Storm Hunter Inflight Checklist

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

Hurricane Hunter NOAA42 Dorian Storm Flightpath


We are here. You are here.

You’re a pilot. And unlike an actual hurricane, you can’t fly around a storm system this massive. Hope your evasive maneuvers are navigating the turbulence.

Yes, there are circumstances and things beyond our control.

But you have choices. Choose your own adventure.

You could:

A. Ground the plane. Dig a hole, hug your bug-out-bag, eat canned beans until the vaccine arrives or you get abducted by aliens and/or the CIA.

B. Fly up and get above the storm. Flee to your vacation/country house in Costa Rica, lock down your nannies, butlers, security force, and stockpile gold, etc.

C. Cross your fingers and hope things don’t get too bumpy. Status quo. Numb out on Netflix, doughnuts, shopping, whatever your drug of choice is that drowns out fear, distracts you, and keeps you from getting too queasy.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.

Plato, philosopher, circa 400BC

D. Fly straight at and through the heart of the storm on a mission. Be a storm hunter. Learn as much as you can in the storm and blast out that intel. If you’re on this mission, here are just four preflight/inflight items for your checklist.

  1. Cut loose any extra weight. Chuck anything, entanglements, parasites that threaten the mission.
  2. Strap yourself down along with everyone and every instrument that is mission critical. You didn’t sign up for the sunset cruise. The turbulence will rock your flight, your mind, your resolve, like no other.
  3. Radio your coordinates to Mission Control and allies who will fly in formation with you and encourage your flight path.
  4. Go full alert mode. Learn the lessons, do the work. Invest time to be aware and amazed right where you are. And fly. Fly straight on through, and fly true. Enjoy the eye of the storm. Debrief.

It’s not about right or wrong answers. It’s your choice. It’s your adventure.

It’s how we answer “Who am I?” at the end of the day when we’re alone, and we’ve got one less day on earth. And we decide to live what we actually believe and not just what we say we believe.

Hunting the storm is not about frantic activity. It’s not about being a martyr. Hunting the storm does not mean you’re better, or fearless.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President, conservationist, naturalist, historian, Rough Rider, and writer, circa 1900

It’s a decision to turn what was meant for evil into good — not only for yourself but for others.

Numbing out is not going to get you through this storm in any meaningful way. The status quo is the worst way to navigate a storm. Ignorance is not bliss. It’s a dead-end abyss.

The storm is an opportunity to take stock of what you have, who you are, and where you’re headed.

Now, is a good time to choose your adventure and calibrate your nav.


p.s. Fly with the Hurricane Hunters to meet the storm. The moment they breakthrough the storm’s eye wall is epic. Only the U.S. Air Force 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron and NOAA fly into hurricanes.


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