Avionics News January 2016 - 22
1400 Jim Hamilton Blvd.
Columbia, SC 29205
South Carolina strong
Aircraft Maintenance Services dodges damage from epic storm
S T O R Y
C H R I S T I N E
n early October 2015, a slow-moving storm
from Hurricane Joaquin drenched much of South
Carolina, including Columbia and surrounding
towns. During two days, more than a foot of rain
saturated the ground and flooded creeks, filling homes
and businesses to the rafters, washing out roads, bridges
and dams, and leaving families without power and potable
water. Governor Nikki Haley
called the downpour the
kind that only happens
once in a thousand years.
"We knew the storm
was going to bring a lot of
rain," said Frank Schumpert, owner and founder of
Aircraft Maintenance Services
in Columbia. "We prepared all day
the Friday before, foaming all of the doors
and laying plastic 4 feet up the outside hangar wall and
covering it with dirt."
While first responders rescued and evacuated hundreds of people and pets trapped by floodwaters, the
employees at the FAA repair station were among the
lucky ones who stayed safe and dry.
"Thankfully, none of us received any damage to our
homes or property," explained Joshua Snipes, avionics
K N A U E R
manager. "All around us got it bad. The main road into
the airport was washed out, and many other roads were
flooded. One of the main thoroughfares to the airport
runs by Gills Creek, which flooded badly. There were a
bunch of cars piled up; it was crazy to see. The biggest
issue was trying to find a way to get to work."
At Aircraft Maintenance Services, the storm damage
"When we came in
we only had 2 inches
of water in the parts
room and hangar," said
Schumpert, who founded
the business in 1994. "We were
happy that our efforts paid off."
By late October, the aircraft maintenance business began to feel normal again
with a dry hangar, roads opening, FedEx and UPS deliveries back on normal schedules, and customers returning. Schumpert went back to planning for future growth.
Adding more space, avionics capabilities
The last several years have been marked by tremendous growth for Aircraft Maintenance Services. In 2014,
Schumpert relocated his business from Camden, South