Blimp at US Open deflated, caught fire

Ross Houston
June 16, 2017

Helicopter footage above the crash site showed the burning remains of the small blimp as well as the first responders on the scene.

"I felt like I should have been a couple of shots (better) here and there", Reed said. Maynard could not confirm witness accounts that the pilot skydived from the blimp and said the aircraft's pilots do not regularly carry parachutes.

Rickie Fowler made light of the longest course in major championship history to produce a record-equalling start to the US Open on Thursday. "I didn't know it was the blimp", Snedeker said. I saw a puff of black smoke.

The President of Airsign told reporters the pilot rode the blimp to the ground and managed to get to safety before it erupted into a ball of flames.

Bystanders shared shocking videos of the blimp catching on fire before hitting the ground near highways 83 and 167.

The blimp went down in an open field in the Town of Erin, Washington County sheriff's officials said.

A deputy at a security post reported seeing the aircraft on fire or smoking and rapidly descending about 11:15 a.m., the Sheriff's Office said.

His withdrawal marked the end of a golfing era with the 117th U.S. Open becoming the first major to not include Mickelson and/or Tiger Woods since the 1994 Masters.

The pilot is OK but was taken to the hospital, according to Justin Maynard, a sales manager for Florida-based AirSign, the company that operates the blimp. "So I saw it fluttering down through the sky". "Then it went behind the trees", Ruediger said.

The pilot was the only person on board the blimp, the company said. According to the sheriff's office, the blimp had been airborne for several hours prior to the incident and was lawfully operating at the proper altitude.

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