A blimp flying near the US Open golf competition in Wisconsin crashed, sending a plume of smoke up into the air as its pilot was transported to a hospital.
Videos circulating on social media showed golf pros who were heating up the Erin Hills golf program motioning at the blimp as it toppled out of the sky. The pilot, believed to be the on person on board, parachuted out of the aircraft.
The blimp crashed in an open area about half a mile far from the training course. Its pilot did not sustain significant injuries as well as is expected to be ok, a representative from AirSign– the proprietors of the blimp– informed Fox News. Fox Sports, is broadcasting the tournament.
AirSign, which explains itself as a national aerial advertising firm, included that it was investigating the event and that the pilot was the only individual on board.
Patrick Walsh, AirSign’s CEO, told CBS News that the cause of the crash was still under investigation. The pilot suffered burns, he said, and there were no injuries on the ground.
Another rep informed The Associated Press that they might not validate witness reports that the pilot skydived from the blimp, adding that the aircraft’s drivers don’t generally carry parachutes.
WMTV in Madison, Wis., posted photos of the crash scene and had a helicopter circling the crash scene. Its live footage showed what appeared to be a good number of emergency workers tending to a single individual on the ground.
The person was transported away from the middle of a field in the back of a pickup truck and driven to a the parking lot of what appeared to be a warehouse in the middle of a vast field. Workers unloaded the gurney off the truck and loaded it onto a waiting emergency helicopter, which then flew off to a nearby hospital.
The event– which is being held at the Erin Hills Golf program through Sunday– is just one of golf’s four majors and a marquee event on the PGA Scenic tour.
Crashes involving blimps are “extremely rare,” Dan Coffee, owner of the Wisconsin airstrip from which the blimp took off Thursday said. A check of the NTSB database seems to back this up. The last blimp incident logged by the agency took place in 2006.