“It started deflating, and then it started going down,” witness Bryan Rosine told the Journal-Sentinel. “They were trying to give it some throttle and it didn’t go up. Then there was a bunch of kabooms and smoke clouds.”
A spokesman for AirSign, the company that operated the blimp, told the Journal-Sentinel that the pilot suffered burns but will recover after staying with the blimp as it went down in a field near the golf course. A crew member on the ground was able to pull him from the wreckage.
According to the USGA, which runs the event, the blimp was unaffiliated with the tournament or with Fox Sports, which is broadcasting the event.
WMTV in Madison, Wisconsin, posted photos of the crash scene and had a helicopter circling the crash scene. Its live footage showed what appeared to be a good number of emergency workers tending to a single individual on the ground. The person was transported away from the middle of a field in the back of a pickup truck and driven to a the parking lot of what appeared to be a warehouse in the middle of a vast field. Workers unloaded the gurney off the truck and loaded it onto a waiting emergency helicopter, which then flew off to a nearby hospital.
Patrick Walsh, AirSign’s CEO, told CBS News that the cause of the crash was still under investigation. The pilot suffered burns, he said, and there were no injuries on the ground.
According to a National Transportation Safety Board database, AirSign aircraft have been involved in two incidents, both of them involving planes. In April 2010, the pilot was killed after a small propeller plane he was flying “was substantially damaged when it…
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