National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Hurricane Hunter Plane visits
Myrtle Beach on 4/27/1999


During the week of April 26 through the 30th, Tropical Prediction Center (TPC) director Dr. Jerry Jarrell and the Air Force 53rd Recon Hurricane Hunters barnstormed the Caribbean, Central America and the East Coast in a C-130. The C-130 is used during hurricane season to monitor and investigate hurricanes by flying through the storm and into the eye. Other stops along the East Coast besides Myrtle Beach included Jacksonville, FL, Islip, NY, Boston, MA and Halifax Novia Scotia Canada.

During their stop in Myrtle Beach, Dr. Jerrell met with media and local government officials and also toured northeast South Carolina to get a sense of preparations and hurricane awareness. He was very impressed with what he found, but at the same time was deeply concerned with the damage potential to the highly vulnerable area.

While the C-130 was at the Myrtle Beach airport, 300 local 5th graders and about 100 others had the opportunity to tour the aircraft and talk with the crew before thunderstorms forced the tours to end. Outside the plane, a display by the Red Cross and the National Weather Service in Wilmington described hurricanes and preparations that should be made before hurricane season begins and as a hurricane approaches the area.

The photos below were taken by weather service personnel on hand and document the days activities. Click on any of the small photos to view a larger version.



The C-130 arrives at the Myrtle Beach airport at 8:00 AM 4/27/1999.


C-130 approaches the hangar.


Nose of the C-130.


Instruments in the cockpit of the C-130.


C-130 parked outside the hangar.


Group of students getting ready to tour the plane.


Group of students listening to Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tom Matheson while meteorologist Steve Pfaff looks on.


Harvey Thurm of the National Weather Service's Eastern Region Headquarters talks to a group of students.


Steve Pfaff shows off the Red Cross and NWS display to a group of students.


A group of students just finishing the tour of the aircraft.


Another group of students has finished touring the aircraft.