Latest: Pilot suffers serious burns after blimp goes down near Erin Hills
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash of an advertising blimp east of the Erin Hills golf course for the U.S. Open. A Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy at a security post reported seeing the blimp on fire, or smoking, and rapidly descending at 11:15 AM.
Hartford Fire Department was immediately paged to the 1400 block of State Highway 83. Ashippun Fire Department used an ATV to access the crash site which was approximately .75 miles to the east of Highway 83.Both Ashippun Fire Department and the Hartford Fire Department were staged at the 2017 US Open, which is about 1 mile west of the crash site, and were able to quickly respond to the site after the initial report.
The pilot was the only occupant of the blimp and sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash and was medically transported via Flight for Life with serious burns and injuries.
The initial investigation reveals the blimp may have experienced mechanical problems prior to the crash. The Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with both the FAA as well as the NTSB to assist with the onsite investigation.
The advertising blimp had been airborne for several hours prior to the incident and the Sheriff’s Office had been in contact with FAA representatives earlier in the day and determined the aircraft was lawfully operating at the proper altitude.