Why You Can Fly Into a Hurricane But Not a Thunderstorm


Your seatbelt is locked tight. There is nothing you can see through the plane’s
window except massive clouds torn apart by frightening winds. On a normal flight, you would already start
to panic, but it’s a hurricane flight and your plane is going straight into the eye
of the storm. Lucky you! Hurricane flights are not showing-off fests,
but hugely important tasks undertaken only by high-end professionals. Extreme weather warnings resulting from these
daring flights are the only way to make them as definitive as possible. It’s not rare that after the new information
is received from hurricane flights the danger which the storm represents is raised immediately. And this information can save many lives. Crew members on board going for a storm-chase
are most often mesmerized with how fast a hurricane can gain its might. Every flight is a great risk, but meteorologists,
technicians and NOAA officers are willing to go for it if it will save hundreds and
thousands of people. And no, the wind can’t blow away the plane. Even if it gets to 200 mph, it barely shakes
the airplane. 50 mph vertical winds and so-called air pockets
are much more concerning. But even then, a masterful pilot can manage
to go through the storm eye’s wall. Hurricane flight crew members even say that
their missions consist of 10% of extreme moments when everything is on the line and 90% pure
boredom. Just like my high school algebra class. Surprisingly no special plane is required
for this kind of mission. Mostly medium-sized planes are used, but it
may be either a modified business class plane or a military aircraft – it’s not that
crucial. But these aircraft are some of the most well-looked-after
planes in the world. After every flight each plane goes through
full maintenance. It’s not the plane that matters the most,
but those brave people and the equipment they use. Planes used for hurricane research and probing
are heavily modified for their specific purpose. They have the best radar equipment out there. But they also need to examine humidity, pressure,
the intensity of wind and rain, and most importantly – changes in them. For this purpose, they use a meteorological
probe called Dropwindsonde that looks something like a paper towel roll with a parachute. Despite its looks, Dropwindsonde is a complicated
and extremely important device… that gets thrown out of the plane. Inside the hurricane – there is no return
after that, but while it’s falling from a 10,000 ft altitude it gets the job done. The probe collects a ton of data and sends
it back to the plane. But if it was thrown down manually, the plane
would become depressurized. So there is a special chamber on-board for
that. The probe gets inside, then the chamber is
locked, and only then probe goes out for its first and only journey. A major part of preparation for a hurricane
flight is simply not eating too much. All the food members of the crew would eat
the day of the flight should contain as little salt or spice as possible and they should
overall follow a strict diet. Yes, the board is well equipped with barf
bags, but reaching for one all the time is not what you want to do in the most intense
part of your working day. And this part begins only after several hours
in the air. As the airplane approaches the storm, the
view outside becomes as bland as you can imagine. It’s like going into some kind of a twilight
zone. Rainclouds become everything you can possibly
see and the world around is just a gray nothingness. Though wind here is already raging outside
the plane, it’s much safer here than below. Even in the case of category 2 hurricane,
the wind gets to 110 mph. On the ground, it means that it breaks power
poles leaving entire regions without electricity. But the worst thing is the debris. The most damage caused by the hurricane comes
from them, flying through the air and crushing everything on their path. Even from altitude, huge 60 ft, tall waves
are visible, when the storm rages over the ocean. When you think of it from this perspective,
yeah, it’s much better to be on the plane in the air than down below. But finally the hurricane hunter airplane
gets closer to the huge wall that marks the eye of the storm. A plane needs to be at a certain altitude
from 7,000 ft to 10,000 ft depending on the type of the hurricane. It’s like flying through the needle’s
eye – a pilot needs to find a small opening to penetrate the wall and not get crushed
by the immense g-force it may throw at the plane. This g-force comes from air pockets, powerful
upward and downward gusts. Here wind never blows in one direction – it’s
always a sequence of upward and downward pushes. The plane gets thrown around no matter how
much effort a pilot would make to minimize it. The wind is too unpredictable. Going through quakes of 2 g is disturbing,
but at 4 or 5 g – it can damage an airplane severely and make people inside lose consciousness. In this case, the contact with the aircraft
is almost certainly lost, and the flight control back at the airfield is left uncertain about
the crew’s fate. Fortunately, in the majority of cases, the
flight gets through it, and their reward is stunning. The hunt for hurricane Hugo in 1989 was one
of such extreme cases. From the outside the hurricane seemed relatively
tame, but once the plane went inside, it was attacked by merciless downdrafts of up to
200 mph. The plane was already at a less than recommended
altitude, and it was further pushed down. It was the first time a hurricane flight airplane
would go through 5.5 g – one engine immediately broke. Fortunately, the pilot was able to once again
achieve a proper altitude and reach the center of the storm. The whole crew were happy they were able to
get back to the base safe and sound after that. Beyond the almost impenetrable wall of sheer
terror, lies the place of serenity and beauty. The eye of the hurricane is like a colossal
stadium – grey walls around it and absolute clarity inside. The plane stops shaking like it wasn’t in
grave danger seconds ago. Sun is shining in blue skies. But there is no way out of this place except
through the wall again. The mission is complete, and the prime directive
now is to get home in one piece. Hurricane chasing once began with a simple
challenge. The first time someone decided to fly a plane
into the storm was in 1943. It was an AT-6, small two-passenger fighter
plane, destined to prove its pilot the bravest. He was able to return safely from this insane
flight. His flight showed that temperature inside
and outside the storm differs by a whopping 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It was just a matter of time before someone
would decide to fly into the hurricane again to get more information. Hurricane flights of today have two major
challanges. Planes used in them are still too slow to
get all the changes inside the hurricane. Additionally, the piloting of the plane is
very specific because the crew is always at great risk. It all leads to the data being incomplete. Every time more flights are needed, and this
multiplies the danger for planes and people inside them. Luckily, the future seems bright in this regard. New hurricane hunter planes won’t need people
to pilot them, and their sensors will be fully automatic too. In 2007 hurricane Noel became the first to
be monitored through remote-controlled aircraft. It was able to get to the hurricane on a much
lower altitude than what’s needed for usual hurricane flights. The damage of g-force is much less critical
to the unmanned aircraft because there is no risk that a pilot will lose consciousness. On November 2, unmanned aircraft named Aerosonde
made its way to Noel and provided researchers with all the information about it. Planes like this one are about to fully replace
people on their hunt for new data on storms. This information will be more complex and
complete than ever, and it will help researchers better identify and predict hurricanes all
over the globe. As for now, there are still people willing
to fly the plane to the hurricane. They swear that they aren’t crazy – just
really devoted to their profession. Hey, if you learned something new today, then
give the video a like and share it with a friend! And here are some other cool videos I think
you’ll enjoy. Just click to the left or right, and stay
on the Bright Side of life!

