We've all looked up at some point in our lives (probably during a baseball game) and seen that familiar, friendly speck of a Goodyear Blimp floating overhead. But far fewer of us have actually had the opportunity to ride in one of these things — and that's a damn shame. Because as photographer Dan Maker-Moore's newest photos show, the view is spectacular.
The group flew into some dense fog and couldn't avoid a blimp shadow bomb.
The view straight down, leaning out the gondola window.
The Vincent Thomas Bridge.
Deeper into the fog at the Port of LA.
Based in Los Angeles, Maker-Moore was lucky enough to get a chance to take a ride on the Goodyear Blimp, which means we get to live vicariously through his stunning (and often dizzying) bird's eye shots of LA. Maker-Moore describes some of logistics of the trip in his Tumblr:
We took off from a small airfield in Carson. The lift off procedure involves a ground crew grabbing hold of the sides of the gondola and do a heave-ho manoeuvre to toss the blimp into the sky (see video) . The next thing I knew we were way up in the air.
The cabin itself is pretty small allowing room for 6 passenger and the pilot, our flight included only one other passenger. So I was free to bounce from seat to seat looking for the perfect view. We were cruising at about 30 mph, so no seat belts, no problem. Since the cabin is not pressurised you can freely open the windows and feel clouds with your hands.
The big surprise was getting the chance to fly the blimp! The pilot let me take the wheel… errr pedals for a while. When steering a blimp you use your feet to control going left and right, and an elevator wheel on the side to go up and down. It was surprisingly difficult to just fly straight, you always had to fight the wind.
The left engine and the bottom of the LED sign above the Port of LA.
The Blimp's shadow over the ocean.
The captain's view looking straight forward out of the gondola.
Maker-Moore's knees as he flies the Blimp and takes selfies.
Maker-Moore: "The Blimp is often hired to shoot aerial footage for sports games, I caught it from the Hollywood hills flying over LA Live and Downtown LA earlier in the year."
The blimp, ready to depart the air field.