If you’ve looked up in the skies the past few days you may have spotted a new ride in town. The MetLife blimp has been floating over the Piedmont. The blimp is in town for the Wyndham Championship and it gave FOX8 a lift.
“When we go up we are basically set for the day,” explains pilot Cesar Mendez. A normal day for the blimp crew requires about six hours of flying.
The blimp ride feels more like a boat ride than a plan ride.
“Basically it’s not like an airplane where I have to have constant forward motion. I can just hover over a location like a golf tournament or a football stadium while the camera guy is filming the game,” explains Mendez.
Filming the Wyndham can be tricky because the pros don’t want the blimp’s big shadow in their shot.
The blimp isn’t breaking any speed records. The average speed is around 30 mph but the wind is what really makes or breaks a trip.
“A 30 mph wind now on our nose towards the golf tournament will make a difference between a four hour flight or a one hour flight,” explains Mendez.
Landing and parking the 130 foot blimp takes a pilot, a full ground crew and a lot of rope pulling. Thursday afternoon will be day one of the blimp’s work at the Wyndham. “We have no complaints about that,” admits Mendez.