Pilot Dies as Blimp Bursts Into Flames

I know you're thinking it. Don't say it.

An airship burst into flames and fell out of the sky in Germany on Sunday evening, killing the pilot, but the three passengers managed to leap to safety and were unhurt, police said.

Bild newspaper reported that the pilot, an Australian, called out to the passengers: "We're having a crash!" and told them to jump out of the cabin, which was hovering just 2 meters above the ground at the time. As soon as they had hurled themselves to safety, the airship soared rapidly to a height of around 50 meters, possibly due to the sudden loss of weight in the cabin, making it impossible for the pilot to escape, eyewitnesses said.

The blimp then became engulfed in flames and fell back to the ground in a ball of fire.

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7 Responses:

  1. Scott K says:

    A note from Goodyear Blimp:

    "We appreciate the sentiment expressed by all of our friends on this site over the tragic accident in Germany on Sunday. Some have inquired as to what this means for Goodyear blimps in the United States.

    We want you to know that we are not grounding our US-based airships. In the US, we own and operate a model called the GZ-20A. The Lightship Europe airship involved in the accident is an A60+ model. They are distinctly different types of airships.

    We do not make such decisions lightly. The safety of our passengers and the safe operation of our airships are of paramount importance to us. In more than 85 years of operating airships, no passenger has been seriously injured.

    Please continue to keep the pilot and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

    Thank you."

  2. Kaishaku says:

    99 Deathbaloons

  3. Ryan Finnie says:

    The blimp was named the Spirit of Safety II. I haven't been able to find what happened to the Spirit of Safety I.

  4. SpaceHobo says:

    Safety together. Once divided, the ship rises to 50m and explodes, killing the pilot.

    Gotta love the rigid-frame dirigibles vs blimps battle royale someone's trying to start from this.

    • dagbrown says:

      The Hindenburg was a rigid-frame dirigible! (Is the Hindenburg the Hitler of airship-based flame wars?)

    • phuzz says:

      Worst thing is, the pilot almost certainly knew what would happen when he told the passengers to jump out.

  5. Bill Paul says:

    This is not a repeat from 1937.