Updated at 1945 local, 03 October 2015
Savannah – Hurricane Hunter WC-130Js from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Keesler AFB are flying missions into Hurricane Joaquin from Hunter AAF in Savannah, GA. Over the last 24 hours, I’ve caught three WC-130Js on both the radios and Mode-S arriving at and leaving Hunter:
- WC-130J, 97-5303, 53 WRS (Mode-S AE0114)
- WC-130J, 97-5304, 53 WRS (Mode-S AE0115)
- WC-130J, 97-5305, 53 WRS (Mode-S AE0116)
They’ve been flying as TEAL 7# and TEAL 8# flights. Earlier this morning, I caught TEAL 71 (WC-130J, 97-5304, 53 WRS) depart Hunter AAF just before 0500 local/0900 UTC. It routed to the south on 132.925 and 124.675 with Jacksonville Center, advising they that were on a mission to the hurricane. Later, they told Center that they would be delaying in the Hurricane for approximately 5 hours. I lost TEAL 71 on the radio as they went out of range, but Jacksonville Center’s sites were still patched together for the night, so I could still hear the controller passing information to them. Just after 0530 local/0930 UTC they were given 3.445/5.550 for New York HF and switched over shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, I don’t have HF capability at home right now, so I wasn’t able to follow them any further.
Just before 1830 local/2230 UTC, TEAL 72 (WC-130J, 97-5303, 53 WRS) departed Hunter AAF headed for Hurricane Joaquin, using the same frequency sequence as TEAL 71 did earlier in the morning. About 2 hours earlier, TEAL 72 departed but turned around and came back after making the 132.925 to 126.475 transition. I didn’t hear the reason why they turned around, but it could have been an aircraft issue because the the first attempt was with aircraft 97-5305 instead of 97-5303 which they eventually departed with.