WATCH | Circa takes a ride on America's most iconic airship. Come aboard!
Like sailing a boat
Matthew St. John has been flying blimps for 17 years. He started his career as a commercial pilot, but moved to airship aviation because it combines his passions for sailing and airplanes. Unlike an airplane, flying a blimp relies heavily on following currents, which St. John compares to sailing a boat.
St. John is the pilot in charge of the Spirit of Innovation, one of three blimps that Goodyear currently operates, from its base near Los Angeles.
Watch in VR360 as we flew over Los Angeles in the iconic Goodyear Blimp.
This 360 VR is best viewed on a full-screen computer, laptop or Android device and may not work on Apple iOS devices.
The Spirit of Innovation relies on people power to launch and land. The crew includes:
- A ground crew handler (who orchestrates communication with the crew and pilot)
- Six crew members that hold the lines keeping the nose of the blimp pointed into the wind
- Five crew members who guide the gondola (or cabin)
- One climber who releases and locks the blimp to the mast
It's a form of aviation that's mostly in history books, but we're fortunate enough to be the ones that get to keep it alive.
The Spirit of Innovation has flown over the Super Bowl, NBA Finals and the Daytona 500.