An unknown number of small planes were destroyed when the hangars they were in at the Gatesville (TX) Municipal Airport got destroyed by a severe storm last Friday that wreaked widespread damage to Central Texas. Gatesville Municipal is a small, single-runway (3,400 feet) with no instrument approaches and just nine planes based on the field.
We haven’t been able to confirm the number of planes destroyed or damaged, but that nine-plane count is a lot slimmer.
The weather phenomenon that wrecked the hangars and tossed the planes about were known as straight line winds, sometimes referred to as a gust front or Derecho, though the latter is not exactly accurate, as straight-line winds are associated with a fast-moving storm front whereas Derechos form apart from squall lines. It was a fast moving front that hit Gatesville on Friday. Forecasts for the area on Friday were warning of winds up to and exceeding 70 mph, probably not enough to take down hangars, but such winds have been known to cause winds that can greatly exceed 100 mph.