From the Salisbury Post, NC (http://salisburypost.townnews.com/articles/2004/04/20/news/20-1_blimp_shot_from_the_sky.txt):
Man downs blimp with shotgun
By Jonathan Weaver, Salisbury Post
Someone fired a shotgun blast and hit a remote-controlled advertising blimp Saturday as it flew in a field next to Team Chevrolet-Cadillac-Geo on South Jake Alexander Boulevard.
The blimp was advertising Cloninger Ford-Toyota.
Police gave this account of the shooting:
Shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to 404 S. Jake Alexander Blvd. after someone reported a shooting nearby. Tim Wyatt with Huntersville's Carolina Airships told police that a man had pulled up in a black Chevrolet pickup near the car wash at Team Chevrolet.
The man stepped out of the truck, shotgun in hand, and fired at the blimp.
Wyatt told police he approached the man as he was getting back into the truck. Wyatt said the man pointed the gun at him, then got into the truck and took off. Wyatt wrote down the tag information before the truck drove away.
The truck had a dealer tag registered to Team Chevrolet, according to the police report.
Police are still trying to determine who was driving the truck, said Salisbury Police Chief Mark Wilhelm.
Team Chevrolet owner Thom Dillard could not be reached for comment Monday night.
Cloninger Ford-Toyota owner Larry Cloninger said he was not at the site when the shooting happened. But he learned about it shortly thereafter.
"I really wished it hadn't happened,"he said.
Cloninger rents the field between Team Chevrolet and Sagebrush Steak House and keeps cars on the lot.
Controllers needed 150 feet to get the airship off the ground and were using that field, Cloninger said.
"People just need to get past it and go on,"Cloninger said. "It's kind of sad, don't you think?
"We didn't do anything wrong ... Obviously, it made somebody mad"and that was not the intent, he said.
Cloninger said he plans to continue using Carolina Airships for advertising. "We're supposed to do it this Saturday,"provided the company can supply another airship.
The blimp is about 30 feet long and carries 5-foot by 16-foot banners on each side, said Carolina Airships owner Erik Sparks. The company does advertising and aerial photography and had been working in Salisbury with Cloninger Ford-Toyota about 4 1/2 hours on Saturday.
Sparks estimated the damage at about $10,000, but "that's not resolved yet,"he said. The airship costs about $23,000 to build.
After the shotgun pellets struck the blimp, controllers were still able to land the craft, Sparks said.
Sparks said the airships are built in Fort Mill,S.C. The blimp damaged Saturday has been taken to that facility, and "it's being evaluated as we speak," Sparks said.
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April 23, 2004, 10:22 PM
Let's see, a Team Chevrolet Blimp is shot down by a man who drove a Team Chevrolet truck. Well, sabotage of work owned property is indicative of a disgruntled employee. Sounds like a workplace violence issue to me.
Then again, if I was the investigator, my first question to any suspect would be, "Do you have a blimp stamp?"
If they answered affirmatively, my next question would be, "Can I buy it from you?':p
April 23, 2004, 10:29 PM
Wasn't it the ford dealer who was using the blimp and someone from the chevy dealer shot it?
April 23, 2004, 10:30 PM
it was a Clon-licker (sp) FORD blomp shot down by a Team Chevrolet truck & employee, not a TC blimp as you stated...
and Iffin I was a TC employee, I'd be po'ed at a Ford blimp in my side yard too!
April 23, 2004, 10:31 PM
Next time they send it up, they should use hydrogen. Then if someone hits it-
OH THE HUMANITY!!!
and theyll be able to nab the shooter when he comes into the ER with singed eyebrows.
April 23, 2004, 10:37 PM
I really wished it hadn't happened...
April 23, 2004, 10:45 PM
Notes to self: Check on getting a "blimp stamp"
If a terrorist uses a blimp - is this already covered under one of my CCW permits, hunting Licenses...AR, GA, PA, TN, TX, AZ....etc., "Terrorist Permits" ? :D
I'm gonna use slugs btw. :)
Oh - Oh ...can we have a blimp event for the Redneck Cup...puhleeze...:D
Gotta crank up Led Zepplin for this event... Stairway to Heaven :p
April 23, 2004, 11:19 PM
Thank you Hermicuda. It's good to know that's it's the old fashion competitor who is competing and not internal "counter-revolutionary sabotage."
Sounds like its time to "round up the ususal suspects.":D
April 23, 2004, 11:36 PM
"IT IS BALLOOOOOOOOOON!!!! -- Chief Wild Eagle
April 26, 2004, 06:55 PM
Ford vs. Chevy dispute. :D
April 26, 2004, 07:22 PM
i believe the spring bag limit on those bad boys is 3 per season one in possesion and winter is 1 bearded per season...oh wait....
