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It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's the Metlife Blimp

Metlife Blimp ground crew at the Half Moon Bay Airport prepare for takeoff to the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in Daly City.

It wouldn't be a high-profile sporting event without a MetLife Blimp hovering over the crowds and providing aerial television coverage.

"Snoopy Two" was in Half Moon Bay today, in the open fields at the airport preparing for takeoff to the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in Daly City, which opens tomorrow and runs through June 17.

Metlife Blimps cover more than 80 events annually for NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN and TGC, primarily golf and football events when they're not in cities giving tours to groups.

They are owned and operated by Lightship Group. Two fly full-time year-round, "Snoopy One" and "Snoopy Two." A third, "Snoopy 3," is inflated only in summer months.

Each crew has 14 people: two pilots, two mechanics, a crew chief, and a group crew, who assist with takeoffs, landings and transporting equipment. During the events, there's also a cameraman onboard.

The blimp will spend roughly a week in the area and then continue the PGA Tour, heading to the John Deere Classic TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.

The blimp has a cruising speed of 40 mph so it takes a few days to get to the next destination. Track "Snoopy Two's" course on the Metlife Blimp Tracker.

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Trevor Hunt June 16, 2012 at 05:26 AM
If you like blimps, try Gasbags lighter than air comedy site: www.hybridblimp.net

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