For Pete's Sake

Blimp at U.S. Open golf tournament catches fire and crashes

The blimp after it crashed to the ground.
The blimp after it crashed to the ground.

There was a terrifying site at the U.S. Open golf tournament in Erin, Wis., when an advertising blimp that was near the course apparently caught fire and crashed on Thursday.

Justin Maynard, a sales manager for Florida-based AirSign, told the Associated Press that the pilot is “OK” after the blimp crashed but that he is being taken to a hospital. Spectators saw the pilot parachute from the blimp before it reached the ground.

CBS News said the advertising firm AirSign was operating the blimp when it crashed. AirSign CEO Patrick Walsh told CBS News the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

This person apparently watched the crash happen:

Multiple spectators posted videos of the crash:

Madison Seigworth captured this video of a blimp that caught fire and crash at the US Open in Erin Hills in Wisconsin. The pilot was the only person onboard and was able to parachute to safety.

The PGA released this statement on Thursday afternoon: “According to local authorities, a commercial blimp not affiliated with the USGA or the U.S. Open Championship broadcast crashed in an open field approximately a half mile from the Erin Hills golf course at approximately 11:15 a.m. CDT. First responders were quick to arrive at the scene and the pilot is currently being treated for unknown injuries. No other people were involved in the incident and local law enforcement is currently investigating. our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot at this time.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff