Entertainment And News

Hurricane Hunter Captures Video Of Flight Through The Eye Of Hurricane Ian, Says It’s The ‘Worst I’ve Ever Been On’

Photo: Nick Underwood / NOAA
Nick Underwood

Hurricane hunter Nick Underwood has been flying into storms for the last six years and revealed footage of his flight into the eye of Hurricane Ian — a landfall Category 4 hurricane that has been making its way through Florida.

The footage from inside the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) aircraft shows the crew battling heavy turbulence and watching the lightning storms rage outside.

Nick Underwood’s shared a video in the eye of Hurricane Ian.

“When I say this was the roughest flight of my career so far, I mean it,” Underwood tweeted. “I have never seen the bunks come out like that. There was coffee everywhere. I have never felt such lateral motion.”

The footage captured aboard the Kermit (#NOAA42) shows the brave crew members weathering the storm as they’re hit with nonstop turbulence.

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They laugh in amazement as turbulence rocks them up and down before Underwood mistakenly says “We’re all right, we’re all right.”

Moments later a spike in the turbulence rocks the plane and you can hear objects falling onto the floor.

“There go the beds,” Underwood says as he pans the camera over to reveal that the crew beds have fallen out of their place and onto the ground.

Later on in the video, more turbulence hits and Underwood shows the scene outside of the plane where several flashes of light show the amount of lightning and speed at which it strikes.

A crewmember further up asks if everyone is okay after an especially heavy hit of turbulence rocks the plane again — and luckily, they all made it out unscathed.

Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm — threatening winds of up to 150mph and flooding millions of homes as it travels northeast and downgrades to a tropical storm.

“It was just a lot of turbulence in a lateral direction,” Underwood told NBC10 Boston.

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“Normally we get the up and down stuff, but getting tossed side to side is a lot more unnerving than you would expect. Something that sort of added to the environment was the amount of lightning, both in the eyewall, and then once we got into the eye even.”

After having flown into nearly two dozen hurricanes, he doubles down that Ian was the roughest one so far.

“I've never seen so much lightning inside of a hurricane,” he said.

Although the term “hurricane hunter” makes it sound like he does it for the thrill, Underwood confirms that there’s a real reason he does it that has nothing to do with a death wish.

“Want to stress we don’t this for fun. It’s a public service. We go up there to gather data on the storm that can keep folks on the ground safe,” he explains in another tweet.

Without hurricane hunters like Underwood, there would be no way to track storms in the capacity that technology currently allows.

“Those forecast models? A lot of the data comes from what we do. I’m a very small part of a large team. Incredible teammates,” he continues.

Millions of homes in Florida have been left without power as Hurricane Ian leaves Florida and eyes another landfall in South Carolina.

The American Red Cross is taking donations to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian at this link. The national organization is providing supplies, shelter and other relief to Floridians.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Since graduating from Rutgers University, he spends most of his free time gaming or playing Quadball. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.

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