Tornado Flattens Hangars at Airport in Eastern Oklahoma

A NOTAM projects David Jay Perry Airport to be closed for a week.

Cleanup is underway at David Jay Perry Airport in Goldsby, Oklahoma (1K4) after a tornado touched down at the airport Sunday night. [Courtesy: Barbara McClurkin]

Cleanup is underway at David Jay Perry Airport in Goldsby, Oklahoma (1K4) after a tornado touched down at the airport Sunday night. 

The airport, located approximately 1 mile NE of Goldsby and 9 miles southwest of Norman, sustained heavy damage from the fierce storm that spawned at least nine tornados. As this story was going to press there were reports of approximately 12 injuries in the city of Goldsby, but no reports of deaths.

The airport covers 342 acres and is located near the interchange of Interstate 35 and state highway 74. According to airnav.com the airport has two runways: 13/31 measuring 3,004 feet by 60 feet, and 17/35 measuring 1,801 feet by 60 feet. There are 45 aircraft based at the field.

Photographs of the airport demonstrate the capriciousness of tornados——some hangars appear to be undamaged, others are flattened, and others have sheet metal on top of them that was torn from other structures.

One of three quonset-hut style hangars was flattened during the storm. [Courtesy: Barbara McClurkin]

"It looks like the tornado came down right on the airport," says Barbara McClurkin, a general aviation pilot based at the airport. McClurkin and her husband David have a 1978 Cessna 172. The aircraft was unharmed and their hangar had minimal damage from the storm.

Others were not so lucky. One of three quonset-hut style hangars was flattened, and several T-hangars were smashed or their walls and ceilings ripped away. In some cases, the airplanes inside appear to be undamaged. In other cases, the owners of the aircraft haven't been able to get into the hangars because the force of the winds damaged the doors.

"The doors were forced off their tracks by the wind and the owners can't get the doors open," said McClurkin. "Several of the hangars had the siding ripped off—there is sheet metal all over the airport."

A notice to air missions (NOTAM) was posted this morning advising of the airport's closure until next week.

A notice to air missions (NOTAM) was posted this morning advising of the airport's closure until next week. [Courtesy: Barbara McClurkin]

McClurkin told FLYING that she tracked the storm, saying it left a trail several miles long. The streets of Goldsby are impassable in parts as they are littered with the debris from damaged homes and businesses.

The airport was built by the U.S. Navy in 1943 as an outlying landing field for Naval Air Station Norman Oklahoma. After the war it became a general aviation facility. Neither the FBO or airport services such as fuel were apparently damaged by the storm.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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