Thursday, February 23, 2012

Savage storm rips-off hangar doors

Advance Aviation employees can’t believe their eyes on Wednesday morning.

EMERALD charter company Advance Aviation was counting its blessings after extreme wind gusts ripped hangar doors from hinges during a storm at Emerald Airport on Tuesday evening.

"When I heard the noise, I had no idea what it was," chief pilot and chief executive Alec Mercer said.

As luck would have it, the hangar was unusually empty at the time, with most of the fleet parked well away from the doors.

"I heard a loud bang and rushed out to see what the noise was all about and found what I found," Mr Mercer said.

"We were very lucky there was nobody working in the shed at the time.

"If the storm had happened earlier in the day it might have been a different story."

It is believed severe wind created a vacuum in the hangar, ripping the doors outwards.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting afternoon storms and showers throughout the Central Highlands during the weekend.

"At this stage, we can't tell how severe they will be," bureau senior forecaster Mike Marrinan said.

"On the day, if they are going to be severe, we will issue a warning and let people know. The atmosphere is very unstable throughout much of Queensland at the moment."

He said 100-200mm had fallen in some parts of the Central Highlands during the past few days. Some hail was reported in Emerald on Tuesday.

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