Why anybody would want to fly through a hurricane, whether it’s your job or not, is beyond me. However, that’s what Nick Underwood does – and this time he’s filmed the whole thing.
The aerospace engineer recorded the moment he flew into Hurricane Irma, arguably the most powerful hurricane on record, before casually telling Twitter: “Now everyone is going to know I’m terrible at cinematography while under harrowing conditions.”
The American aerospace engineer was flying on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to record the category five hurricane – the harshest possible rating.
The video shows the plane ratting and shaking as it is buffeted by the very storm it was sent up to measure.
According to the Daily Mail, Nick’s job is to sit at the back of the plane and deploy instruments called “drop-sondes”, which are swept up in the storm’s winds.
As the instruments are thrown around, they build up an idea of the shape, movement, and form of the hurricane, which helps to predict its future behavior.
Once his results are solid, he then sends the information back down to the National Hurricane Centre.
Writing on Twitter, he explained how he wasn’t fazed by any of the scary scenes in front of him.
He said: “My headset of the plane lets me pipe in some music. It automatically lowers the music volume when someone talks so you still know what’s up
“On last night’s flight, we’re approaching the storm at like four in the morning and I’m a little sleepy, so I put the workout playlist on.
“We’re flying along as we enter the eyewall (where bumps tend to be worst) ‘X Gon’ Give It To Ya’ by DMX comes on and it’s PERFECT.
“So, you can imagine me in an airplane getting tossed around in a major hurricane and just going hard to DMX. I loved it.”
He later put up a tweet highlighting a favorite part of the job: “A little kid in Barbados… wanted to shake my hand because I ‘hunted the big storms.'”
In fact, over Barbuda, it broke recording equipment meaning no further readings were received, and in some places, the background noise from the storm has registered on some earthquake-detecting seismometers.