Saturday, April 9, 2011

NWS report on the Sun 'n Fun tornado

There were nine tornadoes confirmed by the National Weather Service. Here's the report of the one that hit Lakeland Linder (click to enlarge):

The full report is a pdf located here. And this is the URL in case you want to browse: Man, 95 mph winds. Ouch.

Based on the red arrow (which the NWS put on the map, not me!) it would appear that the tornado went right through the Aviation Explorer Post 491's display, a dead hit. Good job a lot of the warbirds were moved off Rwy 5-23 or else it would have been a strike, counting half a dozen P-51s, an F4U, a gaggle of T-6s.....

Friday, April 8, 2011

A little muddy, but SnF roared back on Friday

Describing the atmosphere at Sun 'n Fun on Friday morning is difficult. I think pensive is the most accurate way to put it. There definitely wasn't a galloping celebration, but nor was anyone showing overtly the signs of distress that might have been expected following the previous day's devastating storm. Instead, the majority of the visiting public appeared contemplative, not quite somber. The volunteers, reps, crews and other workers just looked dog-tired, as you'd think they might after a long, arduous night.

The public got in, one way or another

No doubt uppermost in people's minds were the damaged planes, the shattered dreams and the lost livelihoods of the many who suffered on Thursday. Spending an hour or more in the stationary traffic waiting to get into Lakeland Linder, followed by the virtual chess game (for those not wanting to spend further time waiting for a tractor-trailer ride) that arose out of having to pick a careful path through the mud and waterlogged grass from the parking area, would have added a bit to the general malaise. But I didn't hear much serious complaint, just a bit of steam-letting here and there. Not enough to ruin anyone's day, particularly in light of the prior day's events. I heard that several people opted to park where they got stuck in traffic and walked in, one guy I met walking 4 miles. That's dedication if you ask me. It's the attraction of the event, the indomitable EAA spirit. You do what you need to do to make the objective.