Hurricane Hunters


I’m looking for the flight numbers of the Hurricane Hunters, either the C130’s out of Keesler or the NOAA aircraft stationed at MacDill.




If nobody on here knows (which will actually surprise me), then I would suggest taking a gander at They have pictures of some of their aircraft on there. You might be able to get the N-numbers from those. HOWEVER, they may fly under something like NOAA123. Of course, you can still try the n-numbers.


The only C130s we’ve seen lately are FAB (FAB321 FAB328 FAB65) and LYC (LYC101 LYC402 LYC549) callsigns. Nothing out of Keesler or MacDill.

The only recent NOAA callsigns we’ve seen are NOAA49 and NOAA51.


The two main Orions are:

They also have a Cessna 550:

And a G-IV:


…So you CAN track hurricane hunters? I was under the impression that they were operated by the USAF, which, of course, might make it difficult to follow on this site. Does NOAA designate the tail numbers as “non-military” or “declassified” to allow us to track them? I never really thought about these.


The tail numbers are registered with the FAA as owned by the Department of Commerce, not the USAF. Here is a better list of their aircraft.


Okay. Every interview I’ve ever seen with the pilots and the meteorologists on board gives their ranking w/in the AF. Oh, what the hell, I’m sure the feds paid for each aircraft several times over, once from the coffers of the AF, once from Dept. of Commerce, once from NOAA…


Well, first of all, here’s the NOAA aircraft, including the P3 and Gulfstream Hurricane Hunters. They’re not USAF aircraft as NOAA has quite an extensive air operations center of their own.

Second, simply because you saw someone’s rank listed doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re automatically in the AF, they could have been a NOAA officer, or even a Naval or Coast Guard officer, as the Hunters have been flying with multi-force cockpits for years.

Third, the NOAA aircraft haven’t been the only ones aloft in recent years, they’re just the ones which the public is most aware.

Fourth, if you want to experience a Hurricane up-close-and-personal, you could always develop a science project and ask for aircraft support from NOAA.


Ok, I wasn’t quite clear, I thought you were speaking of the NOAA aircraft. There are TWO different organizations that label themselves “Hurricane Hunters.”

  1. NOAA, flying the planes I have listed above.


  1. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron of the Air Force Reserves, based in Biloxi, flying a fleet of 10 WC-130’s.


That’s them; they were C-130s, and I remember them being based in Biloxi. JHEM, give me SOME credit!! I didn’t just *assume *they were in the USAF. I may just be an “av-enthusiast,” but I do get my story straight…most of the time.


Mea culpa.


Thanks for the responses



While surfing I came across the following site: … =recco.txt

Even though Flightaware is unable to track AF300, there is sufficient information to be able to plot the track of the aircraft sending the report.

At the time of writing this post there are two entrys for Aug 16. The flight is heading to 32.0N 74.5W



“AF300” would be WC-130J serial 96-5300, 302 = 96-5302.