Erin, WI — An advertising blimp has crashed at the U.S. Open.
The Air Sign blimp went down in an open field in the Town of Erin, Washington County sheriff’s officials said.
The USGA released the following statement:
“According to local authorities, a commercial blimp not affiliated with the USGA or the U.S. Open Championship broadcast crashed in an open field approximately a half mile from the Erin Hills Golf Course at approximately 11:15 a.m.
First responders were quick to arrive at the scene and the pilot is currently being treated for unknown injuries.
No other people were involved in the incident and local law enforcement is currently investigating.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot at this time.”
Air Sign CEO Patrick Walsh said there was a “catastrophic failure of the air ships envelope.”
Only one person in the blimp at the time of the crash.
Walsh says the fire did not happen until the blimp crashed and the pilot was pulled away from the scene.
The pilot was burned but not critically. He was transported to the hospital with non life threatening injuries.
The blimp is a thermal air ship. Which means it works similar to a hot air balloon. Propane heaters that are used to heat the air and lift the air ship.
Air Sign was scheduled to fly this blimp every day during the open.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
WARNING: Videos contain profanity
The crash happened east of the grounds, in an open field. Multiple spectators at the Open caught the incident on camera.
In a video, witnesses said workers seemed to be parachuting out of the blimp. First responders are on scene for rescue operations and Flight for Life has been summoned to the scene.