As Hurricane Dorian approaches the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sent a crew to perform recon on the storm.
It’s the first time the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has put together an all-female crew for a mission like this one, the organization says.
The all-female pilot crew was comprised of Captain Kristie Twining, Commander Rebecca Waddington, and Lieutenant Lindsey Norman. The women piloted a seven-and-a-half-hour flight to collect data on the storm as it gathers steam and heads toward Florida.
LAKELAND, FL – #NOAA49 prepares for a Hurricane #Dorian reconnaissance mission with the first all female three-pilot flight crew, featuring Capt. Kristie Twining, Cmdr. Rebecca Waddington, and Lt. Lindsey Norman. Get the latest forecast at https://t.co/3phpgKvnMi.#FlyNOAA pic.twitter.com/DMn1wOxBUA
— NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (@NOAA_HurrHunter) August 29, 2019
The crew flew a Gulfstream IV aircraft nicknamed “Gonzo” during the recon mission. On these trips, crews travel thousands of miles collecting high-altitude data that enable forecasters to better track storms, according to NOAA.
Waddington and Twining were previously on NOAA’s first all-female hurricane hunting crew last year when they were deployed on a mission to fly toward Hurricane Hector, CNN reported.
“While we are very proud to have made history yesterday by being the first all-female flight crew, we are more proud of the mission we are doing and the safety we are providing for people,” Waddington told CNN at the time.
The recon work requires them to collect data on the storm. So far, Dorian has travelled through the Caribbean and is headed straight for coastal Florida. Weather forecasters say they’re concerned it will intensify into a Category 4 storm by the time it makes landfall.