NTSB Identification: LAX04CA221.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 22, 2004 in North Las Vegas, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/01/2004
Aircraft: American Blimp Corporation A-1-50, registration: N154ZP
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
During an attempted takeoff the airship collided with a one-story building. The crew released the airship from the mooring mast to conduct its weigh-out and takeoff. A gust of wind caused the ship to translate to the right. The nose ropes manned by the ground crew were ineffective in controlling the movement. The pilot decided to execute a takeoff. However, being fully loaded, the airship was slow to respond despite the pilot's application of full power, full left rudder, and full up elevator control inputs. The landing gear hit the chain link airport fence, and then the airship settled on to a one-story building. The ground crew released the ballast and moved the airship back to the airfield. A second wind gust pushed the airship in to the next building over. The crew deflated the entire envelope and removed it off the building.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the ground crew's inability to maintain control of the airship and the pilot's inability to obtain a sufficient rate of climb. Contributing to the accident was unfavorable winds. Full narrative available
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