An aerospace engineer who flew over Ian shared a video of what it was like.
The video shows extreme turbulence, which lifts the engineer off his seat.
Of the 76 flights into hurricanes he's experienced, this one was the "absolute worst," he said.
A hurricane hunter who flew on a plane into Ian in the early hours of Wednesday said it was the roughest flight of his career.
Aerospace engineer Nick Underwood has been on 76 flights into hurricanes before, per CNN.
"Out of all of those, this was absolutely the worst," he told CNN
Underwood shared a video of the flight on Twitter Wednesday, shown below.
The video shows a team of engineers flying aboard a surveillance plane operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) called Kermit.
Aboard the flight is a plethora of precise instruments to measure the weather system. Three other engineers are shown in the video.
The team is shown nervously laughing as the turbulence starts, knocking off mattresses from the bunkbeds at the back of the plane.
"We're alright, we're alright," a colleague's voice on the plane can be heard saying.
The turbulence increases until about the two-minute timestamp, when it becomes so rough it lifts Underwood, who is strapped in, off of his seat.
"Ho-- ----- !" Underwood cries in the video, which was edited for language.
"I have flown storms for the last six years. This flight to Hurricane #Ian on Kermit (#NOAA42) was the worst I've ever been on. I've never seen so much lightning in an eye," said Underwood in a tweet below.
"Yes, my Adidas sneaker flies up beside me," Underwood said in a tweet.
Underwood told CNN the turbulence was "up and down" and "lateral," meaning side to side. The lateral turbulence was "the most unsettling," said Underwood.
"It was something else," he told CNN.
Scientists collect vital weather information by flying the four-engine propellor planes built in the 70s into hurricanes.
These measurements are combined with satellite data and radar imagery to help scientists better predict how the hurricane will evolve.
As they fly through the storm, these robust planes, nicknamed Kermit and Miss Piggy, deploy probes called dropwindsondes. The small modules are dropped from a launch tube on the plane.
As they parachute to the sea, these probes can collect crucial pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction data, per NOAA.
Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida, on Wednesday, with 150 mph winds, destructive flooding, lightning, and massive power cuts.
Ian, which has now weakened to a tropical storm, is making its way northwest at 13mph with maximum sustained winds of 55 mph, the National Hurricane Center said at 5 a.m. ET.
It is still expected to bring strong winds, heavy rains, and storm surges across Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
Follow the latest about the hurricane here.
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