Last week I was fortunate enough to be a passenger in the Goodyear Blimp . Flying out of the Gardena facility we flew mainly over the 110 Harbor freeway towards Dodger Stadium to provide Fox with their aerial view for the Rockies/Dodgers game. Having flown in many helicopters, I was excited to see how different the view was from the Goodyear Blimp.
Excuse the photo geeky details….I carried three Nikon camera bodies with at 14-24, 28-300 and a 200-400. When I have flown in helicopters, we were usually 900 feet off the ground and the 400 was enough. But in the blimp, we were 2000 feet off the ground so my 200-400 should have been a 600mm instead as all of my friends on the field at Dodger Stadium look like ants.
It was hard enough to have the death grip on all of my cameras as it was so a 600 would have been a load to hang on to.
It was awesome to see a complete team effort that the Goodyear staff has to make sure the pilot takes off and lands safely by holding on tight to the rope connected to the blimp and running with it as the wind blows the blimp around.
According to Pilot in Charge Matthew St. John, the blimp uses 80 year old technology which he says works fine to this day.
Senior Pilot Taylor Laverty
Pilot in Charge of Spirit of America Matthew St. John….Looks easy just sitting there but he is pumping two foot pedals at a crazy pace the entire flight 3 hour trip to steer the blimp. His right hand is on a vertical wheel to go up and down.
Taking off with Stub Hub Center (formerly Home Depot Center)in the background
110 Freeway heading north
110 North crossing with the 105 Freeway
110 North packed with traffic
Dodgers Dream Field at Athens Park
110 North Traffic sucks!!!!!
Looking west from the 110- The Faith Dome
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena
Museums and my alma mater USC in the background
USC Galen Center on the left.
Los Angeles Convention Center
The Ritz and Marriott at LA Live
110 and 10 Freeway crossing.
The Red Carpet for the ESPYs
My rival high school Belmont High School on lower left. Dodger Stadium ahead.
Department of Water and Power—My dad’s workplace for many years
LA City Hall in the upper right
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
My hometown of Silverlake
Silverlake with the LA Observatory and Hollwood sign in the distance. My high school LA Marshall below the Observatory
Elysian Park palm trees
Over Dodger Stadium facing Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley
Los Angeles Chinatown
Echo Park lake
Los Angeles Police Academy
LA County Jail
MTA Building and Piper Tech
White Memorial Hospital where I was born a long time ago.
Looking north on Broadway. On upper left of Broadway is Lincoln High School
On the hill is Wilson High School
Great place for breakfast is Nicks Cafe on Spring
Park across the street from Nicks Cafe is Los Angeles State Historic Park
As Greinke pitches a masterpiece and the Dodgers win in a fast 2hours and 15 minutes, flying back to Gardena we had to fly away from the rolling in fog and clouds.
Riding 2000 feet off the ground in the blimp was a wonderful experience. The staff at Goodyear are really cool and they love what they do……as do I.
Thank you to pilot Matt for making my flight an experience to remember…
My images over Dodger Stadium will be posted soon.