Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Goodyear Blimp

What an amazing day! When the list of incentives for We Run the City fundraising came out, I didn't think much of it, because as I told them when I interviewed to be an ambassador, I'm going to come out and run the race, I'm going to start a team, and I'm going to urge people to donate, whether you take me on in an official capacity or not. So I was in disbelief when right before the race I got the email that I was leading fundraiser for UCLA, and so had won the top prize - a trip on the Goodyear blimp with an athlete of my choice!

After much deliberation, I decided to bring Sara.

It was so cool! I've seen the blimp parked next to the 405, and I've seen it at sporting events and on TV, but I was unprepared for one, how big it is (over 200 feet long) and how tiny the cabin actually is! It's roughly the size of a minivan, and only fits 7 passengers, including the pilot. The blimp we were in is actually being replaced in a few months by an airship that has computer controls and screens and an actual joystick, so I thought it was neat to be in a more old-fashioned, analog one. The pilot uses a wheel for the rudder, because if it was a yoke, you'd be fatigued in minutes trying to steer.

We voted that Sara should sit in the front seat, which she was cool with, other than the brief moment when we descended near the ocean in Manhattan Beach, turning the nose down 30 degrees. She just looked back at me real sharp, but thankfully did not get sick or anything. I get it - she was right near the windshield, watching us point straight towards the water.

Here's some videos I took - you can't hear any of us because we're wearing head sets, so it's mostly just scenery. The blimp only goes 35mph and stays nearer 1000 feet, so it's low and slow, designed for marketing, not for speed. The landing was pretty amazing, circling until we came in and the ground crew could grab the nose lines as the wheels hit the ground. Then we got to watch the second group from Special Olympics get on board and take off, which was almost as cool as being on the blimp ourselves!

Such an awesome day with my very favorite sister.

No comments:

Post a Comment