There have been 28 incidents of roof damage by wake vortices from planes in Florsheim, Frankfurt since October 2011

There have been 28 incidents of roof damage by wake vortices in Florsheim from planes approaching Frankfurt airport, since the 4th runway opened in October 2011. The most recent incident was seen by a witness, who observed – on a day with little wind – the sudden wind, like a squall moving tree branches, and then the roof tiles being lifted off the house roof. The plane involved was a 777.  Fortunately the tiles fell into the yard outside the house, and the family were indoors. The damage to roofs is yet another reason for intense opposition to the runway, from local residents who suffer its negative impacts. People say the heavy planes should not be allowed to fly over their homes, as the heavier the plane, the more likely is a wake vortex. The local authority requires Frankfurt airport operator Fraport AG to pay for work to bracket and secure roof tiles across much of the centre of Florsheim due to the numerous vortices. There can be problems in getting the tiles secured in older buildings, and this can cost the home owner money. Frapport is unwilling to pay if the roof is not already in good order.  Wake vortices occur mainly in still weather, when wind does not disperse the vortex – that is turbulence from the wing tips.

Vortex damaged roof – falling tiles from plane approaching Frankfurt airport

Frankfurter Neue Presse

It is almost an everyday in Florsheim that the north and northeast of the city in rows bricks tumble from the rooftops when planes fly over these areas at low altitude.

The tiles were broken after the fall in the yard.
The tiles were broken after the fall in the yard.

[Approximate translation – thanks to Google translate – from the German]

Original article at;art676,1936771


The house in the street Riedstraße 75 is one of the last buildings before the edge of the field in Flörsheimer Northeast. Very close to the New Cemetery this is actually a very quiet residential area.  Since the opening of the northwest runway in Autumn 2011, but it has arriving aircraft coming in to land at a low altitude over the residential area. The noise of the jet turbines is not only burden on the residents under the flight path. On Thursday afternoon, it there was wake damage in the Riedstraße. Vortices that had been triggered by a plane flying overhead, tore a hole in the roof of the house at number 75 and also left in the yard a scene of destruction. “The whole house shook,” says the 14-year-old Alina Weindorf, who was at home at the time of the incident. “It sounded as if a bomb was coming down in the far distance,” says the girl.

There have been 28 incidents since the opening of the northwest runway


The recent wake-damage in Riedstraße 75 was the 28th incident of its kind in Florsheim since the opening of the Northwest runway in October 2011, said Mayor Michael

After hearing the loud bang at around 2pm, she immediately ran to the door. What she found in the yard, looked extremely disturbing: tiles had slid off the roof and had completely gone through a canopy in the yard. Sharp-edged bits of plastic hung in tatters, while debris of roof tiles and other roof parts were scattered across the yard across several feet. A small Easter bunny made of wood, had been knocked from the steps outside the front door. The family was very lucky that no one happened to be at the front of the house at the time of the incident. Just where the pottery shards smashed the roof of the carport, is where the family usually get into the family car, says Alina Weindorf.

As a squall

Helga Reisz, an employee of a Flörsheimer funeral home, noticed the wake turbulence at a funeral. From the adjacent cemetery she happened to be watching as the incident occurred. First, she noticed that a plane was approaching in particularly deep  (? low) approach of Riedstraße,  said the eyewitness.  “I even wondered whether it was going to land behind the chapel in the cemetery,” says Helga Reisz.  This was at 13:58. When the Flörsheimerin a moment later turned towards the bell in front of the funeral parlour, she could not believe her eyes. They saw that the trees on the edge of the cemetery were moving, as if a violent squall had come up. Then she watched as the tiles lifted off the roof of a residential building in the Riedstraße, and chattering slid off the roof.

Reality refutes reports

Vortices play an important role in the action of the city Florsheim against decision to approval the airport expansion.

“This is something I’ve never seen,” said Helga Reisz surprised even the day after the incident yet.  Incidents like these are in the meantime the strongest arguments of the city and of the association “For Florsheim” who are still taking legal action against the plan approval decision for the airport expansion.

“For Florsheim” – President Hans-Jakob Gall rushed to the scene of the incident immediately after he learned of the vortex in the Riedstraße, together with Mayor Michael Ante Brink (SPD).  Gall explained that the damage renewed the strength of the arguments in court, because the actions of the city and the club is based, inter alia on the vortices..

It will thereby be aimed at ensuring that particularly heavy aircraft – known as “heavies” – should not be allowed to fly in spite of the program for roof safety. But this request was rejected by the judges in Kassel. Why the lawyers have decided this a few months ago is not only puzzling for expansion opponents from the Main City. It is equally difficult to understand for the expansion opponents from Florsheim why the judge holding the almost regularly occurring vortices incidents appear to be not as negative relevant that they reacted with an appropriate judgment on it (see information box below).

The Land Hessen has required Frankfurt airport operator Fraport AG to pay almost the entire core city of Florsheim for bracketing of roof tiles due to the numerous vortices. This rich as security but not out, says Hans-Jakob Gall. “It would on Thursday indeed a cyclist could be hit by a wake vortex,” says the expansion opponents. While the consequences this would have for cyclists  may be speculated in this case only,  it is the subject roof brackets to hard facts.

And not just positive for the home owners of older homes. The securing of tiles (by bracketing?) is only possible when it comes to newer versions of the roofs. In older buildings, therefore the roofs need to be upgraded before a Dachklammerung can be commissioned. The owners need to invest five figure sums in this case. Mind you: This applies to houses whose roofs are not in need of repair and in good order. That Fraport financed the bracketing of the tiles, is as little consolation for these home owners.;art676,1936771



28 incidents since the opening of the northwest runway

The recent wake-damage in Riedstraße 75 was the 28th incident of its kind in Florsheim since the opening of the Northwest runway in October 2011, said Mayor Michael Ante Brink (SPD) on request of the district journal.The last incident of damage in the Riedstraße occurred in May 2015 in Austraße. The spring is apparently a typical period for the formation of wake vortices, writes Flörsheimer administrative boss who has almost become in recent years about wake damage. The formation of vortices depends on the weather.Ante Brink further explained that a vortex could particularly hit the ground if it is not too windy. The aircraft which caused the damage on Thursday have, can be identified precisely because of the witness observation and a review on the Internet, explained the mayor.It had been a Boeing 777 aircraft. This particularly heavy machinery are often cause of dangerous air turbulence, emphasizes Michael Ante Brink, who appeals to the Flörsheimer to leave secure their roofs. “You see what could happen,” he says, after the damage in the Riedstraße.;art676,1936770




More on Wake Vortices and the roof damage they cause – and examples of incidents in the UK at 

Vortex damage to house roofs from over-flying planes