Hurricane season just blows…

You’d think April 15th would be the most hated day in business aviation, but it’s not. No. The most disdained day on every flight department that’s located anywhere within a couple of hundred miles of coastline from south Texas to northern Main is June 1st.

Why? Well, that’s the official beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. And if you’ve ever had the distinct displeasure of dealing with any of these Carribean-created catastrophes, you’ll understand precisely what I’m talking about.

While it’s certainly nothing to take lightly when you’re in a hurricane’s path, it’s not the hours and hours of high winds, heavy rains, and all the damage they incur or the days of cleanup – it’s sitting there watching Jim Cantore and his Weather Channel team for days or even weeks as the storm methodically tracks towards your location. 

Is it just me, or does it look like those folks enjoy standing out in 100+ miles-per-hour winds with all kinds of FOD flying past their heads? Didn’t any of them ever see the movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” where the news reporter gets taken out by the billboard? Standing out in a storm is just wrong on so many levels.

Gas up the jet and get outta’ Dodge…

No offense meant, but if I were located anywhere within a storm’s path and had an airplane, where I was would be the last place I’d be. Getting away is what airplanes are for.

But, alas, for one reason or another, sometimes you’re forced to ride this one out. Well, you say it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. We have a very strong “Hurricane Rated” hangar. But when was the last time the structure and hangar doors were inspected to make sure they could withstand the high winds? Many a hangar structure has stood fast while the big doors are blown in, destroying the airplanes parked inside.

But even the most robust structure isn’t much of a match for the tornados that often accompany hurricanes.

 As an added bonus, if you’re flight department is located close to the coast, there’s the danger of storm surge flooding. Which, according to experts, is the number-one cause of storm-related damage and deaths. Even tropical storms can bring feet of rain to areas, causing significant flooding.

 All this and we haven’t even discussed the chance of a storm-induced hangar fire. And don’t believe for a second that hard rain or even a flood will stop a hangar fire. You not only have the presence of aircraft that are loaded with Jet A and Avgas. (Jet A has a particularly low flash point, so it burns fast and hot.) I addition, the hangar is loaded with all of the other various chemicals and materials used to clean and maintain the aircraft.

Of course, there are those aircraft owners who might well welcome a direct hit. I know of at least one business aircraft owner who had his crew fly the airplane in a coastal airport located smack in the center of the storm’s predicted path – the crew had a day to drive away, which they did. 

Unfortunately for that owner anyway, the storm changed course and missed the area completely.

Anyway, hoping that you are not looking for a quick turn insurance payoff and would heed warnings and get your airplane out of harm’s way, you’re figuring you’ve done all you can to minimize any potential loss from the storm’s wrath.

Well, as they say, not so fast, my friend…

Water, water, everywhere… 

As I mentioned a bit ago, while high winds get the headlines, it’s the torrential rains and flooding that do most of a storm’s damage. That’s why even though you’ve flown the airplane out of “harm’s way,” there’s still plenty of costly damage a storm can do to your operation.

Think about it for a minute – aside from the airplane itself, what is the most “valuable” part of your operation – not counting your pilots and crew? Well, the answer is your aircraft’s operational and maintenance logbooks.

If the logs are damaged or destroyed by flood waters, that’s a whole different problem you’ll have to solve. Your aircraft’s airworthiness and market value are directly tied to the information in those logbooks.

And, like repairing or replacing everything else that’s damaged, it’s a long and costly road back. Replacement or refurbishment requires that each entry be checked and confirmed back to the aircraft’s entry into service. The time and cost to do it all is considerable.

Don’t let your biz jet’s value go down the drain.

The truly unfortunate part of it all is, like your aircraft, if the “logbooks” aren’t in the hangar, they they can’t be damaged. Sure, you could load boxes of books in the airplane, but that’s a problem you don’t want to deal with.

It’s much easier to have all those valuable documents digitized and safely stored on Bluetail’s secure cloud-based network. That way, no matter where the airplane is, its back-to-birth history is searchable and shareable.

If you want to learn more about how Bluetail’s digital records scanning services and products can help keep your valuable logbooks safe from anything Mother Nature can throw at them, visit

NBAA New Guidelines on Electronic Recordkeeping