100 thoughts on “Why You Can Fly Into a Hurricane But Not a Thunderstorm

  1. Bright Side is obsessed with planes and flying lately. Got a job at the airport?

  2. Me: what’s your next video going to be

    BrightSide: why can’t we eat poisness ice cream

    Me: wait what

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  4. Beautiful video. Coming soon you can make a video about Denmark and its economic system. Please πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°

  5. Beautiful video ❀️❀️❀️ You can make a video about Denmark and its economic system πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡° indeed, brings several videos about Denmark πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°

  6. Beautiful video ❀️❀️❀️ You can make a video about Denmark and its economic system πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡° indeed, brings several videos about Denmark πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°πŸ‡©πŸ‡°

  7. This is how many people love Bright side!! ❀
    πŸ‘‡
    Btw I would really like if you could show some love to my new upload πŸ˜’πŸ’™

  8. My Dad was a retired fighter pilot in the Air Force. I asked him once if he could just fly over the thunderstorm. He said he would just find a way to go around the storm – instead of flying over it.

  9. Be it thunderstorm or Hurricane, I don't wanna fly in any condition. πŸ™„πŸ˜«

  10. If bright side really loves his/her fans then this comment will get pinnedπŸ“πŸ“

  11. It's funny to hear that hurricane flight members are bored 90% of the time when flying into a storm.

  12. Wouldn’t G-force (on a very BAD hurricane) Knock out any of the pilots or any of the passengers?

  13. Me at the end aftering liking and making sure I'm subscribed:

    Awesomesauce incarnated. Where there's Thunder, there's Lightning. Lots and Lots of Lightning. Why the fk would you fly into THAT????

  14. Dude your videos are very interesting. I just can't stop watching them. Can u plz make videos on (i) white holes
    (ii)white holes..
    I Really appreciate your work.
    You are really working hard
    You upload 3 videos a day.
    For me bright side is the best channel on YouTube

  15. Hugo. I lived though Hugo. The part we got of it. It punished are South Carolina coast line.

  16. 5:50 they reached the eye doesn't that mean they had to go through it again to get out? So why were they celebrating

  17. I wish Bright Side would use more accurate images for such videos. I am unfamiliar with 747s being used hurricane flights. Typically they use C130s, WP-3A Orions and other similar prop-driven planes, although there are a few smaller jet aircraft used. Also, why would you show the silhouette of a swing-wing jet fighter as a graphic for a 1943 prop-driven, WWII era fighter?

  18. This is just awesome! I hope one day I will be able to produce the same quality content on my channel!

  19. BEING ON A PLANE AND GOING IN HOTELS IS NOT BORING my step dad is a flight pilot ask him

  20. I never thought about that. This is so cool. I live all the videos that you make. Continue with the videos.

  21. πŸ’ͺElephants have roughly 140,000 muscles in their trunk. Many elephants wrap their trunk around one another for a greeting.

  22. 🐲In 1995, paleontologists had found the famous "giganotosauruses" in Argentina, South America. Being 45 ft in length and weighing in at about nine tons, these reptiles dwarf the t. rexes a bit. In short, they were the largest carnivorous theropods in the Mesozoic Era – that we know of.

  23. I like it and we are very lucky this week to have a good day ❀️ME HELP PLEASE ❀️

  24. Thank you so much for ur love n support! By the way the video is amazing πŸ’–

  25. I’m assuming the beginning graphic spinning clockwise means that you’re in the Southern Hemisphere? Otherwise, great video.

  26. I've been through hurricane flight, I'd like to thank God through Jesus and to that pilot.

  27. Title: Why you can fly into a hurricane but not in a thunderstorm

    Me: never knew that idea existed.

  28. Wrong, I've been on a flight in a thunderstorm before. Seeing the lightning from above the clouds was beautiful.

  29. sir i am watching your videos from a long time i want to request you as a subscriber for making a video in a topic " what if someone got invisibe " ?

  30. this week bought my favourite sports car paid in caash all because of, FunOnlineWork .c om

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