Hurricane Hunters / Twitter
The Hurricane Hunters that flew through the eye of Hurricane Ian to gather essential data for National Hurricane Center meteorologists say that it was one of the roughest flights they have ever taken in their life.
Scenes from today’s flight into #HurricaneIan as it makes its way toward Florida ✈️ ?
— Hurricane Hunters (@53rdWRS) September 27, 2022
The Hurricane Hunters who are part of the Aircraft Reconnaissance of the National Hurricane Center, which is a division within NOAA, said they took off from Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi.
FOX News Reporter Madison Scarpino rode along with them and said that the crew spent 9 hours on the plane flying back and forth through the eye of Hurricane Ian and were able to gather valuable first-hand data about the Category 4 storm.
This was the eye. You can see the curvature. Understand this is at NIGHT. The light is from LIGHTNING. pic.twitter.com/cfZ9ls6YD3
— Tropical Nick Underwood (@TheAstroNick) September 28, 2022
The flight took place on Wednesday (Sept 28) and as you can see in the video below, it was extremely turbulent.
“It was nuts, the turbulence wasn’t bad at first, but then it got horrible,” Scarpino said, according to FOX Weather. “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 with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron who was also on the flight said that it was also one of the roughest flights 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. We got rocked. 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.”