HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - Senator Bill Nelson is demanding answers from NOAA, questioning why the agency has not maintained 'reliable hurricane hunter aircraft'.
We are learning Gulfstream-4, known as Gonzo, had a few mechanical issues recently.
The Washington Post released an article Wednesday afternoon detailing reported issues with the aircraft.
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Nelson said, "It's just plain unacceptable that Gonzo has been grounded three times over the last year during hurricanes and NOAA has yet to secure a backup".
He continued,"Lives and property are being placed at risk because NOAA is dragging its feet".
A NOAA spokesman sent ABC Action News a statement, which stated they are trying to comply with the Weather Act. It requires them to keep reliable hurricane hunter aircraft. In their statement it read, "The safety of the American public and our flight crews are top priorities and we take these requirements and our mission very seriously". They stated the aircraft is being repaired and does not have any scheduled missions.