NTSB Identifies Reason For US Open Blimp Crash

6/27/17 – The National Transportation Safety Board says the outer fabric of a blimp caught fire near some burners — and that caused it to crash at the U-S Open near Hartford. It happened on the golf tournament’s first day of competition, June 15th, as the blimp went down about one mile east of the course at Erin Hills. The safety board report says pilot Trevor Thompson was in the process of landing the advertising blimp due to high winds shortly after takeoff — but a current of warm air forced the craft to rise, and two outer panels tore within seconds of each other. Thompson then shut off the burners, but the report says the panels collapsed around the burners and caught fire — and then the blimp landed in a farm field near some trees. Thompson was seriously burned, but no one else was hurt.