Goodyear blimp crashes in Germany, killing pilot
A Goodyear blimp crashed in Reichelisheim, near Frankfurt on Sunday evening, killing the Australian pilot who had previously helped his three passengers to safety. The blimp, which was operated by Lightship Europe Ltd and leased by Goodyear, reportedly caught fire during a flight organised for journalists to take pictures of the state of Hessen. Goodyear Dunlop Germany expressed its sadness and sympathy for the family of the pilot. Aviation authorities have initiated an investigation into the cause of the crash.
According to reports the engines of the four-seater airship caught fire at around 20:30 as it was coming in to land at the Reichelsheim aerodrome. The pilot, realising the danger helped the three passengers on board jump to safety from a height of around six feet. Before he could leave the airship it rose quickly to a height of 50 meters, becoming overwhelmed by flames and moments later crashing to the ground.
The blimp was one of two hired by Goodyear Dunlop for advertising purposes, the company said. “The second airship will no longer be used until further notice,” the statement continued. “At this time our thoughts and sympathy are with the families of the pilot and ground staff and the passengers on the ground at the scene.” The company has cancelled its planned activities at the Goodyear Hessentag.