Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Salva F. Ayala.
Hurricane Hunters Experience "Worst Flight Ever" Flying Into Hurricane Ian
Hurricane hunters took to the skies these past few days to head into the eye of Hurricane Ian as its made landfall in Florida. A video on Twitter shows a group of hurricane hunters flying through extreme weather in the midst of the storm.
Although it is dangerous, hurricane hunters help secure vital data about the hurricane. This helps meteorologists and government officials provide citizens with the most accurate information.
Hunting Hurricane Ian
Scenes from today’s flight into #HurricaneIan as it makes its way toward Florida ✈️ 🌀
Make sure you’re paying attention to the forecast (@NHC_Atlantic) as well as heeding local advisories.#ReserveReady pic.twitter.com/BY9JA1elKI
— Hurricane Hunters (@53rdWRS) September 27, 2022
The Airforce hurricane hunters can be seen in the video flying the plane while radars all around monitor the movement of the storm. Many of them yell out profanities as the aircraft is tossed by the winds. Extreme turbulence sets in and bed begin falling from the bunks in the back of the plane.
One hurricane hunter described the experience as “the roughest flight of my career.”
FOX News reporter Madison Scarpino spent nine hours aboard a turbulent flight with hurricane hunter flying into the eye of Ian on Wednesday. The intensity of the flight caused NOAA hunters to turn back.
“It was nuts, the turbulence wasn’t bad at first, but then it got horrible,” Scarpino said. “The NOAA Hurricane Hunter went through the eye at the same time as us, and actually turned around from how intense it was.”
Hurricane Hunter Pilot Maj. Kendall Dunn, who flew into the eye of the storm with Scarpino, said the flight was incredibly rough and unlike anything he’d experienced in his career.
“The storm was rapidly intensifying,” Dunn said. “We made a shot to come through the eyewall, but the rain was so intense that the radar was only just seeing beyond our nose.”
At one point, Dunn believed the flight was in immense danger as the storm’s winds took over control of the aircraft.
“We got rocked,” he said. “The aircraft was basically overmatched at one point. We were max-power, trying to gain speed. We were basically diving, losing air. It was a mess. It was the worst thing you could have to happen as a pilot.”
From Category 3 to Tropical Storm
“The roughest flight of my career.”
Mattresses thrown from their bunks as hurricane hunters fly into Hurricane Ian. https://t.co/ybZtsLdOAA pic.twitter.com/nMyFdTanqi
— ABC News (@ABC) September 28, 2022
Since making landfall, Hurricane Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm. However, on Thursday afternoon it was determined to have returned to hurricane force, according to CNN. The storm is now expected to hit South Carolina next.
Thus far, nine people have been reported dead in Florida as a result of Hurricane Ian. A 72-year-old man drowned while draining his pool after being washed away by floodwaters.
President Biden said Hurricane Ian may be the deadliest storm in Florida history.