List of airship accidents
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The following is a partial list of airship accidents. Accidents with ten or more fatalities will have their dates bolded.
- 2 May 1902: Pax airship explodes over Paris, killing both crewmen.
- 13 October 1902: Separation of gondola from envelope over Paris kills two on board the Bradsky.
- 23 May 1908: Morrell airship falls over Berkeley, California. All 16 survive but some with serious injuries.
- 25 September 1909: French Army's La République crashes near Avrilly, Allier killing four.
- 13 July 1910: Airship Erbslöh explodes over Rhenish Prussia killing all five.
- 24 September 1911: HMA No. 1, more commonly known as the Mayfly was the first rigid airship to be built in the UK. It broke in two due to strong winds during trials in Barrow-in-Furness.
- 2 July 1912: Private airship Akron explodes on transatlantic attempt off Atlantic City killing all five, including inventor Melvin Vaniman.
- 4 September 1912: Budapest, Hungary. Military Airship, 3 soldiers killed while engaged in military training manoeuvres. The airship was being prepared for an ascent and was being held down by more than 100 soldiers, a heavy wind prevailed and a sudden gust carried the airship away. It arose rapidly and all but three of the men released their grip on the rope. These held on until exhaustion weakened their grip, causing them to fall to their deaths one by one.
- 9 September 1913: Imperial German Navy L 1 (Zeppelin LZ 14) crashed in a storm. 14 drowned, 6 survivors.
- 17 October 1913: Imperial German Navy L 2 (Zeppelin LZ 18) destroyed during a test flight. All 28 killed.
- 20 June 1914: Austro-Hungarian Army Militärluftschiff III, destroyed in a collision with an army Farman HF.20 over Fischamend. All seven on airship killed along with the two in the biplane.
- 3 September 1915: Imperial German Navy L 10 (Zeppelin LZ 40) destroyed by fire on 3 September 1915 after being struck by lightning near Cuxhaven.
- 10 November 1915: Imperial German Navy D.1 (Schütte-Lanz SL6) explodes after take-off over Seddin, killing all 20.
- 17 November 1915: Imperial German Navy L 18 (Zeppelin LZ 52) destroyed in shed fire at Tondern
- 12 May 1916: French airship CM-T-1 destroyed by fire near Porto Torres, Sardinia while en route to Fréjus/St Raphaël, France.
- 12 December 1917: North Sea class blimp N.S.5 sets off for RNAS East Fortune, but both engines fail within sight of her destination, and she drifts with the wind for about 10 miles (16 km) before they can be restarted. However, since both engines continue to be troublesome it is decided to make a "free balloon" landing, but the ship is damaged beyond repair during the attempt.
- 5 January 1918: Ahlhorn hangars explode destroying the LZ87, LZ94, LZ97, LZ105, and SL20. 15 killed and 134 injured.
- 7 April 1918: Imperial German Navy L 59 (Zeppelin LZ 104) explodes over Malta, killing 21.
- 2 July 1919: US Navy blimp C-8 explodes while landing at Camp Holabird, Maryland, injuring ~80 adults and children who were watching it. Windows in homes a mile away are shattered by the blast.
- 15 July 1919: Royal Navy North Sea class airship N.S.11 burns over the North Sea off Norfolk, England, killing twelve. In the early hours of 15 July on what was officially supposed to be a mine-hunting patrol, she was seen to fly beneath a long "greasy black cloud" off Cley next the Sea on the Norfolk coast and a massive explosion was heard shortly after. A vivid glare lasted for a few minutes as the burning airship descended, and finally plunged into the sea after a second explosion. There were no survivors, and the findings of the official Court of Enquiry were inconclusive, but amongst other possibilities it was thought that a lightning strike may have caused the explosion.
- 21 July 1919: American Wingfoot Air Express caught fire over downtown Chicago, 2 passengers, one crewmember and 10 people on the ground killed, 2 parachuted to safety.
- 19 June 1920: US Navy Goodyear airship D-1, A4450, is destroyed by fire  at the Goodyear Wingfoot Lake Airship Base, Suffield Township, Portage County, Ohio.
- 7 July 1921: US Navy Airship C-3 burns at Naval Air Station Hampton Roads, Norfolk, Virginia
- 23 August 1921: British R38. Built for US Navy and already carrying "ZR-2" markings, broke in half and burned after suffering structural failure during high-speed trials over Hull. 44 killed, 5 survivors.
- 21 February 1922: US Army airship Roma (ex-Italian T34). Hit power lines in Virginia and caught fire. 34 killed, 11 survivors.
- 17 October 1922: U.S. Army's largest blimp, C-2, catches fire shortly after being removed from its hangar at Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas for a flight. Seven of eight crew aboard are injured, mostly in jumping from the craft. This accident was made the occasion for official announcement by the Army and the Navy that the use of hydrogen would be abandoned "as speedily as possible." On 14 September 1922, the C-2 had made the first transcontinental airship flight, from Langley Field, Virginia, to Foss Field, California, under the command of Maj. H. A. Strauss.
