Blimp Crash At US Open

Washington County authorities, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board continue to investigate Thursday’s crash of an advertising blimp east of the US Open grounds at Erin Hills. A Washington County Deputy assigned to an Erin Hills security post reported the blimp smoking or on fire and rapidly descending. Emergency personnel used an ATV-type vehicle to get to the crash site which was an open field just east of Highway 83 near Highway 167. The pilot, who was the only person in the aircraft, suffered serious burns and other injuries and was flown out for treatment. The blimp pilot rode the craft to the ground. The National Transportation Safety Board says the pilot was trying to land due to high winds and had shut off fuel to the burners.  Air Safety Investigator Pamela Sullivan said the blimp was still, however, burning residual fuel and that’s how it caught fire. The blimp’s propane tanks exploded after it hit the ground. She says the pilot’s fireproof suit likely saved his life.