ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – Thousands of aircraft flood Northeast Wisconsin every year for EAA.
Wednesday, many of those airplanes sought shelter, with storms on the horizon in the area.
Randy Mysliviec checked into the Jet Air Hangar in Ashwaubenon Wednesday morning, a space he booked nearly 6 months ago.
“We book this hangar space back in like February,” he told Local 5, “maybe earlier…it’s really hard to get space this time of year.”
That space Mysliviec booked all those months ago is now at a premium.
“A lot of people have been looking for hangar space to protect their aircraft from the severe weather coming,” Alan Timmerman, CEO of Jet Air said.
Before noon on Wednesday, Jet Air had a waiting list of more than a dozen planes looking for cover.
“Storm or no storm, I think there’d be a waiting list anyway,” Mysliviec said. “That storm will make it harder because nobody wants their plane outside if you have hail storms or something coming down.”
Planes are made of aluminum, which can be easily damaged in severe weather.
To their pilots, the aircraft are priceless.
“Just like a classic car owner or a motorcycle owner,” Timmerman explained, “they take a lot of pride in their vehicle, and aircraft owners are the same way.”
Aircraft owners in the area for EAA looked for a spot to weather the predicted storm Wednesday.
“I’ve got 120,000 square feet of hangar space, and I’ve got every square foot full,” Timmerman said.
Calls to fill that space started coming in as soon as folks realized bad weather was incoming.
“I had one gentleman call me this morning, and he said, ‘I’ve called every airport within 100 miles,’ and he said, ‘You’re my last hope,’ and I said, ‘Well, we’ll put you on the list, but we’ve already got 13 ahead of you.”
Local 5 spoke with an EAA representative Wednesday afternoon.
They anticipated that many of those planes seeking shelter for the night to return for the rest of the week’s activities.