IFlyVeryLittle
Topic Author
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:31 pm

Hurricane hunters

Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:21 pm

When a NOAA aircraft flies into (or over) a hurricane for the purposes of data collection, is it still under the control of an enroute center? Presumably, there wouldn't be a lot of traffic around, and I'm not sure how precisely each flight is planned. So I guess I'm asking if turns and changes in altitude require permission. Thanks.
 
strfyr51
Posts: 3938
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: Hurricane hunters

Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:25 pm

No it's not under control of an en route controller as there is no way TO control entering a Hurricane except by experience and best practices. Having flown Into a few hurricanes. they're using the right plane for it in a P3. That's what I flew into and out of ne in and the ride is Hairy! It's all a matter of technique. though I did prefer a Hurricane in the Atlantic to s typhoon in the Pacific and Daylight as opposed to Darkness. It doesn't make a difference to the airplane But Darkness was a damn sight scarier. VW-4 did it in C-130's. which I would think would be a rough ride..
 
blockski
Posts: 550
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:30 pm

Re: Hurricane hunters

Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:41 pm

IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
When a NOAA aircraft flies into (or over) a hurricane for the purposes of data collection, is it still under the control of an enroute center? Presumably, there wouldn't be a lot of traffic around, and I'm not sure how precisely each flight is planned. So I guess I'm asking if turns and changes in altitude require permission. Thanks.


Here's a clip from an old IMAX documentary from 1995, where the pilots are talking with Miami Center a lot as they fly though the storm:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-SnxC-BkPo
 
benjjk
Posts: 351
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:29 am

Re: Hurricane hunters

Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:29 am

Being in controlled airspace they still need a clearance of some kind, it's just that clearance would be along the lines of "do whatever you want within this block", so not every single turn needs approval. Test flights are often performed in the same way.
 
QueenoftheSkies
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:48 am

Re: Hurricane hunters

Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:58 am

benjjk wrote:
Being in controlled airspace they still need a clearance of some kind, it's just that clearance would be along the lines of "do whatever you want within this block", so not every single turn needs approval. Test flights are often performed in the same way.


Enlighten us as to what aircraft are going to be in the airspace of a hurricane? Lol
 
benjjk
Posts: 351
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:29 am

Re: Hurricane hunters

Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:11 am

QueenoftheSkies wrote:
benjjk wrote:
Being in controlled airspace they still need a clearance of some kind, it's just that clearance would be along the lines of "do whatever you want within this block", so not every single turn needs approval. Test flights are often performed in the same way.


Enlighten us as to what aircraft are going to be in the airspace of a hurricane? Lol


Not one that I'll be on! I'll leave it to the NOAA guys.

My point is though that they do still need a clearance to conduct their work, even if nobody else is around.
 
packmedic
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:03 am

Re: Hurricane hunters

Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:14 am

QueenoftheSkies wrote:
benjjk wrote:
Being in controlled airspace they still need a clearance of some kind, it's just that clearance would be along the lines of "do whatever you want within this block", so not every single turn needs approval. Test flights are often performed in the same way.


Enlighten us as to what aircraft are going to be in the airspace of a hurricane? Lol


Nobody said aircraft are going to be in the airspace of a hurricane. However on an IFR flight you do still need to be in contact with ATC. They'll give you a block of airspace to do whatever you want in, but you're still in controlled airspace. Just because there's nobody nearby doesn't mean the rules don't apply
A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A359 A388 AT72 B717 B733 B734 B734C B735 B73G B738 B739 B744 B752 B764 B772 B789 B78X CRJ2 CRJ7 CRJ9 DH8D E135 E140 E145 E170 E175 E190 MD80 MD90
 
jetmechanicdave
Moderator
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 4:27 pm

Re: Hurricane hunters

Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:18 am

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1430345

Here’s another thread on the same topic.
Aircraft Mechanic and Airliners.net Forum Moderator
 
User avatar
atcsundevil
Moderator
Posts: 3594
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:22 pm

Re: Hurricane hunters

Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:35 am

strfyr51 wrote:
No it's not under control of an en route controller as there is no way TO control entering a Hurricane except by experience and best practices.

I've never worked a TEAL flight, but they are definitely radar identified, and they operate to and from their mission on an IFR clearance. If they expect to operate above FL180, operate in a warning area, and/or operate in oceanic airspace, they most certainly will be on an IFR clearance.

Aircraft can operate on IFR clearances without necessarily being "under our control" — they can file to a fix, waypoint, fix radial distance, lat/long, etc. and carry out their mission. Whether that be an orbit, circuit, or whatever. ATC gets paperwork on special mission flights, so we don't have a need to control their maneuvers if it's precoordinated. They're simply "delayed" at the fix/waypoint/FRD for the anticipated duration of their mission, then they'll typically return to that point to return to base. To and from that point, they'll obviously be expected to operate on their route at their assigned altitude, but there's significant flexibility while they're performing their mission. This isn't atypical for controllers, because the military regularly perform missions like this, as do photo missions, NASA, air sampling, etc.

IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
When a NOAA aircraft flies into (or over) a hurricane for the purposes of data collection, is it still under the control of an enroute center? Presumably, there wouldn't be a lot of traffic around, and I'm not sure how precisely each flight is planned. So I guess I'm asking if turns and changes in altitude require permission. Thanks.

It's either worked by a center or possibly other controlling authority. By that, I mean military controllers when operating in warning areas (FACSFAC VACAPES or "Giant Killer" in Virginia Beach, for example). If you read what I wrote above, I describe how these sorts of missions typically work. I haven't worked a TEAL flight, so I don't know the specifics, but these missions typically work in a similar fashion. Essentially, they operate to/from their mission area under ATC clearance, and then perform a precoordinated mission. That can include outlining specific maneuvers, altitude changes, and so forth. They have a wide degree of latitude when performing their mission when it's coordinated ahead of time.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos