Storm, high winds damage aircraft in Arizona

 - April 23, 2008, 10:27 AM

Twelve aircraft, including five commercial and several corporate jets, were damaged during a severe thunderstorm that ripped through Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on July 14, ushering in the Arizona monsoon season and shutting down the airport for three hours. The north runway remained closed until noon the next day. Winds of up to 70 mph moved aircraft into ground equipment, tossed cargo containers onto parked cars and ripped off part of the roof of Honeywell Engines and Systems complex. The storm caused a beam in Swift Aviation’s hangar to fall onto a customer’s new Citation Bravo while Swift’s Falcon 2000, parked on the ramp, suffered minor damage to its fuselage and tail from flying debris. According to Marlene Purswell, Swift director of customer services and marketing, more than two dozen employees using company trucks and other equipment pitched in to help the airport clean up the mess to allow operations to return to normal. More than 4,000 Honeywell employees were still barred from coming to work as late as July 16 due to downed power lines and other storm-related debris blocking areas adjacent to the facility.