Goodyear Blimp

As a long time Akron-ite, I can tell you, tickets to ride the blimp are $50 a piece. But, it really isn’t that easy. They used to run blimps all the time, when they owned the Goodyear hangar. It is now the Lockheed martin hangar, and the blimps moved to Suffield lake. Also, Goodyear hasn’t been doing the greatest this last decade, and i do not believe they are making any more blimps for the time being. So their need to test them out has greatly diminished.

As a little anecdote, One of the blimps went down about a block away from my house. talk about an event of a lifetime. no one was hurt, and I believe they decommissioned that blimp.

Anyways, for those who want to know, $50 + finding an available time. usually you have to have family that works there, or win at a charity auction or some sort of thing.

My buddies and I want to be blimp pilots. What do we do?

‘Cecil’ says:

As it happens, I called up Goodyear’s Southern California blimp operations in the early-'90s to ask them the requirements for to become a blimp pilot for them. They said what ‘Cecil’ said: Commercial certificate with multi-engine rating. They said they would provide the training for an IFR ticket if the successful candidate didn’t have one already.

The bad news? The most junior pilot they had at the time had been flying with them for ten years. Apparently there’s not a lot of turnover.

Are you still on the waiting list?

I once met one such pilot and crew in a bar as they were in town for a week-long event. I kinda recall the pilot telling me he was a retired airline pilot or something like that. Judging bey the amount of fun those guys seemed to have flying from one glamorous event to another to enjoy the atmosphere (no pun intended), I think openings only happen when someone dies.

I once knew a woman who had an older brother and sister. Their mother would alternate between the two filling out contests, etc. on things like cereal box promotions. One day the bother was misbehaving, so he lost his turn. That’s why the sister was the winner in the “win a blimb ride” contest.

The father of a friend of mine worked for Metropolitan Life (which has a blimp), and we got to ride on it. (In fact it took off in Long Beach, where the guy in the armchair took off.) It’d be a fun job to fly one, but obviously there are so few of them, you’d be better off playing the lottery.

I’ve flown on the blimp twice (well, two different blimps actually). The time we went up in '91 or '92, the pilot let us each have a turn behind the stick. And yeah, my dad used to work there.


Hell, I’d be shocked if the blimp pilot jobs weren’t handed down from father/mother to son/daughter, via hereditary succession.




Isn’t that how the gondolier profession in Italy is? Maybe blimps are the U.S. version of gondoliers?

Goodyear aviation unit celebrates 100th birthday.