Thrilling viral video shows 'hurricane hunter' aircraft flying into eye of Hurricane Ian to collect data

Thrilling viral video shows 'hurricane hunter' aircraft flying into eye of Hurricane Ian to collect data
Engineer Nick Underwood shared a viral video which shows him flying into the eye of Hurricane Ian to collect data (TheAstroNick/Twitter; Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA: With Hurricane Ian nearing coastal Florida, people are preparing for the storm to make landfall. However, there are others who must brave the hurricane and storm clouds to fetch data and make measurements that satellites are unable to. Amid this, a video has gone viral that shows a "hurricane hunter" plane flying through the eye of the hurricane. 

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A video shared by Nick Underwood, who is an engineer with Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows the plane's crew inside the cockpit as they navigate the storm. "When you fly into a hurricane you also have to fly back out. That means punching back through the eyewall," he writes.

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"This was Hurricane #Ian this morning aboard Kermit (#NOAA42). The pilot keeps the aircraft steady, the flight engineer in the middle maintains airspeed," Underwood tweeted. The video shows the crew navigating through the hurricane's eye as they collect data as the hurricane intensified on Tuesday, September 27. In fact, Hurricane Ian may be the worst in the history of Florida, reports Trendy News

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In his follow-up tweets, Underwood revealed that during the eight-hour flight, the crew will be collecting important data that will "help to improve the forecast models as it approaches landfall." He also shared a video of the Kermit plane landing in Texas from their flight. He revealed that the clip showed their "second pass through the eye, a healthy 20 miles in diameter," adding, "Clouds were already starting to clear out above."

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In another tweet, he reveals that had been flying at 10,000ft. His tweet further mentions "Wings level, on altitude, on target airspeed of 210 knots is the goal," and that the flight was not "too bumpy today but some healthy jolts." He also explained that the purpose of flying into such storms, writing, "We collect radar and dropsonde data throughout these flights," while hilariously adding that he ate "two (2) Fruit by the Foots" for breakfast before the early morning flight. 

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The engineer also goes on to urge people to be cautious and pay heed to the hurricane warnings, especially those living in Florida. Underwood's most recent tweet revealed that he was headed to the airport for another mission and would be flying with the same crew aboard the Kermit. Notably, Ian has now been declared a Category 4 hurricane. According to the Storm Surge Unit at the National Hurricane Center, "Catastrophic storm surge along with destructive waves from #Ian are expected along the southwest Florida coastline from Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor. Residents should urgently follow evacuation orders from local officials."

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