Goodyear blimp crashes in Florida

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Friday, June 17, 2005

A Goodyear blimp crashed at a Coral Springs, Florida industrial park on Thursday night, causing about 1,400 homes to lose power. The two people on board, pilot Daniel Lynn Thomas and passenger Charles Thomas, were not hurt, although they were trapped on board briefly while electrical crews cleared the area.

The blimp, named the "Stars and Stripes" is 192 feet long, 59.5 feet tall, and 50 feet wide. It took off from Goodyear's 32 acre blimp base at Pompano Beach Air Park, about 12 miles away, shortly before the crash. It is one of three Goodyear Blimps in the United States.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash, thought to be weather related. Goodyear company spokesman Jerry Jenkins, in a brief statement on Thursday, said, "We're grateful there were no injuries onboard or on the ground. Following an investigation, more information will be released."

"Stars and Stripes" was the oldest of the three operational Goodyear blimps and was best known for providing aerial coverage of NASCAR races.

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