On Monday when members made their way to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) hangar at the Marco Island Executive Airport they were devastated with what they saw. The hangar itself was built 14 years ago through a fundraising effort run by the late Monte Lazarus, a longtime aviation enthusiast who was a member of the Wing for many years and a retired United Airlines executive. The building was erected to Category 2 standards on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to withstand winds of 110 mph.“We were devastated with what we saw when we arrived,” said Robert Corriveau, the Commander of the Marco Island Senior Squadron – SER-FL-376. Corriveau, along with Deputy Commander Bob Boone and Ray James, the Logistics Officer for the Squadron, were surveying damage to the building and making plans for the return of the Squadron’s Cessna 182T. That aircraft was moved to the Daytona area to remove it from potential harm.
“The building collapsed inward 50 feet like an accordion, popping out the sides and collapsing the roof into the hangar section of the building up to the area which is utilized as the Squadron’s operation center, but leaving the OP’s Center intact,” said Boone during his inspection.“The catastrophic damage we see here has all the characteristics of a ‘micro burst’ type energy event,” said Corriveau. “The energy it took to tear these support structures apart and rip the cement foundations from the ground was tremendous,” said Ray James.
Two vehicles that were left in the building were also crushed when the building imploded onto itself. The airport itself had minimal damage, although it did lose a couple of hangar doors.
“We’ll be pulling together our plans to rebuild the hangar as we assess the damage and cost to do so, while working within the community for their assistance,” said Squadron Commander Corriveau as he walked through wreckage while maintaining a positive attitude.