infrastructure.
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The big premiere of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

CNN.com features a story on Boeing's premiere of the new 787 Dreamliner which took place at their assembly plant in Everett, Washington.

The new 787 Dreamliner is the first commercial aircraft constructed mostly with carbon-fiber composites. The lighter carbon-fiber material, along with new engines, is expected to save 20% on fuel costs.

USA Today reports on the advantage of the carbon-fiber technology in the Dreamliner, providing larger windows and a cabin atmosphere with moister air, making flights more relaxing.

The Dreamliner is designed for passenger comfort right down to the cabin lights, which adjust with the time of day.

You can see more of 787 Dreamliner at NewAirplane.com
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Used aircraft prices rise due to demand

Aviation Week features a story on the demand for business jets and how manufacturers and suppliers are trying to keep up.

Business jets are needed around the world, but getting them done has created a backlog of orders.

Because new jets are not available, the prices of used jets is going up. Some used jets have been sold for 110% of their price.
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A flight in an open-cockpit airplane

The Portage Daily Register features a story on a recent gathering of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

As pilots arrived at Portage Municipal Airport for the annual fly-in breakfast, one reporter was offered chance to take a ride.

Reporter Todd Krysiak took a ride in a home-built airplane flown by Bill Rewey: a pilot with over 62 years experience.

Rewey and Krysiak flew in an open-cockpit plane, a two-seater powered by a single engine and the second built by Rewey.
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Aerospace workers are in demand

HeraldNet.com features an Associated Press story on the growing demand for new workers in the field of aerospace.

Older aerospace workers are retiring in large numbers. Boeing and other companies need new talent. By using websites popular with college students, like Facebook.com, they are getting the word out.
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Journey around the world by helicopter completed

KansasCity.com features an Associated Press story on Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill, the first pilots to complete an around the world flight by helicopter from North to South poles.

The pilots made the journey in a single trip, stopping for fuel 101 times, flying 37,000 miles, and passing through 26 countries.

You can read more about the trip at www.polarfirst.com.
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Bill seeks to criminalize aiming laser pointers at aircraft

According to Photonics.com recent bill passed by the House of Representatives would criminalize the act of aiming a laser pointer at a passing plane.

There have been hundreds of reported incidents of lasers aimed at aircraft. Inexpensive lasers pointers are sold as keychains, toys, and for use during business presentations. Light from a handheld laser is powerful enough reach from the ground to aircraft. The glare can distract or even temporarily blind a pilot.

While no crashes have been attributed to lasers, the new bill is meant to prevent such a disaster from happening.
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Aspiring pilots learn to fly at Pennsylvania flight school

A story in The Leader Times in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, reports on beginner pilots taking flight training at McVille Airport in South Buffalo.

According to the story, if you can learn to drive, you can learn to fly.

Students in the flight courses vary in ages and want to learn to fly for different reasons. Some want to become professional pilots, while others just want to fulfill the dream of flying.
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A witness to aviation history

TimesArgus.com features a story on Anne Condelli, who witnessed the takeoff of Charles Lindbergh on his historic flight across the Atlantic.

Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, N.Y. on May 20, 1927.

Condelli describes the takeoff as a tense moment. Lindbergh's plane, The Spirit of St. Louis, made an awkward takeoff and there were some fears that the plane might clip nearby phone lines as it ascended.
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Are electric supersonic aircraft possible?

Could a plane fly faster than sound powered only by electric motors? An article on EVWorld.com explains how it could be done.

The motors that would drive such and aircraft would not be like the one inside a hybrid car. Most likely, they would be powered by special superconducting cells that could store enormous amounts of electricity.

Before an electric plane breaks the sound barrier, it is more likely that electric motors would find use in smaller commuter aircraft first.
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Companies use private aircraft to save time and money

The Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia, features a story about fractional ownership of aircraft by an expanding number of businesses.

Fractional ownership allows companies to share jet aircraft, reducing the cost that would normally place owning a private aircraft out of reach.

A senior vice president from Bank of America's Corporate Aircraft Finance division refers to private aircraft as "time machines", meaning that they give their owners greater flexibility with travel when conducting business.

Do you use an plane through a fractional ownership plan? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
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Cessna tests new Williams FJ44-4A engine

The official site for Cessna Aircraft Company features a report the new Williams FJ44-4A engine's first test flight.

The Williams FJ44-4A will power the new Citation CJ4 being developed by Cessna as the newest member of the popular CJ line of Citation business jets.

