11:26 PM

We're good…just nicked.

A few posts ago, I told you about Jay and Mary Honeck, innkeepers of the very cool aviation-themed Alexis Park Inn and Suites in Iowa City, Iowa. These are the kind of people we pilots dig, with 100LL running cool through their veins.

So I was worried about the Honecks as news rolled in like this:

IOWA CITY – Tornadoes tore across the University of Iowa campus, ripped walls off a downtown church and killed a woman in a mobile home outside town. The National Weather Service said five tornadoes touched down in Johnson County on Thursday night, the most destructive carving a 3 1/2-mile path of damage through downtown and the university.
It turns out that Jay was at an Airport Commission meeting debating such hot topics as runway pavement projects when all hell broke loose across Johnson County:
"Racing toward home, flying down a tree-lined street that offered a limited view to the south, I glanced in the direction of the reported tornado when, in a flash of lightning, I saw it. There was no way to judge scale or direction of travel, in that millisecond flash, but it was big. A giant, V-shaped funnel was looming over the city, and it couldn't have been six blocks away! In fact, for me to have been able to see it at all, over those trees, it was either 50 stories tall, or it was right on top of me!"
Damage to the Honecks was minimal. There was some roof and fence damage at the inn, but their home and hangar came through unscathed.

Glad to hear it. And from Oregon, the land of raindrops as big as cars, I ask you guys in Tornado Alley…how the hell do you get ANY flying in this time of year? I’ve heard of IFR, but man, Mother Nature gives it to you folks.

Jay has provided a great play-by-play from someone right in the eye of the tiger. I've published (with his permission) a PDF of the story here. (You HAVE to download this and read it, it'll blow your mind - dan)

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