I am a working print or broadcast journalist, how do I get a flight with the Hurricane Hunters?If you're a bona-fide member of the media, you must first get into the media pool for permission to fly on one of our storm missions. Call our 403rd Wing Public Affairs office at (228) 377-2056 during normal office hours (8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Central time). Please call as soon as possible, because our flights fill up fast--especially when the storm approaches land. We can take up to three media outlets at a time. Please limit the number of people you send to two. If you'd like to film on a training (non-storm) flight before or after hurricane season, please allow up to 30 days to coordinate permission.
I have been notified that I have a flight scheduled with the Hurricane Hunters or Flying Jennies, what equipment should I bring?Bring plenty of spare batteries. We do not have a power source to recharge on the aircraft.
If recording sound, consider a small remote (peanut or lapel) microphone which can be placed inside your headset (we'll loan a headset, which you may need to share). It's about 110 decibels inside the plane, and the headset is about the only way to be heard and understood. A hand-held microphone works well for you to provide commentary without interrupting the crew. A camera-mounted microphone doesn't work as well as a hand-held microphone.
If you're lucky enough to fly into a well-formed hurricane eye, (most do not show the "stadium effect"), a wide-angle lens works well. Some excellent video has been taken with a lipstick camera up against a window (with a suction cup).
Some polarizing lenses pick up interference from our windows, so look out for the "rainbows".
Radio-transmitting (wireless) microphone systems have been known to fail inflight, possibly due to interference with aircraft radios. We suggest using or at least bringing cables.
Please be aware that if any of your equipment interferes with the aircraft' s electronic systems, you'll be advised to stop operation.