First flight of the CJ4 is scheduled for the first half of 2008 and entry into service is set for the first half of 2010.

“The first flight of the new engine went very well, and performance exceeded our expectations during the 50-minute flight,” said CJ4 Program Manager Norm Baker III. “This new Williams engine is going to give our aircraft excellent capability in terms of performance, thrust, fuel economy and aerodynamics.”

The FJ44-4A has the best thrust-to-weight ratio in its thrust class, and it incorporates several proprietary aerodynamic improvements that yield a significant reduction in fuel consumption.
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Small pilots concerned about new FAA regulations

The Decatur Daily of Decatur, Alabama, reports on the controversy over the Next Generation Air Transportation System Financing Reform Act of 2007 and its impact on small-plane pilots.

The FAA says more revenue is required for new air-traffic control systems, needed to handle increased cargo and passenger aircraft in the skies.

Pilots of smaller aircraft fear that the new rules would push gas taxes to four times present rates. Some pilots grounding their aircraft.

Other pilots fear that there will be battle between small plane pilots and commercial airlines over who should pay higher taxes.

What do you think? How would you be affected by the new FAA rules? Leave a comment and tell us your story.
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Guide your aircraft using XM WX Satellite Weather

The XM WX Satellite Weather service provides crucial weather information for pilots, displaying radar data and other information on a dash-mounted or handheld device.

Flying Magazine's site features a profile devices used for XM WX Satellite Weather (or XM Weather for short) and the different versions and prices available to pilots.

While XM Weather devices offer information to small plane pilots that larger planes receive, pilots still have to interpret the data and respect the limitations of the technology.

XM Weather information works best when balanced with other weather prediction tools and sound judgment by experienced pilots.
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40 percent increase in helicopter sales expected

If engine-maker Honeywell is correct, you'll be hearing the sound of rotors more often as helicopter sales increase.

According to Aviation Week, Honeywell is forecasting a 40 percent increase in helicopter deliveries over the next five years. Honeywell predicts 6,000 new helicopters will be needed between now and 2016

There was jump in helicopter sales by 9 percent in 2006 alone.

The demand for new helicopters ranges from business travelers, medical services, and law enforcement, with customers ranging from the United States to Africa and Asia.
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Shared ownership of aircraft is growing

Flying magazine's website features a story on shared ownership of aircraft.

Businesses that want to own new plane, but are reluctant to shoulder the costs, can own a plane jointly with others in a timeshare arrangement.

While the cost of joint ownership is not cheap, the concept is growing and giving access to aircraft to businesses who might never have considered it before.
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Flying sand may have cracked aircraft windshields in Denver

The recent mystery over cracked windshields at Denver International Airport may have been solved, with wind-driven sand blamed as the culprit.

On February 16, fourteen planes at the Denver Airport developed cracks on their front and side windshields, which prompted an investigation.

According to the The Denver Post, it is now believed that sand put down on the runway may have been driven the 48 mph winds that day, causing pitting damage, then cracks, on the windshields.
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Demand and uses for helicopters on the rise

Aviation Week features a story on strong demand for helicopters and the services they perform.

Helicopters are needed for missions ranging from oil exploration to emergency medical services. The demand is so strong that manufacturers are working harder than ever to keep up.

The story also reports how newer helicopters use automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast(ADS-B) to fly in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico.

ADS-B networks track helicopters and relay their altitude, speed, and direction. This information is used to monitor and co-ordinate helicopter traffic over a wide area.
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Cracked airplane windshields prompt investigation in Denver

ABCnews.com features a story on an investigation into thirteen cracked aircraft windshields at Denver International Airport.

An airplane windshield is supposed to withstand extreme temperatures found at high altitudes and speeds up to 400 knots. Windshields are also designed to withstand physical trauma, such as bird strikes during flight.

The reason for the cracking is especially puzzling because windshields have broken both in flight and while the planes are parked on the tarmac.

While high winds and cold temperatures have buffeted the Denver area recently, the number of windshield problems in one place is unusual.
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Air traffic control fees and taxes could lead to bitter fight

The Orlando Sentinel features a story on a controversial Federal Aviation Administration proposal to raise fees on small aircraft and business-jet owners. The proposal would create a more stable source of revenue for the FAA and fund for air-traffic control use.

By shifting more of the cost (about 23 percent) from commercial airlines to private aircraft, private airlines would save 2 billion under the new plan. The plan would triple fuel taxes, increasing to 70 cents a gallon.

