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Hurricane Isaac damages GA planes in New Orleans


As Hurricane Isaac lashed Louisiana with inches of pounding rain last week, water backed up in drains at Burke Lakefront Airport in New Orleans, flooding more than 20 planes that owners thought would be safe in their hangars. One of the damaged aircraft is a heavily modified Skyhawk used for aerial surveys of whales and other marine wildlife. Its owner rushed to disassemble as much of the aircraft as he could, applying chemicals to try to ward off corrosion. While most of the aircraft appears repairable, its wiring and ELT will likely have to be replaced. West of New Orleans, at the uncontrolled St. John the Baptist Parish Airport, floodwaters damaged some planes, and owners were forced to contend with thousands of dead earthworms that piled up trying to escape the rising water. At Lakefront, aircraft owners are asking questions about why the airport's drains apparently failed. The airport sits outside the city's levee system, but is protected by its own levees, which held back Isaac's storm surge. But a valve connecting the airport's drains to a city canal behind the levees may have been closed before Isaac made landfall.