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The scariest flight imaginable: Why Air Force pilots fly straight into hurricanes

May 29, 2021

From the Task and Purpose website

Photograph from this article

Imagine you are flying in an airplane through the worst turbulence you can think of, with the plane dropping 200 feet in the blink of an eye and the fuselage itself flexing all around you. Then imagine you can’t see out the window because it’s the middle of the night and it’s pouring rain outside. But don’t worry, you can still smell the sharp, chlorine-like tang of ozone as static electricity builds up on the aircraft from all the precipitation.

If you’re lucky, you might even see a brilliant white flash followed by a loud bang in the rare chance lightning hits the aircraft. But no matter, the plane presses on, because you’re on a WC-130J aircraft assigned to the Hurricane Hunters of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, and your job is to keep flying until you reach the eye of the storm.

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