A lifelong dream came true last week when Goodyear invited me up for a ride on the Spirit of America airship…. you know the GOODYEAR BLIMP. That’s right, I got the once in a lifetime opportunity to float around LA in Ice Cube’s favorite blimp.
We took off from a small airfield in Carson. The lift off procedure involves a ground crew grabbing hold of the sides of the gondola and do a heave-ho maneuver to toss the blimp into the sky (see video) . The next thing I knew we were way up in the air.
The cabin itself is pretty small allowing room for 6 passenger and the pilot, our flight included only one other passenger. So I was free to bounce from seat to seat looking for the perfect view. We were cruising at about 30 mph, so no seat belts, no problem. Since the cabin is not pressurized you can freely open the windows and feel clouds with your hands.
The big surprise was getting the chance to fly the blimp! The pilot let me take the wheel… errr pedals for a while. When steering a blimp you use your feet to control going left and right, and an elevator wheel on the side to go up and down. It was surprisingly difficult to just fly straight, you always had to fight the wind.
Take a ride on the Goodyear Blimp from Dan Marker-Moore on Vimeo.