"The railroad bridge and the Cross Bay Bridge, each presented challenges," said Dennis Jenkins [a member of the United Space Alliance shuttle support team], who was on board the barge with Enterprise. "The passage through the railroad bridge was narrow with only a few feet of clearance on each wingtip, while the Cross Bay was only a few feet higher than the vertical stabilizer," he wrote in an e-mail that was shared with collectSpace.
"Mother Nature did not smile on us. Just as the barge entered the railroad bridge, the wind caught it and pushed the right wing into the bridge abutment.
Fortunately, the damage seems to be cosmetic, limited to the foam that covered the wingtip. No structure or mechanisms appear to have been damaged," Jenkins wrote.
The Intrepid confirmed the damage in a statement released late Sunday. "A sudden microburst of wind, measured at 35 knots
, caused the rub panel foam protective layer of the wingtip of Enterprise to graze the protective wood piling bumpers in the water designed to bumper vessels," the museum said.