Small Planes Flipped Over, Heavily Damaged At Trenton Airport

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS 2 / WCBS 880/1010 WINS) — The East Coast was a mess Wednesday and the powerful wind gusts refused to let up.

Earlier in the day small planes were tossed like toys, some flipped over, at Trenton Mercer Airport. In Scotch Plains, a tree fell on a gas main. It then ruptured into a fiery explosion.

In Philadelphia there was major damage to a shopping mall. The winds demolished windows and walls and tore off the roof.

And in Baltimore, the National Weather Service is investigating reports of a tornado. The storm ripped the top off homes and destroyed trees.

PHOTO GALLERY: Planes Flipped Over In Trenton
LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Craig Allen with Weather To Go

A squall line of strong winds and heavy rain blew through New Jersey about 4:30 a.m., National Weather Service meteorologist Walter Drag said. There were pockets of wind gusts between 50 to 65 mph in southern New Jersey, he said.

The small airplanes at Trenton Mercer were tied down Tuesday night when thunderstorms moved through the airport. However, the relentless winds picked the planes up, bounced them around as if they were toys and shattered their windshields before leaving them nose down in the ground.

“Some of the aircraft were tumbled onto their roofs so we can have cabin damage, wing damage, nose damage,” Mercer County spokesperson Julie Millot told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

Eight planes were pretty much destroyed. Chris Moyers said he was planning on flying a Cessna on Wednesday. He’s training at Mercer County Community College, which lost three planes.

“I am devastated. This is ridiculous. I mean, ah, I really can’t believe this,” Moyers said.

Not only that, the roof of a nearby hanger blew off and flew 50 yards.

“It is like a banana peel all over the place. That’s weather for you,” flight student Nick Biondo said.

Over in Scotch Plains, high winds toppled trees and polls, causing the gas main explosion behind Tom DeVizeo’s backyard on Cooper Road.

“We heard a major windstorm come through. I mean, it sounded like a freight train for about 60 seconds,” DeVizeo said. “I ran downstairs, looked in the backyard and saw a ball of flames in my backyard.”


Friday: High 47, Low 36
Sunny. Highs around 50. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Saturday: High 56, Low 46
Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 50s.

Sunday: High 49, Low 38
Mostly sunny. Highs around 50.

Comments (28)
  1. Scott says:

    George, I’d guess that you are not very familiar with aviation. Some of these students are studying for a career, others for leisure. As a fellow private pilot, I do feel sorry for those who lost their aircraft, and am just glad they weren’t in them when it happened.

    I find it interesting when people who own boats, motorcycles or spend their weekends in bars comment on the “leisure lifestyle” of recreational pilots. Sure, I have an airplane but I also drive a 23 year old truck to work every day.

  2. Cory says:

    Remember Newcastle DE in 2004 a tornado destroyed 1 and heavily damaged 4 C-130s. I know because I was involved in repairing the 4 and dismantling the 1 destroyed. A Tornado is nothing but strong winds.

  3. freecheese says:

    I live in fly-over country. If something like this happened where I live, It would NEVER made the headlines of the Drudge Report. .
    Just like Monday morning: Turn on ANY cable news, and the FIRST thing we get is the Northeast weather report and the football scores from all of the East Coast teams.
    We, in Fly-Over-Country (Us ADULTS) hate your “down-your-attitude) toward US, the backbone of the country — who are mostly CONSERVATIVE, as opposed to NYC !

    1. Jessa Rand says:

      Hey freecheese — are you jealous that once in a while WE get a tornado in NJ? Now and then they come here too — live with it. Tornados aren’t only for dumb people.

  4. Chupkaman says:

    Yep, Steve did 2 minutes before I noticed.

  5. Chupkaman says:

    Hey did anyone notice that “polls” were toppled?

    1. Dave says:

      especially in the last election

  6. Steve says:

    “Over in Scotch Plains, high winds toppled trees and polls”

    Were there any voters hurt, or do we have another idiot journalist and mail it in editor?

  7. Pete T. says:

    Get over it, Yankees. And maybe learn to tie your planes down. This happens in Oklahoma about once a week.

    1. Dina says:

      Pete T: Yes, same in West Texas, too. Have seen 90 mph winds a few times. I noticed a few weeks back that Chicago had an alert to expect 30 mph winds. That’s a breeze for us.

  8. replying2U says:

    To Steve in Philly….Dude, obviously you have your own preconceived ideas of how God is to behave. You know, we could talk to 10 diff people and get 10 diff ideas as to God, yet if you don’t base your beliefs on the Bible (as does Joseph), your thoughts are pretty much useless and worthless.

  9. Nick says:

    Hey, I knew some of those kids. They all work full time and attend college and fly on their own time. They probably work harder than most people you will meet in their age group.

  10. Greg Miller says:

    Too bad it didn’t take Baltimore with it…

  11. Steve in Philly says:

    Yeah, Joseph, if that is how your god works, you can have ’em. Just for the heck of it he messes up people’s lives? And we are supposed to worship that? LOL.

    1. Adam says:

      It’s called mother nature and it was here long before you. That means your opinion is about as good as the dump I just took.

    2. Tim says:

      Steve in Philly, your knees will bow and your tongue will confess. May God show you His mercy that you may do so of your own free will while you still have time

    3. Dina says:

      Steve in Philly, be sure and say it’s God the next time you have a beautiful, wonderful day. Sunshine, birds singing, gorgeous sunset, etc. He is a god of Love and wants the best for us. There is “another” force out there, too, you know. It’s not a good one. Blessings for a great day.

    4. Stove in Philly says:

      LOL? Does that mean Love Our Lord?

  12. Paul H says:

    Flight lessons are not always a matter of leisure time, George. It’s not up to you to decide how someone spends their money, especially if they are working (worked) harder than someone that lacks the wisdom to share ludicrous judgments like yours. Obviously, you are the product of public education.

  13. virginia says:

    obama “the messiah” will save us if he can find time between his family vacation trips while doing his business creating new jobs for us and securing america’s borders and saving the rest of the world from terrorists ?

  14. Joseph says:

    Thank you, God, for reminding us that you, and only You, are King of the Universe, creator and sustainor, and Almighty. You humble the arrogant at your whim and designed then give human beings free will. The storm woke me up at 4 AM as I live only a few minutes from that airport.

  15. ann says:

    that’s called envy, my friend

  16. George L says:

    I find it hard to feel sorry for someone with the leisure lifestyle and money to be a flight student.

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