Breakaway Blimp Lands in 94-Year-Old Woman's Yard

Broke free from nearby airport

By Greg Wilson
|  Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011  |  Updated 11:49 AM EDT
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Weird News Photos: Holiday Edition

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lillian Bernhagen was shocked that a blimp broke free from an airport and landed in her backyard.

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Lillian Bernhagen's likely seen a lot in her 94 years, and now that includes a blimp crashing in her backyard.

The Worthington, Ohio, woman awoke to find the 128-foot craft, which broke from its tethers at a nearby airport, covering most of the yard. Remnants were draped over her picnic table and birdfeeder

"I looked out the window and I said, 'Wow!'" Bernhagen told The Associated Press. "It really is quite an occasion to have a blimp land in your yard."

The blimp, which advertises Hangar 1 Vodka and was on a tour of 20 cities, got loose from Ohio State University's Don Scott airfield early Sunday. No one was aboard.

The search for the breakaway blimp was impeded by storms. The Federal Aviation Administration tried to locate it via radar, while its owners tried to see it from the ground, said state police spokesman Lt. Rudy Zupanc. The finally spotted it and sent police to Bernhagen's home.

The Orlando, Fla.-based owners, The Lightship Group, said the blimp won't make its next planned stop in Detroit on Thursday.

"TLG will investigate what happened, but at this time there's nothing to indicate that it was anything more than a freak thunderstorm," marketing director Toby Page said.

Bernhagen, who snapped photos of the wreckage, said her home was not significantly damaged. She did miss church, however.

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