Longest career as a hurricane hunter
James McFadden
52:352 year(s):day(s)
United States ()

Meteorologist Dr James "Jim" McFadden (USA, b. 19 February 1934) began his career at the US Weather Bureau’s Office of Meteorological Research in summer 1965; this later combined with another agency to form the Environmental Sciences Services Administration (ESSA), which itself would become NOAA (the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association) in 1970. The first mission Dr McFadden flew on was to examine Hurricane Inez on 6 October 1966, and his most recent flight took place on 22 September 2019, at the age of 85, during reconnaissance of Tropical Storm Jerry (a Category 2 hurricane), which means he has been active as a "hurricane hunter" for 52 years 352 days.

Dr McFadden's flight on 22 Sep 2019 took his total eyewall penetrations (“pennies”) of his career to 590.

A hurricane hunter is defined as a member of a team that routinely flies into tropical cyclones to conduct tropical storm reconnaissance. A hurricane hunter may serve one of any roles on the aircraft, which includes but may not be limited to: a pilot, co-pilot, navigator, flight meteorologist or weather reconnaissance loadmaster.

In 2016, Dr McFadden was recognised for his long service with a "Sammy" award, accolades managed by the Partnership for Public Service that are lauded as the “Oscars” of government service.