Watch Video From Inside Delta's Flight That Escaped Hurricane Irma
Passengers aboard Delta flight 302 had quite the experience on Wednesday. Their 737-900 took off at 12:52PM local from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to New York JFK packed full with 173 travelers — the last flight out of SJU before Hurricane Irma's full force hit the island. It had landed just 40 minutes earlier, weaving its way through the hurricane's outer bands, after many other flights had diverted to other airports rather than try and land in San Juan.
When the story broke on Wednesday, there were only images from flight tracking site FlightRadar24 and a short video of the jet taking off:
This video was taken showing the 737 after it had touched down, turned around in a rapid 35 minutes and then took off again, fighting Irma's winds and rain:
Inside Edition gained access to some footage taken inside of the flight when the aircraft was taking off. The passengers can be heard saying "Goodbye Puerto Rico" and later "We are in the air."
Although the video is short, it still displays tons of rain streaming across the windows with incredibly gray and cloudy skies in the background — all generated by the category 5 hurricane. Sheila Sellers, who was aboard the aircraft, told Inside Edition that "I put my head in my lap and just covered my ears." Later in the interview Sellers added, "On a scale of one to ten on that flight I would say I was an 11."
“Flight 431 from New York-JFK arrived at 12:01 p.m. to nine miles of visibility and light rain. Winds were around 24 knots with gusts up to 31 knots,” Delta said in a statement. Those numbers are “all well below operating limits for the 737-900ER to safely operate,” the airline added. Flight 302 arrived at JFK on Wednesday at 4:22pm.