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Saturday, April 23, 2011


Wayne Brasler

Well, at this point it has all been sorted out and the story is not good. It was at its height an F-4 tornado; when it entered Lambert Field it was high-end F-2. There is video of the tornado hitting the airport taken from inside the terminal and there is no easily seen funnel cloud; the only photo taken showing a funnel was shot as the storm left the airport and that was caught in a lightning flash and it's a wide tube from the cloud deck to the earth. The terrible truth is that despite more than a half hour of sirens blowing and St. Louis and national media tracking the tornado from touchdown, and announcing where it would be at what time, Lambert continue its operations. The pilot of a landing aircraft encountered 80 mile an hour crosswinds. A plane loaded with passengers at a gate was lifted and moved vertically. Inside the terminal there was never a warning, only a person yelling "getting out" after people watching from large windows saw the plane at the gate moved. All the people could see was rain moving from right to left in a big circle. The fact seems to be that despite all the public warnings for 35 minutes the people in charge of the airport were simply unaware of what was going on. I fly in and out of Lambert all the time and it is a well-run airport and a pleasure to use. But what happened here, despite all sorts of explanations which don't stand up to much examination, simply should not have happened.

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