State News

Hurricane hunter, search planes at RDU

Posted May 6, 2009

— Members of the North Carolina wing of the Civil Air Patrol will display search aircraft during an event that coincides with the display of a hurricane hunter airplane.

The CAP said it will have an open house Wednesday afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The event comes at the same time a WP-3 Orion hurricane hunter aircraft will be displayed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hurricane hunter aircraft Take a tour inside a hurricane hunter plane

"The hurricane-hunter aircraft is our MRI," said Bill Read, director of the National Hurricane Center. "We can get inside the hurricane and collect highly detailed data, both for operational forecasting and the research to improve our forecasting."

Such forecasts are critical to protecting residents along North Carolina's coast, including the inner coastline along the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, Read said, noting those areas are extremely vulnerable to hurricanes and the surge of water they bring ashore.

The hurricane aircraft also is visiting Wilmington and Key West, Fla., and had previous stops in New Hampshire and New York.


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  • ncstatefan13 May 6, 2009

    While most, if not all, "normal" pilots avoid flying in weather, these guys seek out the most hostile events available and willingly fly into them to help keep others safer. Bravo to them and a big THANKS!

  • awr117 May 6, 2009

    It got here just in time. There is a Hurricane getting ready to hit the RBC Center at 7:30pm

  • EyesintheSkies May 6, 2009

    Hunters to see the hurricanes come. CAP to assess the damage after the storm. Aviation serving people!

  • BeenHereSince67 May 6, 2009

    As a private pilot, I'd PAY to ride in one of those "rigs", bring my own "barf bags"(plural), and I admire those who do! I'm going to go see the Orion this afternoon! Cool!!

  • living the dream May 6, 2009

    You couldn't pay me to ride in one of those rigs, but I admire those who do!