When there is the possibility that wind damage occurring with severe thunderstorms may have been tornadic, the National Weather Service deploys survey teams to investigate. In some cases, when the area in question is not easily accessible via ground transportation, the NWS in Louisville calls upon area pilots to volunteer their time, service, and fuel to fly over potential tornado paths to aid in our determination of tornadic vs. non-tornadic winds.
Sometimes these volunteer pilots confirm the existence of a tornado beyond the path ground surveyors were able to determine, and sometimes they confirm that additional damage was non-tornadic. Such was the case this past week, when Ed Heckle, Bob Allen and David Katz volunteered their time, skills and resources to fly over sections of Hancock and Breckinridge counties in Kentucky. Their flights helped the NWS in Louisville confirm that additional wind damage near Cloverport was not an extension of the EF-1 tornado that had earlier been confirmed to have occurred in Perry County, Indiana June 26, 2013.
Our sincere thanks go out to these pilots for their assistance! If you are a private pilot interested in aiding the NWS in this endeavor, please see the information below.