April 26, 2004, 07:56 PM
I can't believe nobody thought of this:
It depends on how big your bag is!!!
April 26, 2004, 08:02 PM
Dunno....it's kinda hard to say; The last time someone bagged one was at Lakehurst, NJ, in 1936. Heard it was the biggest one ever downed, but it had ugly tail feathers.;)
April 26, 2004, 09:37 PM
How long do you think it'll be until someone makes a "Calvin" window sticker of him peeing on the Goodyear Blimp?....:rolleyes:
April 27, 2004, 10:37 AM
Not another slug vs buckshot thread?
Were they using ammo loaded in balloon-head cases?
Shooting a Ford blimp over a Chevy lot... isn't that baiting?
Firearms, the original remote control.
Well, If that don't Lead your Zeppelin...
April 27, 2004, 10:57 AM
Oh, the humanity!
April 27, 2004, 02:58 PM
That is one of the funniest things I have ever seen!
I have a great mental picture in my head of some hick in a beat up chevy just calmly getting out and bustin a blimp out of the sky and hopping back in, going to a bar and drinking more.
April 27, 2004, 03:46 PM
Time for Chevy to rent an Apache gun ship and a couple batteries of Patriot Missiles ...
Note: French residents in the area have already surrendered
and the Germans have called the United Nations ...
April 27, 2004, 06:10 PM
Some of the RC blimps can be rigged to carry a payload and drop it. Could payback be coming? Run. You do not have to run fast, but run.
April 27, 2004, 08:18 PM
Some of the RC blimps can be rigged to carry a payload and drop it.
The answer to the night-time Zeppelin bombing raids over England in WW1 was the Sopwith Camel, firing incendiary rounds.
The answer to RC blimp bombers in 2004 would be an RC airplane, maybe a scale Sopwith Camel, Fokker Triplane, or Spad XVII - Just to keep things in a historical context. Otherwise, a scale RC F-15 or F-16, with those ducted fan engines, would be pretty effective. :D
I'd have the planes trail a length of some cable saw material one buys at Army-Navy stores. That should tear through a mylar RC blimp no problem.
April 27, 2004, 09:00 PM
"Note: French residents in the area have already surrendered
and the Germans have called the United Nations ..."
April 27, 2004, 09:12 PM
And the Brits are 1/2 done with the investigation, guns empty.
April 27, 2004, 11:41 PM
Which one of you guys is responsible for bringing that US Navy blimp down in Daly City, CA during World War II? Mysteriously, the crew of two was never found. :uhoh:
April 29, 2004, 12:49 PM
Victim in blimp shooting makes best of strange situation
By Jonathan Weaver, Salisbury Post
They've printed one thousand T-shirts to give away bearing the slogan "Who shot the blimp?"
A sign at the dealership over the weekend proclaimed "No Hunting" and featured a bullet-ridden blimp.
Cloninger Ford-Toyota officials say public interest in the April 17 shooting of a blimp that was advertising the dealership has led them to use the situation for more advertising.
It certainly has spread the dealership's name.
Type the words "blimp,""shotgun" and "advertisement"into the Google search engine, and more than 1 1/2 pages of links featuring the story pop up.
On his office computer, Cloninger Sales Manager David Wilson has Paul Harvey's take on the shooting. The radio legend said the culprit likely would get a "slap on the wrist."
Police have yet to charge anyone.
Though the incident has brought in calls all the way from Florida, it also attracted the attention of City Hall.
On Friday, a Salisbury code enforcement officer issued a warning citation to Cloninger Ford-Toyota based on the city's sign ordinance. In the offense section of the citation, the enforcement officer wrote "reference Salisbury Post article on blimp stating that it would be flying for 3 weeks!"
In a story on the blimp shooting in the April 20 edition of the Post, dealership owner Larry Cloninger said that he planned to use the blimp again the next weekend.
"How can we get a citation for something that never happened?" Wilson asked.
Dave Phillips, the city's development services manager, said the city knew about the blimp -- which he said is not in compliance with the city's sign ordinance -- before the shooting.
After seeing Cloninger's statement and learning that the company planned to use the blimp again, his department decided to issue the citation. The citation is a warning; it does not impose a fine.
Both Wilson and Mike Hughes, the dealership's general manager, said the company had permits to fly balloons over the weekend.
While they admitted using the situation to their advantage, the shooting "is still a very serious thing,"Wilson said. "Somebody still discharged a firearm inside city limits.
"The news media has turned it into a competition between Ford and Chevrolet,"he continued. "The car business is real competitive. Our main goal is to sell cars. What happened, that was not being competitive."
Another fact concerns Wilson, he said.
"It's been a week-and-a-half, and we still don't know who shot the blimp."