December 17, 2009

A San Diego Afternoon

I enjoyed a nice flight yesterday around the San Diego area. The grounds people at Qualcomm Stadium are busy getting the lines painted for Sunday's Chargers game. Of course, we'll be providing the aerial coverage on CBS for that game. There were also a lot of kite surfers out by Crystal Pier enjoying the waves. An absolutely beautiful day to be at the beach. Finally as I was flying along the coast, I thought I'd try to get a good "Shadow Blimp" riding on the Pacific Railroad tracks. I think a couple of them came out kind of cool. No matter how many flights I do, there is always something fun to see and sometimes even take a picture of it.

December 9, 2009

Return to San Diego

View Flight Plot from Sunday in a larger map
We ended our month long stay up in Northern California to return to San Diego for some events. I did the flying on Sunday to finish the second leg of the two day trip, taking Snoopy from Santa Maria, CA to Brown Field south of San Diego. It was an enjoyable trip down the coast mainly which made for a very smooth ride especially with the scattered cloud cover we had most of the day. Above is the approximate route I took to give you an idea of the distance traveled and some of the places I past by on my way down. Below is a picture of downtown Long Beach, looking down Ocean Boulevard.

December 5, 2009

Track Me Across the Country

Google has a program called Latitude which takes the approximate GPS location from your phone and plots it on the map. I've decided to add a spot on the page so you can track me on my journeys to answer the often popular question...Where is Keith? Be sure to come back often to check it out on the right side column of my blog and track me all across the country on my blimpin' adventures!

November 20, 2009

Cruising Around the Bay

I did another flight around The Bay Area this week in the ship. It had a bunch of highlights that I documented in the above pictures.

I started off in San Francisco which is always picturesque. I included some pictures of the California Academy of Sciences building which has a "living roof" garden on top of it. Reading more about it, you wonder how many more of these types of roofs will work their way on top of modern buildings. After some time over downtown I worked my way down the 101 past San Francisco International Airport in time to watch a heavy 747 take off.

Finally as I worked my way down towards San Jose, I caught up with the Airship Ventures Zeppelin NT airship just in time to watch them land. If you aren't familiar with their operations, they are still the only company in the United States offering passenger rides in an airship. I really like the shadow of the enormous airship against the hanger as it lands. Even from a distance, its an impressive aircraft.

After a quick trip over San Jose, it was time to wrap up the day and head back to Livermore Airport for a landing at sunset. In summary, another great day in the life of an airship pilot!

November 19, 2009

Raiders Game

I flew over the Oakland Raiders game on Sunday as they took on the Kansas City Chiefs. We provided the aerial coverage for the CBS telecast in case you happened to see it. If not, here are a couple pictures of the stadium during the game.

November 12, 2009

Flight Over The Bay

I spent my Monday flying over the San Francisco Bay area. It is by far my favorite place to fly around with so many landmarks and great scenery everywhere you turn. It was a day I wished that the work day didn't have to end. After all you can't beat the view from my office, so who could blame me?

November 10, 2009

Beautiful Transit

Heading from Santa Maria, CA up to Livermore, CA last week gave me some great scenery to check out. I had never done this transit before and it was every bit as wonderful as I had heard. A cloudy morning broke up into a nice clear day with a healthy tailwind all the way north. We even had some time to cut over to the coast and check out the infamous Pebble Beach Golf Course. I think even those who don't love the game of golf can't deny how beautiful this picturesque golf course really is. The remainder of the trip included a lot of vineyards and rolling hills with a landing just after sunset to cap off another fun transit to the San Francisco Bay Area.

November 5, 2009

Heart Attack Grill

If you're not dieting, in Phoenix, AZ and looking for a great burger with a unique atmosphere I suggest you check out the Heart Attack Grill. It is a hospital themed burger joint complete with waitresses dressed as nurses and hospital gown bibs for patrons. This is the ultimate anti-health food establishment. Here you can get a Single, Double, Triple or Quadruple Bypass Burger with each burger patty weighing in at a half pound. There is also all you can eat Flatliner Fries which are fresh cut potatoes deep fried in real lard! I had a single bypass burger with the fries and a regular coke (no diet cokes served here!) It was by far one of the better burgers I have eaten and the fries were amazing! Real lard may get a bad wrap but its delicious.

Oh and a couple more notes about the Heart Attack Grill....If you weigh over 350lbs, you eat free! Also if you eat the Quadruple Bypass Burger, you get rolled out to your car in a wheelchair. This establishment sticks to its theme in every way. If you've got a good sense of humor and enjoy indulging in a good burger and fries, I suggest you go admit yourself to the Heart Attack Grill.

Catching Up on the West Coast

Its been a while since I've updated the blog but the time sure has gone fast. Since my last post we've finished the golf season down in Atlanta and are now into doing football every Sunday. We've also taken Snoopy 2 from the east coast to the west coast for the winter via Nashville, Houston, Phoenix, Oakland and San Diego. Taking the airship across Texas, through the desert and over the mountains into California is always a challenge. Its also one the of the most fun transits we do. With proper planning, some patience with the weather and a few long days for the entire crew, we completed yet another west coast transit (the 3rd such transit I've been a part of).

Above are some pictures I took of Nashville, TN while we were there to cover a Tennessee Titans game back in September. I've also flown the games we covered in Phoenix, Oakland and San Diego over the past month in case you caught any of our aerial shots from those games.

September 14, 2009

Kickoff the Football Season

Well the NFL season kicked off this weekend and so did our aerial coverage for Metlife in Snoopy 2. I had the pleasure of flying over an exciting game in Baltimore on Sunday. The Ravens went on to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 38-24 in beautiful downtown Baltimore. Check out the couple of pictures I took of the stadium and the inter harbor.

September 2, 2009

A Day Walking Around Beantown

For the day off, a couple of us decided to go up to Boston for the day. We took in all of the sites along the Freedom Trail including the USS Constitution, Paul Revere's house, the Old North Church, The Custom House Clock and the United States' oldest tavern, The Bell in Hand. We even made it over to the "original" Cheers for some dinner. All and all, a nice day taking in the sites.

August 18, 2009

NYC in the Summertime

I did some flying last weekend over Manhattan. In the pictures you will see a number of New York landmarks including the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, Time Square, Central Park and of course the MetLife Buildings. Always a pleasure to get to fly above NYC during a beautiful summer day!

August 9, 2009

A Milestone Accomplished

Well I just caught up on my logbook tonight and realized that I have now flown over 1000 hours in airships. Kind of a cool, notable accomplishment. Of course many of the pilots I have worked with probably have over 10,000 hours in airships. Like in just about everything no matter how long you've been doing it, there is always more to learn from your peers. I'm just fortunate enough to get to learn from such experienced pilots.

August 1, 2009

Indy is Quite Friendly

We are in Indianapolis,IN this week for the Senior Open Tournament. On our way back from flying over the tournament today, the camera guy spotted the above message written in what looked like golf balls at the local driving range. It was one of the coolest things I've had the opportunity to see from the air. When I got back on the mast at the airport, I was sure to show all of the crew the friendly message that was laid out for us. I don't know if you may find your way to my blog here but in case you do, thanks from all the crew! We always appreciate the hospitality we receive across the country. That one is going in my favorite blimp memories for sure!

July 31, 2009

The Windy City

I flew the transit down from Chicago to Indianapolis this week. On my way down I had the opportunity to fly past downtown for a few pictures. You can really take in all the sights flying down along the coast of Lake Michigan. The highlights include the building formally known as the Sears Tower, Soldier Field which is home of the Bears and the site which use to be Meigs Field Airport. I had the opportunity to fly into there for a memorable day in downtown Chicago back when I was still in college. Within the following year, the mayor of Chicago took advantage of post 9/11 fears and sent in trucks overnight to begin tearing up the runways at the airport. It was a landmark that held a special place in the heart of any pilot who had the opportunity to fly into there. It is now just a park.

July 21, 2009

Breweries, Bicycles and Baseball Stadiums

Well after catching up with Snoopy 2 in the Quad Cities we made our way to Milwaukee, WI to do a few flyovers and some other engagements this past week. Included in the highlights are the downtown skyline, Miller Park baseball stadium, the Nascar track and the Miller Brewery. Also included in the pictures are some of the bicycle race I flew over today and the Boerner Botanical Gardens.

