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Witness an airliner narrowly avoid Hurricane Irma through surprisingly dramatic tweets

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It’s always fascinating when you can experience something through the eyes of someone who really knows or cares a lot about it, and that’s definitely the case for a series of tweets from aviation writer Jason Rabinowitz who followed one daredevil Delta flight as it managed to narrowly avoid Hurricane Irma as it made landfall in Puerto Rico. It started earlier today, when Rabinowitz noted that a number of flights were attempting to reach San Juan Airport before the hurricane hit. One, Delta flight DL431, basically found itself flying directly into the storm even as every other flight turned back:

While this seems very risky from the outside, Rabinowitz noted that the winds were a bit calmer than the forecast predicted. That means this is less about a pilot trying to be a badass, and more about Delta trusting its own crews to know what will be safe. Then, as the flight safely made it to San Juan, it had to make an extremely quick turnaround before flying right back to New York. Including taxiing on the runway, the flight was only at San Juan for 52 minutes:


Images like this probably make it seem more dramatic than it was, at least if Rabinowitz’s notes about the winds and the preparedness of everyone involved are accurate, but this still looks pretty damn dramatic:


Thankfully, due to the wonders of airplane engineering and weather forecasting, the flight managed to slip right past the hurricane as it hit Puerto Rico: