Hurricane Hunter patterns

I wanted to fly a C130 today as a Hurricane Hunter and wanted to use as close to real patterns as possible in infinite flight. Does anyone know where I can get such informatoin

There isn’t much info about the operation of the aircraft online unlike a C172 or other civil aircraft. Use your best judgement when doing patterns in this case.

Thank you for assistance. Keep flying

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Actually, there is this: and other similar documents. You’ll have to sift through the helpful and useless items though.

He’s asking about the pattern they fly when flying into a storm, not traffic patterns.


They fly a kind of “x” pattern, because they will fly more or less a strait line through the eye then circle back around the storm and do it again with a new point of interest is my understanding. So you get this kind of offset “x” looking pattern with a long side outside the storm if that makes any sense. At least that’s been every time I’ve seen them, and in all fairness I’ve only caught the NOAA one not the Air Force one but I assume they would do something similar, let me try to find an image.

Here’s a kind of low quality one from google images, let me try to get a better one. As I said this appears to be for the NOAA one, the Air Force one may differ.


Here’s a path they took through Laura, I think you can understand the basic pattern at this point. (Photo from FR24’s Twitter)


Have a read of this:

They fly direct to specific coordinates and react on the fly to the way the storm is developing.

Here is today’s plan:

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Oh, that’s cool, I had no idea they published upcoming flights, thanks for sending finding that Trio! I might have to go do a flight now… 😶

No problem! They’ll be flying into Hurricane Delta all week as it enters the Gulf. Here’s some useful links.

You’ll quickly understand why they are flying the patterns they’re flying in by looking at the recon data on Tropical Tidbits.

Live and previous recon data:

NOAA Recon page:

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Thanks for finding that! Very important and under appreciated job, it’s always been a dream job of mine, as an airplane and meteorology nerd flying planes through a hurricane sounds awesome. I wish more people knew about them and properly appreciated them, they risk there lives to get invaluable data that undoubtedly saves lives. Thanks for digging up all this data, I guess I’ve never gone looking for the ugly stuff because this is some good stuff for sure.

Side note, I’m actually in touch with the Hurricane Hunter team to have an IFATC Education Group AMA to answer any more questions. We’re just waiting for the season to calm down to plan a date. I have many questions. :)

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Oh, that’s cool. You have some big names in that list, that’s pretty awesome.

Thank you everyone for the information and insight. I really appreciate it. In the mean time, keep flying!

Just saw this related article on Hurricane Hunters it also has a pattern

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