- 21 December 1923: French Navy's Dixmude (airship) (ex Zeppelin LZ114). Struck by lightning over Mediterranean near Sicily and explodes in mid-air. All 50 aboard killed.
- 10 October 1924: US Army blimp TC-2 explodes over Newport News when a bomb it was carrying detonates. Two of the crew of five were killed.
- 3 September 1925: US Navy USS Shenandoah (ZR-1). Caught in storm over Noble County, Ohio, and broke into several pieces. 14 killed, 29 survivors.
- 25 May 1928: Italian semi-rigid Italia. Crashed on return from successful trip to North Pole. 7 killed, 1 crash survivor died from exposure, 8 rescued, 6 rescuers lost including Roald Amundsen.
- 5 October 1930: British experimental design R101. Dove into ground during rainstorm in France. 48 killed, 6 survivors. This is the deadliest civilian airship accident.
- 11 May 1932: Abortive landing of USS Akron - ropes pull three members of the mooring crew high into the air; two fall, the third is saved.
- 4 April 1933: USS Akron. Lost at sea off coast of New Jersey in severe storm due to instrument error. With 73 dead and 3 survivors, this is the deadliest airship accident.
- 4 April 1933: US Navy airship J-3 A7382 lost in surf off New Jersey coast with two crew killed while looking for USS Akron survivors.
- 12 February 1935: USS Macon crashed off coast of Point Sur, Monterey, California after crosswinds broke an already damaged section. 2 dead, 81 survivors.
- 24 October 1935: Soviet Union's SSSR-V7 hits a powerline near the Finnish border causing a fire, one crew member died while the rest managed to escape.
- 6 May 1937: German Hindenburg burned on landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey. 35 dead, 1 on ground killed, 62 survivors.
- 5 February 1938: Soviet SSSR-V6 OSOAVIAKhIM - 13 out of 19 crew died after crashing into a mountain 300 km south of Murmansk on a practice flight for an arctic rescue mission.
- 6 August 1938: Soviet Union's SSSR-V10 crashes near Beskudnikovo killing six.
- 8 June 1942: U.S. Navy blimps G-1 and L-2 collide mid-air, killing twelve including five civilian scientists.
- 16 August 1942: Designated Flight 101. The two experienced crew of the U.S. Navy blimp L-8 disappeared without explanation during the flight giving it the name "The Ghost Blimp." The blimp drifted inland from its Pacific patrol route, striking the ground left its depth charge armament on the beach, and then lifted high again and drifted further inland until crashing on a downtown street in Daly City, California. The gondola door had been latched open, and the safety bar which was normally used to block the doorway was no longer in place. Two of the three life jackets on board were missing, but these would have been worn by the two crew during flight, as regulations required. A year after their disappearance the pilots were officially declared dead.
- 19 April 1944: U.S. Navy airship K-133, of Airship Patrol Squadron 22 (ZP-22), operating out of NAS Houma, Louisiana, was caught in a thunderstorm while patrolling over the Gulf of Mexico. It went down and twelve of thirteen crew were lost; the sole survivor was recovered after spending 21 hours in the water.
- 21 April 1944: The southeast door of blimp hangar at NAS Houma, Louisiana, was chained open due to a fault. A gust of wind carried three K-class blimps, all of ZP-22, out into the night. K-56 traveled 4.5 miles[clarification needed] before crashing into trees. K-57, caught fire 4 miles[clarification needed] from the air station. K-62, fetched up against high-tension powerlines a quarter mile away and burned. K-56 was salvaged, repaired at Goodyear at Akron, Ohio, repaired and returned to service.
- 16 May 1944: Training accident at Lakehurst, New Jersey kills ten of eleven crewmen of K-5 as it crashes into the number one hangar.
- 2 July 1944: U.S. Navy blimp K-14 crashes off Maine, killing six of the ten crewmen. Her loss has been attributed to accident or machine gun fire from a U-boat.
- 7 July 1944: U.S. Navy blimp K-53 falls into the Caribbean, killing one of her crew of ten.
- 17 October 1944: U.S. Navy blimp K-111 crashes on Santa Catalina Island, California, killing six of her ten crewmen.
- 5 November 1944: U.S. Navy blimp K-34 crashes off the coast of the State of Georgia, killing two of eleven crewmen.
- 3 May 1945: A Navy blimp's fuel tanks explodes over Santa Ana, California killing eight of nine.
- 29 January 1947: Soviet airship Pobeda gets caught in a powerline and crashes killing all three on board.
- 6 July 1960: US Navy ZPG-3W crashed into the sea off New Jersey. 18 of the 21 crew were killed.
- 8 October 1980: The 170-foot EA-1 Jordache blimp, N5499A, leased by Jordache Enterprises Co., crashes at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, New Jersey on its maiden flight. With an 0815 hrs. launch, and a flightplan to Teterboro Airport and thence to a Manhattan photo shoot, the airship, weighed down with gold and burgundy paint, reaching 600 feet altitude, begins an unplanned right descending turn, with pilot James Buza, 40, making a "controlled descent" into a garbage dump, impaling the blimp on a pine tree, coming down a quarter mile from the site of the Hindenburg's 1937 demise. Buza, the only complement, is unhurt. According to the NTSB report, the cause was poor design. The pilot also had zero hours experience in the type.
