As a severe thunderstorm rolled across the Arizona
landscape, a microburst came crashing down from the sky in a
blast of rain, hail and wind. One of the building's in its blast path was Chandler Aviation. The damage to the building was extensive. Its hangar door was ruined. As part of the repairs, the building was outfitted with a new, stronger door from Schweiss Doors.
Microbursts are dangerous down-sweeping windstorms that sometimes spawn during thunderstorms. Wet or dry, when these bursts hit the ground they spread out in all directions. They've been
known to produce wind gusts up to 150 mph.
“When these storms
drop, they drop with a tremendous amount of force,” says Frank Setzler,
owner of Chandler Aviation since its beginning in 1984. “One of those
microbursts landed just south of my building. It tore aircraft from
steel chain tiedowns and blew heavy airplanes around the field like they
were little Tonka toys. My building was in the middle of it. My
neighbor who has a newer building lost sliding doors of the north and
south side of his building. I lost nearly half of my roof and damage to
the door was virtually equal. The standard rolling doors on the south
side of our building were dislodged and fell off the track system,
causing damage to several planes locked inside the hangar during the
microburst. The insurance company surmised the winds to be in the range
of 90 mph.”
The Chandler Aviation building in Chandler, Ariz.,
how has a 48-foot by 14-foot, 10-inch Schweiss Doors bifold liftstrap
door on it. The door is equipped with a manual latch system. Four
translucent polycarbonate panels at the top half of the door allow
natural daylight to brighten up the inside of the building.
spec’d out the bifold door from Schweiss,” Setzler says “We have several
Schweiss doors here at Chandler Municipal Airport on private hangars.
I’ve been in and out of a lot of different hangars over the past 30
years and I can see the quality of Schweiss.
“Now that I see the
differences in the construction and engineering of my new Schweiss door,
compared to my previous electric bifold door, I doubt there would be a
failure of this door under the same conditions that his us previously.
From the quality and professionalism of our building contractors
(Central Construction Co. and Dan Barnett Arizona Corporate Builders),
we definitely have a superior installation and a superior product.”
says he felt more comfortable with a bifold liftstrap door because it
allows people to park closer to the building. He didn’t look to any
other door manufacturer before choosing Schweiss.
“I had an old
bifold door form another company on my 9,000 square foot building,”
Setzler says. “I knew what I had before and I know that I had to change
out the cables maybe a couple of times. The door that was on there I
installed 20-plus year ago. It replaced there sliding doors going north
and three sliding doors going south, covering the span of where our new
bifold is installed. Those sliding doors were marginal at best and
depending on the time of the year, I sometimes had to use my pickup to
open those old doors. It’s amazing to think that each strap on my
Schweiss bifold door can lift 29,000 pounds.”
Buildings in Tempe, Ariz., ordered and installed the Schweiss bifold
liftstrap door for Chandler Aviation. ACB and Central Construction
Company were in charge of revamping Chandler’s building and existing
door damaged by the storm. Both companies have been involved with
numerous buildings at the airport during the last 25 years.
had two adjoined buildings,” says Dan Barnett, President Emeritus of
Arizona Corporate Buildings. One was a 1960s masonry wall/wood roof
constructed building, where the new Schweiss door was installed. The
other building was an early 1970s 80-foot by 80-foot steel building that
had a rolling hangar door. With the use of a parapet system, we were
able to create the look of a single new building.”
building has given Setzler additional outside storage space for hoists,
jacks, oxygen and battery carts and other equipment not used on a daily
basis through the use of secure eight-foot privacy walls.
always had a love of aviation,” Setzler says. “My dad also had the
passion for it, but only as a hobby. I know his love of aviation rubbed
off on me. He’d actually got as far as soloing, but wasn’t able to go
much farther after starting life and a family. I pursued the mechanics
and maintenance side of aviation after attending a community college in
southern Arizona, specializing in the aviation industry, so I could
learn how to work in the field and never looked back. I enjoy going to
work every day.”
Setzler explained that in order to do mechanical
and maintenance work, it takes an FAA license from the federal
government called an A&P license, followed by an FAA authorized
inspector certificate. After working in the field, Setzler earned his
Private Pilots License about 30 years ago and now flies a 1965 Piper
“I get a lot of use out of the door every day,” Setzler
says. “We are a five-day-a-week company. We open it in the morning for
circulation and again in the afternoon after the sun gets over to the
other side. Plus, of course, every time we tow an airplane into or out
of our hangar for service. We put insulation on it because with the old
door, I could feel heat coming through the door early in the morning.
For the comfort level it gives us, I am very pleased with adding the
insulation. I like the door because all we have to do is push the button
and it goes up.”