Presentation on theme: "09/30/2004 - NEW CASTLE, Delaware. (AFPN) -- Many people from the Delaware Air National Guard’s 166th Airlift Wing here witnessed C-130 Hercules aircraft."— Presentation transcript:
09/30/2004 - NEW CASTLE, Delaware. (AFPN) -- Many people from the Delaware Air National Guard’s 166th Airlift Wing here witnessed C-130 Hercules aircraft “dancing like ballerinas,” as a tornado struck here Sept. 28. Tuesday's tornado, classified as an F2 or "strong " tornado by the National Weather Service on a scale of F0 to F5, was about 150 yards wide and packed winds of about 130 mph. The winds of an F5 tornado can reach 300 mph, according to the Fujita wind scale used by meteorologists. The damaged C-130s had been lined up about 50 feet apart from each other. Although maintainers took all the necessary precautions to protect the aircraft, high winds tore them from their chains, said Tech. Sgt. Ben Matwey, a wing public affairs specialist. “They were all thrown from their spots,” said Sergeant Matwey, adding that several firefighters, security forces Airmen and flight operations workers witnessed what happened next. ”One of them was thrown on its side, on its wing, and actually skimmed across the base on one wing [for] over 100 to 150 yards and landed in a ditch. “Two other aircraft went flying up in the air -- nose first, tail to the ground -- and were dancing like ballerinas in the air,” he said. He said the driver of a security forces truck had to duck down as a C-130 flew over him after being picked up by the wind before crashing. Another aircraft was left sitting atop another with its tail on the front fuselage. Teams of recovery specialists are currently assessing the full extent of the damage.