Tuesday, June 14, 2011
German Reenactment of the Hindenburg Disaster
German authorities investigate fatal blimp crash
Jun 14 2011
In an apparent attempt to reenact the fatal 1937 crash and burning of the ill-fated German zeppelin, Hindenburg, at Lakehurst, New Jersey, a Goodyear blimp crashed and caught fire at an airfield in Reichelsheim, Germany, near Frankfurt, killing the pilot. Three passengers escaped by jumping from the cabin.
The pilot of the Goodyear blimp screamed "I crashed the airship" before it burst into flames, a passenger who leapt to safety said.
Photographer Joachim Storch told media that the blimp, inappropriately named _ The Spirit of Safety _ missed its designated landing spot at Reichelsheim airfield in central Germany on Sunday evening, causing its engine to slam into the ground.
The pilot yelled "We had an accident!" followed by "I crashed the airship!" as fire swept through the blimp, Storch told the DAPD news agency on Monday.
The sudden loss of weight caused the ship to shoot into the air, where it burst into flames, burning the pilot who remained in the cabin to a crisp. His scorched remains are shown being carried away in a casket on Monday, following the Sunday crash.
Goodyear, which had commissioned the blimp as part of a road safety advertising campaign, said in a statement that it was halting the initiative and would leave its second airship in Europe grounded. It was not a very good advertisement for safety.