A Delta Pilot Flew Right Through Hurricane Irma—And Every Single Passenger Is Safe
A Delta pilot flew in and out of Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon, right before the San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín Airport shut down due to Hurricane Irma.
The flight—DL 431 on the way there and DL 302 on the way back—was the only one that managed to transport passengers to and from the country in the later part of the day, reports Business Insider. Three other flights (two from JetBlue and one from American) took off from the U.S. but were forced to turn back before reaching the island.
The feat of aviation was first noticed by Jason Rabinowitz, a self-proclaimed “av geek” who researches and writes about airlines, airplanes, transit, and travel. Rabinowitz live-tweeted the flight, first asking, “You really want to fly into SJU during a category 5 hurricane, DL431? Everyone else has turned around.”
Once it became clear that the flight was “going for it,” Rabinowitz began cheering for its safe landing and remarking on the skill it took to fly through the storm: “Now DL302 has to climb out of SJU, and they’re doing so between the outer band of #Irma and the core of the storm. Amazing stuff.”
Thankfully, the tale had a happy ending and Rabinowitz’s last tweet was a lighthearted one: “Guess the flight crew serves lunch now…?”
Hurricane Irma Puerto Rico update
Hurricane Irma brought strong winds and flooding to Puerto Rico Wednesday, according to NPR, as well as other Virgin Islands. The Category 5 hurricane’s maximum sustained winds lessened from 185 mph to 180 mph, though the National Hurricane Center noted the storm was still “extremely dangerous.”
So far, Hurricane Irma’s damage in Puerto Rico includes loss of power, as well as flooded cars and homes. Seven of the island’s rivers are also running above their flood levels, according to NPR.
While the National Hurricane Center discontinued Puerto Rico’s hurricane warning, Governor Ricardo Rosselló warned that the island’s persistent rainfall could still worsen flood conditions.