Blimp landing stirs wonder in children, parents - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Blimp landing stirs wonder in children, parents

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

It's been seen floating above the Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.

The MetLife Insurance blimp landed a few miles away in Hartford on Friday and it was quite an experience for a group of children and parents who received the chance to see it up close.

It's operators said landing it is no easy task. Wind is a big factor.

A minimum of eight people need to be ready to tie the blimp down. One man has to make sure everything is secured.

"We have 15 in the total crew, two pilots, two mechanics [and] 11 crew members," said Terry Dillard, the blimp's pilot.

The most excited were the faces of the children who  got to see something "fantastic."

"It's fantastic," said Andres Putetti, a 4-year-old. "That air balloon is so big and I like it."

The people at Brainard Airport in Hartford got the blimp to land there so the children could learn a little about aviation.

They learned that the blimp is filled with helium and there are only 22 like it in the world.

Some of the children said they've never been on a plane, but would certainly like to take a ride in the blimp, which features the popular peanuts character Snoopy.

The MetLife blimp sits over the golf tournament all day, taking photos. The pilots said they do it in shifts.

"With zero wind about 35 to 36 miles an hour, but you never have zero wind," Dillard said when asked how fast the blimp can go.

The children asked all kinds of questions and thought about how cool it would be to be up in the air.

"You could see big towers, big buildings. Good view up there," said 11-year-old Noah Rogers.

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