A (Pizza Company) Promotion--
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Advertising Blimp Crashes; 2nd Blimp Circles
Blimp "Lands" on Monorail
"It was a 'precautionary' landing," says Pilot
Yourtown---- (NOTICE: Any names of towns, locations, people, institutions, etc., used in these sample fake newspaper stories, are purely fictional, chosen at random, and are not meant to portray or represent any real person, place or deed. Remember that no matter what name a writer chooses to use in any fictional story, there is a real person (or many persons) SOMEWHERE who have that exact name.)
Authorities arrived only seconds after a small advertising blimp "landed" on the Monorail tracks in downtown Seattle yesterday morning. Both tracks of the Monorail were tied up for over two hours while the wreckage, mostly thin, rubberized fabric, was removed. "Of course the power to the tracks had to be shut down," commented SPD officer John Williams. "The fabric that thing's made of is really unwieldy. It was hard to work with, and there's more of it, square-yard speaking, than we imagined." It was quickly ascertained that no one was injured in the crash/landing. There was only one man aboard, the pilot, Mr. Frank Zurflu. "It was a miscalculation," admitted Zurflu, a Vietnam veteran pilot with 3300 hours flying lighter-than-air craft under his belt. "I simply didn't keep the envelope inflated. I lost lift, and couldn't get it back up in time. I saw that I was going down, so I chose a spot that seemed unlikely to hurt anyone." Apparently two blimps were flying in the area as a promotional stunt. The other airship, also a one-man advertising craft, experienced no difficulties, and circled low over the crash site in case it could be of assistance. "I couldn't figure out what he was doing," commented the pilot of the second craft, Bill Hasenkamp. "I was watching him. We were both over by the Space Needle. It looked like his blimp was just getting softer and softer; flaccid, really. A blimp has to stay pretty firm to be controllable. The guy had plenty of time to save it. I just don't know why he didn't. Of course," said Hasenkamp, smiling, "this isn't exactly the first time that company crashed a blimp. You never want to let your blimp go limp," he said, chuckling. Indeed, that seems like good advice. Ownership of the blimp could not be confirmed at press time. Our calls have not been returned.
See 'When the Going Gets Tough' Page D-5
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