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Scott Dommin | all galleries >> Galleries >> A Hurricane Hunter's Photo Album > A Day at the Office...
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A Day at the Office...

A basic weather recon aircrew consisted of six people. You can see four of them in the photo above. The Weather Officer is shown at the extreme left. His job was to take the various storm observations and relay them back to the weather forecasters on the ground. In front of the Weather Officer is the Flight Engineer. His job was to make sure that everything on the airplane (especially the engines) kept working properly. Up front you can see the Pilot and Copilot. The Pilot was always the aircraft commander, and had the last word about anything to do with the airplane or mission. The Copilot's job was to keep the Pilot awake during takeoffs and landings (just kidding). The Navigator (that's me) is not shown because, well, I'm the one taking the picture! But this would be the view I had from my desk. The sixth crew member was called a Dropsonde Operator. He had double-duty. First, he functioned as a loadmaster, and was in charge of the cargo compartment. On our aircraft he also released dropsondes, which were metal cylinders about 2 feet long, packed with weather sensing instruments. They were ejected from the airplane in a storm and parachuted down to the surface, sending information back to our airplane as they fell.

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