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Fri, Dec 05, 2003

Goodyear Blimp Accident In California

Spirit Of America Crash-Lands

No one was hurt Wednesday night when Goodyear's newest airship, Spirit of America, crash landed after an apparently missed approach. Witnesses say, instead of landing, the blimp tried recovered after completing a TV photo flight over an NBA game in Los Angeles.

"We're thankful there were no serious injuries," said Jennifer Arnold, speaking for Goodyear. But it's not yet clear what condition the blimp is in. A large tear was spotted in the fabric covering the non-rigid airship. The gondola's front windscreen was shattered.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Paul Rice said the Spirit of America was landing at around 10pm when things started going wrong. "The ground crew wasn't able to secure it on the first approach," Rice said. "The plan was to circle around again, but there was not enough power for liftoff, so it got away from the ground crew."

Instead, Goodyear's newest airship impacted the ground about three hundred feet from its mooring. By morning, it could be seen tail-high, embedded in a nursery and atop a tractor-trailer. Federal investigators are on the scene.

FAA Preliminary Report

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 241AR        Make/Model: C320      Description: 320 (Executive)Skyknight
  Date: 12/03/2003     Time: 1745

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Minor

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 10A        Make/Model: GZ-2      Description: GOODYEAR GZ-20A BLIMP EXPERIMENTAL
  Date: 12/03/2003     Time: 0530

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

LOCATION
  City: CARSON                      State: CA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  THE GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER COMPANY,  N10A, GZ-20A BLIMP, STRUCK A FENCE
  DURING LANDING AT MOORING FACILITY AND DEFLATED, CARSON, CA

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Pass:    0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:           Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   

WEATHER: LGB METAR 040456Z WIND CALM SKY CLR, ALTIMETER 2999                        
                                                                                    
                                                        

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Landing      Operation: General Aviation

  Departed: CARSON, CA                  Dep Date: 12/03/2003   Dep. Time: 0202
  Destination: CARSON, CA               Flt Plan: NONE         Wx Briefing: Y
  Last Radio Cont: UNK
  Last Clearance: UNK

  FAA FSDO: LONG BEACH, CA  (WP05)                Entry date: 12/04/2003

FMI: www.goodyearblimp.com/b_soa.html

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