The Sun 'n Fun flight line was littered with damaged aircraft after the tornado struck.
Strong winds flipped multiple aircraft.
Lakeland, Fla. — A tornado struck the Lakeland Airport during the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in on Thursday afternoon, Mar. 31, 2011, causing extensive damage to numerous aircraft in vendor displays and on the flight line. In the aftermath of the storm, twisted and flipped aircraft littered the display area.
The RAF had a full complement of folks in Lakeland with 14 on hand, and the entire team was at ground zero during this most unfortunate event. The onset was sudden, and the RAF tent became a shelter for many passers-by who were seeking refuge from the storm. Our tent held tight, unlike those of many vendors around us. There are some early reports of injuries, but no fatalities. Fortunately, our only casualties were a damaged display aircraft, broken TVs, and some wet shoes and shirts. We all made it out of the Sun ’n Fun area safely, and will have to wait until we can return tomorrow before we can fully assess the damage.
Click here to read more and see videos of the event.