Military aircraft in Hurricane Dorian’s path land at WPAFB

Local News

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – Along with their normal operations, Wright-Patterson Air Force base is stepping in to be a safe haven for some Department of Defense resources.

A number of military planes that could be caught in the middle of Hurricane Dorian, which is now a Category 3, landed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to protect the air crafts from the wrath of the storm.

“We have lots of land out here to park aircraft right now,” said David Egner, the Director of Specials Operations the 88th Air Base Wing. “We’re about an hour, an hour-and-a-half, sometimes two hours from most of the coastal bases. So we’re a good opportunity, because we are well inland where we won’t get the storms up here in this area.”

Egner said when these storms hit, sometimes the aircraft fly to Fort Worth, Texas instead, but with the uncertainty of this hurricane’s path, they are heading north instead of going west.

As of Friday afternoon, just a handful had landed but Egner said by Saturday afternoon that number could jump to about 50 or 60.

“We’re taking care of aircraft in Jacksonville, Florida, also aircraft up the East Coast as far as Charleston Air Force Base,” said Egner. “We’re waiting on some more airplanes to make some decisions as far as Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, Panama City and that area.”

Egner said while a lot of pilots immediately fly back home to be with their families, many must wait to fly resources back, so Wright-Patt officials open up hotels on and around base to take care of crews that come up.

“They may be tasked to take resources, food, water, or building supplies back with them if they are called upon by FEMA or other government agencies,” said Egner.

Egner said it is not known yet how long the planes will be here as that depends on the hurricane’s path and the level of damage it creates.

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