November 2004 Issue

Death of a Hangar

When an intense hurricane looms, many hangars will be so much scrap metal. But with the right construction, survival is all but assured.

[IMGCAP(1)] by Paul Bertorelli

When Bonanza owner Larry Hofmeister told us he had intended to ride out the vicious winds of Hurricane Charley in his hangar at Punta Gorda, Florida last August, we thought he’d lost touch with reality. We’re as fond of our airplane as the next guy but babysitting it through a Category 4 hurricane doesn’t rise to the top of our to-do list.

Yet when Hofmeister arrived at the airport the day after, both his Bonanza and the hangar that housed it sat serene and intact amidst a scene of utter destruction elsewhere at Punta Gorda, with some 150 aircraft smashed to scrap metal by Charley’s fierce 130-MPH-plus winds. The first question is glaringly obvious...

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