Friday, August 17, 2007

First Hurricane Hunter Comm

From Allan Stern in central Florida:

13927 kHz USB 2027z: USAF MARS Station "Hobby 29" (WC-130J, Keesler AFB), 140 mi NW of San Juan, for phone patch to St Croix Ops for Hurricane Hunter Ops 340/778-0605 ("Croix Ops"); reports 30 min out. (16Aug2007) (ALS).

It appears that airplanes are being flown to temporary homeplates closer to the storm. At least, this would explain why the generic Keesler HOBBY callsign was being used instead of TEAL. It'll be interesting to hear what the actual missions ID as.

"Hurricane Hunter" flights (USAF Reserve 53rd WRS, WC-130J) do not do anywhere near as much HF as they used to when Miami Monitor was still on-air from the National Hurricane Center. There is some spotty use of HF-GCS. Otherwise 13927.0 kHz USB, the MARS phone patch channel, is one of the best places to snag these.

[UPDATE 17/1920 UTC: It was indeed a ferry flight, moving the WC-130Js to a closer-in airfield. Confirmation at the Caribbean Hurricane Net site.]