Starting in September of 2011, I began my search for internships. I was looking for any kind of job for the summer of 2012. Coming from having odd jobs the summer of 2011, I wanted something more secure for income and relevant experience. I found out about NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) through a friend of mine and realized it was definitely something I wanted to get involved in. Flying and weather, all tied up in one career.
I attended a College of Aeronautics sponsored presentation from two pilots of NOAA. Over the course of the next 6 months and hundreds of emails I finally secured an internship position with the NOAA Corps AOC (Aircraft Operations Center) at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Fla.
I’ve been in the job for only a few weeks and already it’s been a huge amount of work, but a huge payoff as well. Daily tasks include building the flight schedule for the next two days, keeping track of all the hours the pilots have flown and helping pilots coordinate their out-of-state missions.
Most recently, I have been fortunate enough to secure a seat on the WP-3D (pictured) hurricane aircraft during training missions prior to 2012′s first major hurricane! It carries a team of scientists and a 3-4 person flight crew. NOAA has 2 operational P-3s at the moment, so during any given day, 20 of the 24 hours can be spent collecting data in flight.
Other than the P-3s, the NOAA Corps also has a fleet of DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft, a Gulfsteam-IV, Beechcraft 350, Shrike Commander and a JetProp Commander.
As the summer goes on I’ll be coming back and posting more updates about the internship, and any recap on hurricanes that might roll through! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments area below.