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Delta 737 pilot races Hurricane Irma to Puerto Rico...and wins

NOAA Satellite image of Hurricane Irma as of 1:15 p.m. PDT on Sept. 6, 2017.

WASHINGTON — Delta flight 431 went viral Wednesday when the pilot of the Boeing 737 essentially raced Hurricane Irma to San Juan, Puerto Rico to complete its flight ahead of the storm.

The plane was headed from New York’s JFK airport to San Juan Puerto Rico when Category 5 Irma neared its path.

Rather than turn back as three other flights did, the pilot made a beeline for the airport, with the crew and airline calculating it could get the plane in and out before the worst of the storm struck.

Flightradar24, a Twitter account that tracks live air traffic, posted the plane's journey to social media and Airline writer Jason Rabinowitz chronicled the daring journey on his social media feed.

Perhaps not surprisingly with a Category 5 hurricane approaching, the plane was hoping to get in, unload, then get back off the ground for its return trip to New York as fast as possible.

Mission accomplished:

Then all that was left to do was dodge a few thunderstorms and...freedom!

It was the last flight in or out:

Here's the entire story, via Twitter Moment:


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