The FAA proposal will need congressional approval before moving forward.

Aviation Week also features a story on the FAA proposal and the political fighting which could result over the plan.

What do you think? Leave a comment and tell us your story.
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Honda aircraft building plant in North Carolina

Assembly Magazine reports that Honda Aircraft is building a 215,000-square-foot headquarters and hangar complex at North Carolina's Piedmont Triad International airport.

The plant will produce the HondaJet, Honda's entry into the market for light jet aircraft.

The new facility is already taking orders for new aircraft, which should be delivered around 2010.
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Imagine Air offers air charter service to mid-sized companies

Gwinnett Business Journal profiles a new charter air service, Imagine Air, offering Georgia business travelers and alternative to busy airports and security hassles.

When a NASA-led study found that the Atlanta-area could benefit from an air-taxi service, two pilots used the opportunity to start their own airline.

Imagine Air is aiming to serve mid-sized companies with their service, who need charter flights as much as big corporations do.

To ease booking fights, Imagine Air designed their own software for flight booking. Passengers can book flights quickly and know the exact price.
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Cessna hiring more workers to meet demand for planes

The Wichita Eagle features a story on Cessna Aircraft Co. and the strong demand for aircraft. Cessna's revenues have soared from $3.48 billion in 2005 to $4.16 billion in 2006.

Cessna plans to add 600 workers to deal with its backlog of orders.

While busy factories are good news for Cessna, the booming business also brings the challenge of keeping costs under control and factories stocked with enough parts.

The competition for customers will get even tougher as Honda Motor Co. and Embraer plan to introduce new aircraft. Cessna may add three new models to expand its line of aircraft.
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Deer saved from frozen lake by news chopper

WCSH in Portland, Oregon features the story and dramatic video of the rescue of a stranded deer by a TV news helicopter.

The helicopter, from KWTV in Oklahoma, spotted the deer trapped in the icy waters of a frozen lake. Realizing that the deer would die unless helped, news chopper pilot Mason Dunn used the rotor blast to push the animal to safety.
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Used small plane sales are taking off

The Wichita Eagle reports that small aircraft sales are rising, thanks to a strong economy and growing demand for planes. 2006 was the fifth year in a row that used small plane sales were up.

The demand for new planes is actually helping used aircraft sales. Orders for new planes take time to fill. Customers are buying used planes rather than wait for an order.

The hassle of increased security at airports is another factor. Small planes give businesses an option to fly with more flexible schedules and with fewer delays.

Have you bought a used small plane lately? What factors made you decide in the favor of buying a used plane instead of new? Tell us your story and post a comment below.

Looking for a used plane? Check out the selection on Aero Trader Online.
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Gliders take passengers on silent and amazing flights

The Seattle Post Intelligencer features a story on glider flying over the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Glider passengers fly over the island to take in the gorgeous scenery and crystal blue waters.

You can rent a seat on a glider with an FAA certified pilot to handle the controls. Gilders have no engines, making the flight whisper quiet. Small planes tow the glider to reach a flying attitude, and then release the cable to start the glide down.

Glider flights can be placid trips downward towards Earth, or they can be daring flights with rolls and loops for more hearty passengers.

Have you flown on a glider recently? Do you have any stories to share? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.
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Should you buy a new plane or used?

Flying Magazine features a story on the choice between buying a new plane over a used plane. What factors make a new plane the best choice?

A big difference is when a plane being purchased for business use over private use. A business usually has more money to finance and support a new plane purchase.

Newer planes feature the latest technology and advancements. Warranties with new planes are easier to project over the long term.

Are you planning to buy a new plane? Post a comment below and tell us about it.
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Too many planes and not enough hangars?

The private aircraft business is booming. Demand for jets and other aircraft by businesses and individuals has increased the number of planes, but hangar space in big cities like New York is becoming scarce.

The New York Times reports that firms that service and fly private aircraft in the New York area are having a tough time finding space to grow.

Airports can only expand so far due to zoning issues, and they need space to serve commercial airlines as well as private aircraft. Now rents are soaring (no pun intended) for prime space at busy airports.
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Tornado damage cleanup begins at Florida flight school

It was a tough Christmas for the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, after a tornado damaged over fifty aircraft.

Aircraft Maintenance Technology's website features a report on the storm damage and amazing photos of the damaged planes.

No one was killed by the high winds and flying debris, but aircraft at the flight school were flipped over or had their wings snapped off.

Despite the heavy damage, the University hopes to have the cleanup done in time for the spring semester.
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