'Worst flight of my career' - Video from hurricane hunter shows turbulence in eye of storm
Created: 09/30/2022, 05:25
By: Martina Lippl
Turbulent video: A hurricane chaser flies through the eye of Hurricane Ian.
© Nick Underwood/NOAA/screenshot flightaware
A flight engineer with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters flew through Hurricane Ian.
The scientist has been part of the team for six years, but he has never experienced a flight like this.
Miami – “That flight to Hurricane Ian with Kermit (#NOAA42) was the worst I've ever been on.
I've never seen so many flashes in one eye before," Nick Underwood wrote on Twitter.
He also posts footage of a flight through Hurricane Ian.
The video is two minutes and 20 seconds long and turbulent.
Underwood works for the US weather service NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
The engineer has been part of the NOAA Hurricane Hunters team for six years.
"Aboard these planes I have hunted hurricanes and supported scientific missions," Underwood tweeted ahead of his flight into Hurricane Ian on Wednesday (September 28).
That sounds like routine and many years of experience.
But the flight through the eye of "Ian" apparently surpasses everything.
NOAA hurricane hunters release video of flight through eye of hurricane
In the clip, the crew on board can be seen getting quite agitated in their seats.
Some laugh as objects and even the bunks on the plane fly around and bright flashes light up through the window.
"We're fine, we're fine," a voice can be heard in the background.
Except for a short audio sequence that was muted, nothing in the video was edited, Underwood assures.
"When I say it was the toughest flight of my career, I mean it.
I've never seen the bunks fly out.
There was coffee everywhere,” says Underwood.
"I've never felt sideways movement like that before."
NOAA plane lands in the eye of Hurricane Ian
Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday afternoon (local time).
The hurricane hunters flew through the eye of the hurricane with their machine, nicknamed "Kermit".
Kermit - or NOAA42 - is a 1970 Lockheed WP-3D Orion used by NOAA's hurricane hunters to collect data for science and forecast tropical storms.
According to the flight data website FlightAware, the hurricane hunters took off from Houston with their machine at 2:55 a.m. on Wednesday.
The crew landed again six hours and 47 minutes later.
NOAA hurricane hunters: flight data service flightaware shows the flight path through Hurricane "Ian".
© screenshot flightaware.com
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Nick Underwood shared more photos and impressions from his hurricane flight on social media.
Even those from the moment the plane flew through the eye of the hurricane.
The response is tremendous.
The Twitter video has already been clicked more than a million times (as of September 29, 11:13 a.m.).