Storms cause nearly a million dollars in damage to OSU airplanes

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STILLWATER, Okla. – Some overnight thunderstorms caused a lot of damage in Stillwater. Nearly one-third of the aircraft fleet for OSU's flight center was destroyed.

There were five planes damaged, and just one of those planes will cost you more than $300,000.

The program director said it will put a bump in classes this semester, but he's just glad his students were not injured.

Officials said several planes were flipped over at the Stillwater Airport due to a thunderstorm that moved through around 1 a.m.

"I got heren and this is what we found," said Lance Fortney, Flight Program Manager at OSU.

Planes smashed and relocated from a storm that moved in early Friday morning.

"We suspect that it just picked it up and cartwheeled it over," Fortney said.

Causing serious damage to the nose of the aircraft and even more to the tail.

"It looks like two of them will be totally totaled, one of them is borderline and the other two is just minor repairs," Fortney said.

Five airplanes total, thousands of dollars, gone with the wind.

"The highest wind we saw was only about 60 miles an hour, but that didn't mean it didn't get higher right here," Fortney said, checking pilot data to compare wind speeds.

These planes are designed to fly in 100-mile-per-hour winds.

We checked in with our chief meteorologist Mike Morgan to see what may have happened.

"Two o'clock in the morning, the strongest storm in the state went right over Stillwater, winds with the forward speeds being so fast were accelerated, strong, straight line damaging winds at least 70-80 miles per hour," Morgan said.

A perfect recipe to swirl these planes around.

"Straight line winds, now when they come down and hit the earth, they can swirl just a little bit and have the appearance of a weak tornado," Morgan said.

Damage to planes students at OSU rely on to get an education.

"So, what we're going to have to do is lengthen our flying day window from six o'clock in the morning probably from 10 or 12 at night, start running probably seven days a week ," Fortney said.

The planes were covered by insurance, but they think it will be at least next year before they can get new planes in.

One of the hangars at the airport also sustained serious roof damage.

There were also reports of trees and powerlines down in the area.

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