WHAT THE…?!?! Bet These Passengers Didn’t Know They Were Going To Fly In A Hurricane Hunter Plane!

by joeheg

We’ve all seen the videos on the Weather Channel of the U.S. Air Force “Hurricane Hunter” planes flying out to measure the current speed, direction and wind velocity of major storms. It’s one of those jobs that someone has to do and you wonder what type of person does it take to fly an airplane into a hurricane?

If you’re ever dreamed of flying on one of those planes, you just missed out on what might have been your best chance to fly over a major hurricane. And you’ll never guess how you could have accomplished that task.

All you needed to do was buy a ticket on Allegiant this past Friday or Saturday from Bangor, Maine to Sanford, Florida.


For some reason, the geniuses at Allegiant decided that flying their MD-80 over Hurricane Florence, very close to the eye, was perfectly fine.

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Looking at Flightaware.com, you can track Allegiant 2237 from BGR-SFB. The flight seems to be going fine, cruising at 37,000 feet doing about 530 MPH. When the plane hit the storm, the flight speed keep increasing until it hit 577 MPH. Incredible what a 40 MPH tailwind will do for your flight speed. It took the plane about 40 minutes to clear the storm and get back down to an usual speed. When the news broke about the flight, several pilots on Twitter chimed in that the plane was totally safe at that altitude over the storm.

I guess none of the other airlines knew this because this is was air traffic looked like at the time the storm was approaching the Carolina coast.


The internet eventually noticed Allegiant’s interesting flight path and lit up Twitter with several NSFW comments directed toward the airline and its questionable safety record.

Flying back to Bangor from Florida, the same Allegiant plane made sure to to avoid the storm (and the resulting strong head winds).

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You’d think that the PR created from flying through the storm on Friday would cause Allegiant to follow the lead of other airlines and avoid the storm, right?


Here’s the path for the same flight on Saturday:

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I guess we can give Allegiant credit for flying a little more inland and trying to avoid flying right through the storm. I still can’t help thinking that Allegiant was doing this on purpose, using the tailwind from the storm to save on jet fuel. I know that’s a crazy thing to think but who knows why you would fly a plane on this route through a storm, on purpose, two days in a row. Would it be that much more difficult to avoid the storm altogether instead of flying through the rain band????

I’ve said before that there are several reasons Sharon and I are never going to fly on Allegiant. I now have to add, “The airline has no problem flying through a hurricane to save fuel” to the list.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

H/T: Livestormchasers.com

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