Delta pilots race Hurricane Irma to Puerto Rico -and win

Delta pilots race Hurricane Irma to Puerto Rico -and win

The jet, Flight 431, was destined for NY and managed to off-load and reload passengers in under an hour.

The Delta flight left New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport for San Juan, Puerto Rico, at 8:12 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

For now, Puerto Rican New Yorkers say they're doing the only thing they can at the moment and collected donations for the aftermath of Category 5 Hurricane Irma.

The flight crew that brought the plane safely into San Juan was relieved by a second crew that flew the plane back to NY.

Eric King, commander of Sector San Juan and the incident commander, directed Coast Guard crews to conduct search and rescue flights to assist anyone potentially in distress post Irma, as well as conducting overflight and surface port assessments.

Including taxiing in and out, the plane was on the ground for only 52 minutes, according to data tweeted out by Jason Rabinowitz.

Irma is continuing to tear a deadly path through the Caribbean as the scale of devastation in its wake begins to emerge.

Delta pilots race Hurricane Irma to Puerto Rico -and win
Delta pilots race Hurricane Irma to Puerto Rico -and win

Looking east from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Irma is active, the waters are still fairly calm - at least at this point.

"Our meteorology team is the best in the business", he said. Flight 302 landed in NY at 4:22 p.m. local time, 39 minutes ahead of schedule.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled due to the storm, but the crew for Delta flight 431 decided they were up for the challenge. He added that flight and ground crews "were incredible in their effort to turn the aircraft quickly and safely so the flight could depart well before the hurricane threat".

The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reports that San Juan was hit by historic winds of up to 62 miles per hour later that same day.

While it certainly looks terrifying, Delta says they had everything under control.

David Lopez already planned on traveling to CT for his family to meet his new newborn baby, but he never anticipated he'd be leaving behind his Florida home to potentially one of the strongest storms to hit the area.

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