A tragic insident occured today at a nearby airfield of mine in Reichelsheim EDFB near Frankfurt/germany.
The Goodyear Blimp G-TLEL, that was supposed to be stationed in Reichelsheim threwout this month for sightseeing trips and an information campaign together with the AvD (automobile club) for roadkills and safer driving, crashed this evening and burst into flames. Three passengers on board, all of them reporters, were able to save themselves by jumping out of the blimp 2m/6,5ft off the ground. The pilot then tried to land the blimp when it started to burn. Unfotuately he did not make it out anymore. The blimp of the type A60+ is built by American Blimp Corporation and came over to germany for the Goodyear Tour 2011.
This just came on in the radio and is a very sad story to me. I saw this blimp fly above our heliport threwout the entire week and even saw its last flight above the skyline of Frankfurt today. I couldn't believe what I heard on the radio 40mins afterwards. But now the other press seems to take up on the story. My thoughts go out to the pilot Mike, his relatives and friends.
I wonder what made this accident happen. Nowdays blimps are'nt filled with inflamable gas anymore so the only thing that might start a fire are its engines or its avionics. The Pilot, an australian, was one of the most experienced pilots around. This puzzles me...