Students took to the classrooms and flight line of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) at the Daytona Beach international airport on 16 January, only 22 days after a powerful tornado destroyed or damaged 50 of its 65 training aircraft and multiple buildings on 25 December.
In addition to work crews who patched up classrooms, the aviation industry helped out by assisting ERAU in quickly finding replacement leased aircraft for the training fleet.
“You can’t tell anything happened,” says university spokesman Jim Hampton of the renewed flight line, which is now numbers 70 aircraft (pictured below). “People from industry responded overwhelmingly and immediately.”
ERAU plans to replace most of the leased aircraft this year, in part by working with Cessna to accelerate the delivery of 29 new aircraft that had been slated to be delivered this summer.