Even with all the technology at the U.S. government’s disposal, the best way to gather data from a hurricane is still the hard way: flying into the storm in a propeller plane.
That’s exactly what the men and women of 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron do. Better known as the “Hurricane Hunters,” this all-reserve Air Force unit is tasked with piloting their WC-130J aircraft directly into the eye of a hurricane.
VICE News secured a ride with the Hurricane Hunters as they flew into the eye of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic. The Hurricane Hunters don’t fly into storms for fun. During their flight an array of instruments collect and transmit data used to predict how active storms will develop, and move.
CORRECTION Sept. 11, 2017, 3:30 p.m.: The title of Tech Sgt. Karen Moore is incorrect in this video. Her correct title is “Dropsonde Operator.” VICE News regrets the error.
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