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For Delta pilot, flying into and out of Hurricane Irma is no big deal | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

For Delta pilot, flying into and out of Hurricane Irma is no big deal

The Associated Press
| Thursday, September 7, 2017 10:12 a.m

He wasn’t a hurricane hunter, but the pilot on a Delta Air Lines flight guided his plane into Hurricane Irma anyway.

The flight was going from New York’s JFK Airport to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then back to New York.

All the while, Irma was churning closer to the island.

Radar data of the flight path shows a tiny sliver between bands on the western edge of the hurricane.

And while other flights turned away from San Juan and the monster Category 5 hurricane, the Delta pilot figured … well … there’s an opening.

The flight managed to land in San Juan, unload and reload for JFK in enough time to time the takeoff during a lull in the outer band of the storm.

Blogger Jason Rabinowitz tracked the flight.

It all worked out, amazingly. But seeing on radar your flight heading directly toward one of the biggest, most severe hurricanes in recorded history is probably enough to make you pass on your complimentary in-flight pack of peanuts.


HurricaneIrmaHomeInsurance14361jpg6c5f2
In this satellite image released by NASA/NOAA GOES Project, Hurricane Irma reaches Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. A decade-long lucky streak of decent weather that helped rescue one of Florida's biggest home insurers from collapse could come to a wet, violent end if predictions about Hurricane Irma prove true. (NASA/NOAA GOES Project via AP)
PuertoRicoHurrricanIrma07714jpgb849c
Joshua Alicea, right, rescue staff member from the Municipal Emergency Management Agency toured the streets of the Matelnillo community searching for citizens in distress during the passage of Hurricane Irma through the northeastern part of the island in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The US territory was first to declare a state of emergency las Monday, as the National Hurricane Center forecast that the storm would strike the Island Wednesday. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)
PuertoRicoHurrricanIrma98922jpgabee2
High winds and rain sweep through the streets of the Matelnillo community during the passage of hurricane Irma, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The US territory was first to declare a state of emergency las Monday, as the National Hurricane Center forecast that the storm would strike the Island Wednesday.
PuertoRicoHurricaneIrma71551jpg73426
Rescue staff from the Municipal Emergency Management Agency investigate an empty flooded during the passage of Hurricane Irma through the northeastern part of the island in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Hurricane Irma lashed Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds, leaving nearly 900,000 people without power as authorities struggled to get aid to small Caribbean islands already devastated by the historic storm.(AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)
HurricaneIrmaHomeInsurance14361jpg6c5f2
In this satellite image released by NASA/NOAA GOES Project, Hurricane Irma reaches Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. A decade-long lucky streak of decent weather that helped rescue one of Florida's biggest home insurers from collapse could come to a wet, violent end if predictions about Hurricane Irma prove true. (NASA/NOAA GOES Project via AP)
PuertoRicoHurrricanIrma07714jpgb849c
Joshua Alicea, right, rescue staff member from the Municipal Emergency Management Agency toured the streets of the Matelnillo community searching for citizens in distress during the passage of Hurricane Irma through the northeastern part of the island in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The US territory was first to declare a state of emergency las Monday, as the National Hurricane Center forecast that the storm would strike the Island Wednesday. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)
PuertoRicoHurrricanIrma98922jpgabee2
High winds and rain sweep through the streets of the Matelnillo community during the passage of hurricane Irma, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The US territory was first to declare a state of emergency las Monday, as the National Hurricane Center forecast that the storm would strike the Island Wednesday.
PuertoRicoHurricaneIrma71551jpg73426
Rescue staff from the Municipal Emergency Management Agency investigate an empty flooded during the passage of Hurricane Irma through the northeastern part of the island in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Hurricane Irma lashed Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds, leaving nearly 900,000 people without power as authorities struggled to get aid to small Caribbean islands already devastated by the historic storm.(AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)
DominicanRepublicHurricanIrma03125jpg9152f
People make their own sandbags to protect in their homes before the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Dominicans are getting ready for the arrival of Hurricane Irma after battering Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds, leaving more than 600,000 people without power as authorities struggle to get aid to small Caribbean islands already devastated by the historic storm.(AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)
DominicanRepublicHurricanIrma14492jpgb2201
A man puts tape on a store's glass doors before the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Dominicans are getting ready for the arrival of Hurricane Irma after battering Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds, leaving more than 600,000 people without power as authorities struggle to get aid to small Caribbean islands already devastated by the historic storm. (AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)
DominicanRepublicHurricanIrma42010jpg1a716
A man covers a bodega's windows before the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Dominicans are getting ready for the arrival of Hurricane Irma after battering Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds, leaving more than 600,000 people without power as authorities struggle to get aid to small Caribbean islands already devastated by the historic storm.(AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)
HurricaneIrma98393jpg67316
In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16 and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma approaches Anguilla on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history has roared into the Caribbean, its winds ripping off roofs and knocking out phones. It's on a path toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly hitting Florida. (NOAA via AP)
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