Delta Crew Navigates Calm Pathway In Hurricane Irma

Delta Crew Navigates Calm Pathway In Hurricane Irma

Delta Crew Navigates Calm Pathway In Hurricane Irma

As the category five storm bore down on the Caribbean island, flight 431 from New York JFK managed to successfully land at Luis Muñoz Marín airport in San Juan.

Radar images show it navigating a narrow path between Irma's outer bands to escape the storm.

Three other flights (two from JetBlue and one from American) took off from the USA but were forced to turn back before reaching the island.

After a quick turnaround of 52 minutes, which included refuelling and taxi time, the plane took off again to make its way back to NY.

"You really want to fly into SJU during a category 5 hurricane, DL431?"

Rabinowitz tracked the maneuver, essentially in real time, on his Twitter account. Delta's proprietary flight weather viewer app, which pilots use to help predict turbulence, was another tool that helped make the final San Juan flights as smooth as possible, Thomas said.

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Thankfully, the tale had a happy ending and Rabinowitz's last tweet was a lighthearted one: "Guess the flight crew serves lunch now.?"

Arecibo was the largest single radio dish in the world for more than half a century, until China's Five-hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) became operational a year ago. It landed safely at John F. Kennedy International Airport in NY about four hours later.

While the move appeared gutsy, Delta officials later downplayed the incident - saying its staff was "armed with the latest forecast from the airline's meteorology team". Though Hurricane Irma pounded the island with strong winds and heavy rains, it was a glancing blow; the storm's eye, around which the fastest winds of a hurricane swirl, passed north of Puerto Rico.

Fifty-two minutes after landing, the time had come. It recorded winds around 24 knots with gusts up to 31 knots - all these conditions are below safe operating limits for the 737-900ER. The Washington Post reports that air traffic control has since ended all operations.

Experts praised the airline's forecasters, dispatchers and flight and ground crews for the successful flight after it returned from San Juan.

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