View Full Version : Denver storms - severe aircraft damage and delays

22nd Jun 2001, 12:54
From Wall Street Journal:

"Severe hailstorms damaged dozens of planes at Denver International airport, leading to flight cancellations and delays across the country.

United Airlines was among the hardest hit. United said hail damaged at least 33 planes, or about 5% of its fleet, interrupting service across its system.

Regional operators Frontier Airlines Inc. and Great Lakes Aviation Ltd. also had to cancel flights due to damaged planes.

The hailstorms accompanied several tornadoes that touched down near the airport Wednesday evening, damaging the airport's radar and forcing officials to briefly ground some flights.

The storms also damaged a radar used to avoid runway collisions of planes on the ground, said Mike Fergus, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

United said a maintenance crew from San Francisco has flown to Denver to inspect its aircraft. Most of the damaged planes will be removed from service to be repaired.

Meanwhile, Denver-based Frontier said four of its 27 aircraft were damaged in the storm, prompting it to cancel about 15 flights Thursday.

While warning that it is difficult to estimate the financial impact this early, Frontier said it expects to incur uninsured costs of up to $750,000 for repairing the aircraft. The company said there will also be revenue losses from canceled flights.

Frontier said it hopes to return one airplane into service Thursday or Friday, but doesn't know how long the other three aircraft will be out of service.

Great Lakes said the storm damaged 21 of its regional planes. Most of the aircraft that sustained damage have been flown to maintenance locations for further inspection and repair, the Cheyenne, Wyo., company said.

The damage caused "significant" service disruptions to its Denver route structure, Great Lakes said.

The company expects operations to return to normal by early next week."