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Gusts of wind hit Denver; windshields crack on planes

Earth News: Colorado, USA
The Wind Monster
Feb 17, 2007
Winds gusting to 100 mph slashed through foothills canyons in Colorado and across the high plains of Wyoming on Friday, prompting travel warnings and cracking windshields on airplanes at Denver International Airport. SkyWest Airlines reported 14 cracked windshields on nine aircraft, while Frontier Airlines reported cracked windshields on four planes. Most planes cracked while either landing or taking off between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Friday as gusts of up to 50 mph were hitting the airport. The windshield on another plane cracked while it was airborne. "Only the outermost layer was affected." They're investigating why the windshields cracked with the winds. Two of Frontier's Airbus planes were in the air when their windshields cracked, while two cracked while at the gate. Frontier said it was unclear whether the high winds were to blame. "It's not exactly unusual weather for Denver. We don't know what it is... It's kind of a mystery at this point." Windshields cracked on several different makes and models of airplanes from several different airlines. None of the pilots reported flying debris. "Everybody is fairly baffled by it." High wind advisories were issued for hundreds of miles of highways.
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