October 14, 2016
This was a joint meeting with a local chapter of the Women’s Aviation Group.
NOAA Flight Director and Chapter Officer Ian Sears led the meeting. He began by discussing the mission of the Aircraft Operations Center, his role as a Flight Director, and some of his personal background. As a Flight Director, he coordinates between the pilots, technicians, and their internal and exteenal cusomers to collect the data necessary to meet their mission objectives.
The Aircraft Operations Center focuses on hurricane hunter missions during hurricane season, and fills in the rest of the calendar doing other environmental data collection. The Aircraft Operations Center is expected to leave MacDill Air Force Base for a new home in 2017. The new home base location has not yet been determined. This is the home base for all NOAA aircraft.
After the briefing, we were able to tour three of the operational NOAA aircraft.
Photo Credits: David Feller
Meteorologist Ian Sears explains the process of how the Hurricane Hunters zero in on the eye of hurricanes.
Meteorologist Ian Sears shows the group the dropsondes that are delivered to the hurricane to measure atmospheric data.
Group photo of WCFLAMS members and members of the Tampa Women in Aviation
Logo of "Miss Piggy". One of the Hurricane Hunters aircraft.
Every mission is remembered with a hurricane logo on the side of the aircraft with the name of the storm that was flown into.