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Blimp goes down at US Open golf tournament in Wisconsin

16 June 2017

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Golf Association said the advertising blimp crashed in an open field about half a mile from the golf course.

The pilot was transported by Flight for Life from the area of the crash just after noon.

Justin Maynard is a sales manager for AirSign, the advertising company that operates the blimp. Maynard could not confirm witness accounts that the pilot skydived from the blimp and said the aircraft's pilots do not regularly carry parachutes.

Her daughter, an advanced emergency medical technician working on the scene, said that the pilot was alive when he was picked up by a helicopter near the farm, and is now "getting the medical treatment that he needs".

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Rescue crews from a variety of area fire departments and responded to the scene.

"They were trying to give it some throttle and it didn't go up", he said. One side was going in. "The envelope caught fire".

The sign on the blimp advertised PenFed Credit Union. Earlier Thursday morning, AirSign tweeted about the blimp's arrival and encouraged visitors to share photos.

"Wow, blimp down. I hope everyone is safe".

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Coffee said that the accident was extremely unusual. "They make sure that every one is inspected", he said. I've never seen a plane crash, blimp crash, anything like that.

"First responders were quick to arrive at the scene and the pilot is now being treated for unknown injuries", a statement said.

In spite of its presence near the notable tournament-one of the four majors championships that make up the top tier of worldwide golf competition-the blimp, which was promoting federal credit union PenFed, was not affiliated with the U.S. Open, according to a statement released by the tournament's organizers on Twitter. Hope everybody is ok!

Various media reports said the blimp deflated, started to come down slowly, burst into flames and crashed into a field near Highways 167 and 83.

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