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Hurricane Hunters Eyeing the Storms

Jun 11, 2014

Most of us ponder evacuating when a hurricane approaches.

But at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base, Jim McFadden sends an "Orion P-3" propeller plane and its crew straight into a storm's path.  The Chief of Programs and Projects for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Aircraft Operations Center, McFadden is a veteran of more than 500 such flights.

At a recent hurricane awareness event at Tampa International Airport, he showed WUSF’s Mary Shedden and members of the public around the aircraft nicknamed "Miss Piggy."

He was joined by Lieutenant Commander Justin Kibbey, Senior Flight Director Barry Damiano and Data technician Todd Richards, members of the team that flies these extremely dangerous "research and reconnaissance" missions.

Hear more about how to prepare for hurricanes on Florida Matters Sunday, June 15 at 7:30 a.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM.