The Goodyear blimp Stars & Stripes crashed June 16 into a storage facility in Coral Springs during a thunderstorm, according to authorities.
No injuries were reported among the blimp's two crew members or residents on the ground, said Mike Moser, spokesman for the Coral Springs Fire Department.
Nearby residents started calling the fire department at 6:41 p.m., saying the blimp was flying unusually low in the storm. Mr. Moser said fire crews went out to try to follow the blimp, and the craft later touched down at a storage facility. Minor damage was reported to the facility, but he said the blimp was half deflated.
``It looked like he had some difficulty trying to stay afloat,'' Mr. Moser said of the pilot.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the accident. A spokeswoman with the NTSB's office in Atlanta said the board will issue a factual report within 30 days of the accident followed later by its report on the probable cause of the accident.
``The pilot reported no mechanical problem,'' the spokeswoman said.
A Goodyear spokeswoman said June 22 that the tire company continues to investigate the incident and assess the damage. She said the company would not speculate on its options without a full assessment of the damage.
Among the tire maker's three blimps-based in Akron, Pompano Beach, Fla., and Carson, Calif.-each one has been involved in an incident. In October 1999, the Spirit of Akron crashed near its hangar in the Akron area, and the Spirit of America crashed into a plant nursery near its dock in Carson in December 2003. In 2000 the Stars & Stripes tore its envelope when a gust of wind blew it into its mooring mast following a sightseeing trip in Pennsylvania.
The Akron blimp was later replaced by the Spirit of Goodyear, and the California and Florida blimps were repaired. None of the incidents caused major injuries.