June 26, 2009

Hartford Connecticut

I'm over on the Direct Tv blimp this week doing exposure over the Hartford area before the nearby golf tournament. Here are a few pictures of downtown as well as some pictures of a huge nearby garden park area. I'm not sure what it is called but it looks quite impressive from the air. It caught my eye as we were flying around yesterday morning.

June 17, 2009

Practice Round of US Open

I had the unique opportunity to walk around the US Open practice round at the Bethpage Black Golf Course today. It really gives you an appreciation for how talented these pro golfers are. The course is quite long and hilly,the fairways are tight and there are plenty of bunkers to get stuck in. Truly a beautiful course as the pictures show. I missed Tiger but did get to see a few other familiar faces throughout the day. It was a new perspective to be so close as I'm use to seeing it all from high above the course. However, I still wouldn't trade my seat at the golf events with anyone.

June 11, 2009

An Update....The Season Is In Full Swing

Its been a while since I've updated so I thought I'd get everyone up to speed. I've been doing a lot of bouncing around between blimps, filling in for vacations. Some of the pictures include the Maryland coast above the clouds as I flew the Horizon Blimp up to New Jersey, and pictures from transitting Snoopy 1 between events which include the Longaburger Basket building in Newark, OH and some pictures of Harrisburg, PA. I'm currently in Long Island with Snoopy 1 for the US Open.

March 29, 2009

The M Resort Opening Fireworks Display

I was fortunate enough to get to fly over the Grand Opening of the M Resort earlier this month on March 1st. As you can see, the fireworks display was quite impressive from the blimp. For fun and to drown out the engine noise, I added Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" as it truly was quite the celebration as Vegas welcomed another casino into the neighborhood.

March 1, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

I shot a little video going up The Strip as well. The classic punk band, the Dead Kennedys version of Elvis' "Viva Las Vegas" accompanies the video.

Back in Las Vegas

We returned to Las Vegas this week for the big opening of The M Resort tonight, March 1. I took a few pictures while flying up The Strip the other night. I also took a few pictures of the M Resort and Downtown Las Vegas.

Nascar and Oscars

Though the M Lightship is based in Las Vegas, it does travel upon occasion to California. I took a few of these pictures of California Motor Speedway in Fontana, Ca while we were flying over the NASCAR festivities last weekend. We also had a chance to swing by the Oscars in Hollywood last Sunday before heading back to the field for the night. Goodyear was there also providing aerial coverage for the big awards show.

Flying the Big Blimp

Well I haven't had any time to do any updates lately because I've been busy getting some experience on one of our big airships. It it an A170 model for The M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas. The M Lightship is 179 feet long, 55 feet high and 46 feet wide with a 170,000 cubic feet envelope. Being so large, the airship still only cruises at a top speed of around 30 to 35mph with no wind. Also as you can see in the picture, it also has a huge LCD screen on the side of it for advertisements which measures 70 feet wide by 30 feet high.

January 29, 2009

Flying Around Phoenix

Its been beautiful here in Phoenix so far this week. Hopefully it stays that way all the way through the weekend for the FBR Open. I took a bunch of pictures while I was flying around on Saturday. Some highlights include the stadium the Chicago Cubs play in during spring training, some pictures of the golf course at TPC Scottsdale and numerous pictures of the desert and mountain landscape. Another beautiful Arizona afternoon!

January 26, 2009

Desert Pictures

We left California for the Arizona desert this week to begin our golf season coverage. I took a few of these pictures near Blythe, CA which is about the halfway point between LA and Phoenix. From now through March, we'll be in a new city every week providing aerial coverage of the PGA Tour Golf Tournaments.

January 12, 2009

San Diego Fun

These pictures are from our time here in San Diego. Included are a bunch from the Holiday Bowl Parade which featured a number of inflatable balloons. I had a first class seat watching it from the air. I even found the end of the parade where they deflated the inflatables. So quickly the large characters disappear!