Blimp crashes during
takeoff into two Las Vegas office buildings
May 22, 2004
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) - A blimp heading to Southern
California crashed during takeoff Saturday into two office
buildings, authorities said.
A ground crew was assisting with the blimp's departure from the
North Las Vegas Airport about 9:30 a.m. when winds carried it over a
fence and into a nearby office building, said Tim Bedwell, a police
The crew was using lines to return the red-and-white blimp to the
airport side of the fence, when winds again carried it over and into
another office building, Bedwell said.
The pilot of the A-150 blimp, which bears the Saturn corporate
logo, decided to land on the second, single-story office building,
The pilot and passenger were not injured. The buildings suffered
some roof damage as a result of the crashes, Bedwell said.
The blimp was believed to be heading to Long Beach, said Bruce
Nelson, an operations officer with the Federal Aviation
The National Transportation Safety Board, along with the FAA,
will investigate the crashes.
The blimp was registered to The Lightship Group, which is based
in Orlando, Fla.
The company's Web site said the Saturn blimp was first launched
in 2001 and has flown over such sporting events as the SEC
Championship Game in Atlanta and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
The North Las Vegas Airport is the second-busiest in Nevada,
behind McCarran International in Las Vegas, and one of the 54
busiest in the nation.
With three runways, the airport primarily serves small planes and
sightseeing flights to the Grand Canyon and other southern Nevada
locations, along with corporate and private aircraft.