Mini Tornado Damaged Two Airplanes at Tivat Airport

By , 09 Jun 2018, 15:44 PM News
Mini Tornado Damaged Two Airplanes at Tivat Airport Sinisa Lukovic

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June 9, 2018 – Two Piaggio P-180 Avanti airplanes were damaged by a strong whirlwind at the Tivat international airport last night. One of the planes was rotated by about 180 degrees without any serious damage, however, the other one was literally lifted from the ground, rotated and "thrown"  back onto the field which caused significant damage and knocked the plane out of service.

"The storm that affected the Montenegrin coastline last night damaged two P-180 aircraft that were safely parked on proper positions at the Tivat airport at 2:59 am. Each of the two airplanes weighed more than 6 tons, which says enough about the severity of the storm," commented Director of Montenegro Airports Danilo Orlandic.

As reported, other aircrafts parked at the airport were not affected, though the storm caused domestic damage across the airport area such as torn and broken billboards at the Adriatic main road.

As we unofficially learned, both planes were parked and secured to undercuts under the wheels following all regulations, and their weight of 6 tons did not require any additional belts for anchorage. No aircraft in this part of the airport was anchored including much lighter (about 2 tonnes) helicopters, which the storm did not affect.

Experts believe that the specific aerodynamic shape of the Piaggio Avanti airplane had an additional role in an incident because the aircraft is equipped with the so-called "pilot system", i.e., the main horizontal control surfaces were located on the nose, instead of the tail of the craft. Therefore, the front of this plane has a significantly higher lift, making it easier for a strong wind to "lift up" a parked aircraft and rotate it.

Tivat airport regular operations are not affected by the incident and passengers are able to check in and leave as normal.

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