SOUTH FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A blimp was forced to make an emergency landing at a Long Island school on Thursday.
Nassau County police received reports around 9:22 a.m. of a low-flying aircraft.
The blimp touched down without incident on a baseball field at Woodward Parkway School.
Pilot Trevor Thompson focused on putting the airship — a half a football field wide — safely down. He eyed the empty baseball field as an optimal landing space.
“We had a couple of local people who came and helped and grabbed the nose lines as I came in and the landing was great,” Thompson said.
Thompson was alone in the advertising blimp for a flight over Long Island. He took off from Republic Airport, intending to return there — but winds picked up, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
There were two pilots on board, said Caleb Walsh with AirSign, the Florida-based aerial advertising firm operating the blimp. The pilots were not injured.
Walsh said there was a change in the weather and that the pilot feared the conditions would prevent the blimp from reaching the airport.
“We looked this morning, it said 5-10 mph was the maximum and then when we got up there,” Patrick Walsh, CEO of AirSign.com, said. “All of a sudden he was starting to see 15-20 mph winds and that’s where the situation developed.”
Blimps travel slowly–only about 20 miles per hour. Thompson said he was in contact with the control tower so police knew to expect him dropping in.
The 150-foot-long, 45-foot-tall blimp was not damaged, Caleb Walsh said.