Delta Flight Escapes Between Bands of Hurricane Irma
They raced the storm and won
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2017 3:22 AM CDT
This satellite image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.   (NASA via AP)

(Newser) – A Delta Air Lines flight managed to make it from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and back Wednesday by navigating through Hurricane Irma. The flight took off from JFK International Airport at 8:12am, heading toward the rapidly approaching Category 5 storm, reports USA Today. After making a smooth landing in San Juan at 12:01pm despite strengthening winds and decreasing visibility, it was able to take off again after a mere 40 minutes on the ground with 173 passengers and crew. As the last commercial flight out of San Juan before the airport closed, it had to make its way to safety between the outer bands of the hurricane, Wired reports.

Aviation analyst Jason Rabinowitz was among those closely watching the flight. "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," he tweeted. "Amazing stuff." Delta says flight and ground crews made an incredible effort to turn the aircraft around in the face of the hurricane. "Our meteorology team is the best in the business," says a Delta VP, per USA Today. "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."

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