- 1 July 1986: The experimental Helistat 97-34J crashes at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst in Lakehurst, New Jersey during a test flight, killing one.
- 4 July 1993: US LTA 138S airship Bigfoot, which bore the Pizza Hut logo crashed on top of buildings in Manhattan. The cause included inadequate FAA standards according to the NTSB report.
- May 1995: The Goodyear blimp GZ-20 Eagle, tail number N10A, suffered a deflationary incident, when the blimp struck the ground near the Carson, California, mooring site while unmanned. This blimp was repaired and rechristened as the Eagle N2A. No injuries were reported.
- 1 July 1998: Icarus Aircraft Inc. / American Blimp Corporation ABC-A-60, N760AB, encountered severe downdraft on positioning flight from Williamsport, Pennsylvania to Youngstown, Ohio, and was substantially damaged when it impacted trees at 1105 hrs. during uncontrolled descent ~eight miles (~13 km) NW of Piper Memorial, near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. After being blown from treetop to treetop for about ten minutes, gondola settled in a tree about 40 feet (12 m) in the air and the two pilots exited uninjured and climbed down the tree. Some fifteen minutes later the airship was blown another 900 feet (275 m) before coming to rest.
- 28 October 1999: The Goodyear blimp GZ-22 "Spirit of Akron", N4A, crashed in Suffield Township, Ohio, when it suddenly entered an uncontrolled left turn and began descending. The pilot and technician on board received only minor injuries when the blimp impacted with trees. The NTSB reported the probable cause as being improperly hardened metal splines on the control actuators shearing and causing loss of control.
- 16 June 2005: A model GZ-20 Goodyear blimp named Stars and Stripes (N1A), crashed shortly after take off in Coral Springs, Florida. No one was injured. Bad weather may have been a factor in the incident.
- 26 September 2006: The Hood blimp, an American Blimp Corporation A-60, crashed into a wooded area of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. The airship left Beverly Municipal Airport at about 1215 hrs. Shortly after, the pilot started to have problems, and he tried to land on Singing Beach, but instead got caught in some trees near Brookwood Road. The pilot was not injured.
- 14 June 2011: A Goodyear Blimp operated by The Lightship Group in Reichelsheim (Wetterau), Germany caught fire and crashed, resulting in the death of Michael Nerandzic, an experienced pilot whose last-minute actions saved the lives of his three passengers.
- 14 August 2011: the Hangar-1 blimp operated by The Lightship Group broke free of its mooring in Worthington, Ohio, crash landing in a yard. No injuries.
- 4 May 2012: An Israeli spy blimp crashed when a crop duster struck the blimp's side.
- The New York times index - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
- The New York Times, July 16, 1919, Wednesday, Page 1, British Airship Burns with Crew; Twelve Lost When the NS-11 Falls Flaming Into the North Sea.
- The New York Times, July 27, 1919, Sunday, Editorial, Page 39, Helium for Flying; Noninflammable Gas May Yet Be Produced in Quantities and at a Cost Suited for Dirigibles.
- Loss of N.S.11. Warmsley, N. Retrieved on 5 April 2009.
- Chicago Public Library Archive
- Swanborough, Gordon, and Bowers, Peter M., "United States Navy Aircraft since 1911", Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 1976, Library of Congress card number 90-60097, ISBN 0-87021-792-5, pages 573-574.
- "A Brief History of the Wingfoot Lake Airship Base". Goodyearblimp.com. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
- The New York Times, July 8, 1921, Friday, Page 1, Big Navy Dirigible Burned in Flight; Flames Destroy the C-3 at Hampton Roads
- Roseberry, C. R., "The Challenging Skies - The Colorful Story of Aviation's Most Exciting Years, 1919-1939", Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1966, Library of Congress card number 66-20929, page 347.
- *Report of the R101 Inquiry 1931 HMSO p.7
- Check Six (May 2008). "The Crash of Navy Blimp L-8". Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- Shettle, M. L., "United States Naval Air Stations of World War II - Volume II : Western States", Schaertel Publishing Co., Bowersville, Georgia, 1997, Library of Congress card number 96-070565, ISBN 0-9643388-1-5, page 99.
- Associated Press, "Blimp Crashes Near Zeppelin Crash Site", Anderson Independent, Anderson, South Carolina, Thursday, October 9, 1980, page 4A.
- NTSB Accident report File No. 1036 07/04/1993 NEW YORK, N832US
- New York Times
- "Airscene: Commercial Accidents", AIR International, Stamford, Lincs, U.K., September 1998, Volume 55, Number 3, page 142.
- NTSB Aviation Accident IAD00LA002
- "Blimp pilot dies saving passengers from fiery crash". CNN. June 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
- http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/heavy-winds-lift-128-foot-long-blimp-moored-at-ohio-state-airport-into-air-hasnt-been-found/2011/08/14/gIQAnVSWEJ_story.html. Missing or empty
- "Israeli spy blimp crashes near Gaza". The Aviationist. May 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
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