It’s not every day an airplane full of passengers finds itself (literally) in the middle of a hurricane, but this intense flight wasn’t the scene of the latest disaster movie staring The Rock or Mark Wahlberg (sorry!) trying to save the day.
This happened for real on Sept. 6, when a Delta flight flew through Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm and one of the strongest ever in the Atlantic Ocean.
Delta Flight 302 was the last commercial airplane to fly out of Puerto Rico’s San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport on Wednesday before the airport shut down amid Irma’s winds. The pilot flew between the outer band and core of the hurricane, and arrived safely at New York’s JFK International Airport—in under three and half hours, we might add.
Before the flight even took off, the internet was wondering just what would happen, with Facebook user Wladimir Castro posting a video of the flight as it was leaving Puerto Rico.
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Talk about a wild ride!
People on the internet were able to follow the flight thanks to updates from Twitter accounts like Flightradar24 and aviation fans such as Jason Rabinowitz, who monitored it through online tracking services. Thousands followed him on Twitter as he shared DL302’s trajectory and incredible photos of the flight.
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) September 6, 2017
While it certainly looks terrifying, Delta says they had everything under control.
“Our meteorology team is the best in the business,” Erik Snell, vice president for Delta operations and customer center, told the Washington Post. “They took a hard look at the weather data and the track of the storm and worked with the flight crew and dispatcher to agree it was safe to operate the flight. And our flight and ground crews were incredible in their effort to turn the aircraft quickly and safely so the flight could depart well before the hurricane threat.”
While Delta is all, “Just another day at the office!,” Twitter users remain thoroughly impressed.
We have fantastic pilots, flight crew, ground crews, meteorologists and dispatchers to help get people out of San Juan. *CAE
— Delta (@Delta) September 6, 2017
173 families are sleeping much better tonight. Well done.
— TwoVotesAPrecinct (@megynslashes) September 7, 2017
Great job Delta. I hope y'all went out for drinks for that.
— Donna Battle Hannon (@HannonBattle) September 6, 2017
Great job, Delta! We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief now that the airplane is safely on the ground.