Hurricane Hunters relocated to Ellington Field

August 27, 2012 1:16:28 PM PDT
The military is bracing for Tropical Storm Isaac no matter where it might hit. Planes and personnel from across the Gulf Coast are being relocated, including the Hurricane Hunters to Ellington Field.

The planes are C-130 J model aircraft, flown in from Mississippi. One plane will take off and head into the hurricane zone Monday night at approximately 6pm.

A crew of eight to 10 hurricane hunters took off in the same type of plane late this morning. Normally, these planes are housed at Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi, Mississippi. But because they're near the target of where Isaac will make landfall, they made the decision to fly in and out from Ellington.

The planes are basically flying weather stations collecting and transmitting data to the National Weather Center via satellite every 90 seconds, so they have a real-time reading of how the storm strengthens or weakens as it moves.

We spoke with one pilot who's been flying in and out of Isaac for the last six days.

"When it's disorganized like that, it's harder to fly in the center, so it has been more of a challenging mission as opposed to a very strong storm where it's obvious where the eye is" said Lt. Col. Ty Piercefield.

Crews fly for about 10 hours at a time. Right now, there is a rotation of three crews, so Hurricane Hunters will be monitoring this storm 24/7.


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