Sun, Jul 10, 2005
The NTSB released the
factual report this week about the crash of a Goodyear blimp in
Coral Springs. The report quotes the pilot saying that the blimp
was "unable to climb, make headway, or maintain directional
control" with the engines at full power once caught in the
The 192-foot-long gray, blue and yellow Stars and Stripes blimp
crashed into an industrial park on June 16th after the pilot
attempted to escape the storm.
The pilot had left the Pompano Beach Airpark about 1530 in good
weather with scattered showers. He took the blimp south towards
Miami Beach. About 1630, he started back for to the airport.
By 1725, the weather was worsening and showers were approaching
the airport. While on approach, the pilot said that he saw several
cloud-to-ground lightning strikes within a mile of the base. With
the safety of the ground crew in mind, he decided to attempt to
leave the area and wait out the storms.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't cooperate, and the airship
was "being pushed backward and down" even while the pilot was
attempting to climb with full power. The heavy rain, lightning and
"severe outflow and downdrafts" forced the aircraft down.
While the pilot attempted to steer away from homes, the blimp
struck trees and powerlines while coming to rest top of a mini
storage facility and several cars, vans, and trailers. The impact
tore the helium-filled envelope and damaged the right propeller and
lower fin of the craft.
The pilot, Daniel Thomas, 43, and passenger Charles Thomas,
48,were not injured.
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