Logbook Stories

from my "Standard Pilot Master Log"


I Parked My Airplane In a Blimp Hangar

December 18-19, 1977

One of our Aztecs needed some new deicing boots on the tail surfaces. Deicing boots are made from rubber and rubber products are made by tire companies. I don't really remember whether at the time aircraft boots were made by Goodrich or by Goodyear (today by Goodrich), but one of the places where boots were replaced was at Akron, Ohio. Where the Goodyear blimp hangar is located. Photo below (when taken unknown).

So I was tasked to deadhead the Aztec to Akron, where I landed and was directed to taxi over to the blimp hangar. There they opened the hangar doors and I drove the airplane into the blimp hangar. Kind of like being swallowed by a whale. The hangar was huge. The hangar was empty. The blimp was not at home. There were a couple of other fixed-wing aircraft inside, looking pretty small in that vast space. But how many other fixed-wing pilots can say that they parked their fixed-wing airplane in a blimp hangar? Not too many, I think. So I stayed overnight while the boots got replaced. The next day I made a minor detour to a Cleveland-area reliever airport known at the time as "Lost Nation", where I picked up the boss's kids to give them a ride back home.

Akron is kind of a dumpy airport, as far as airports go, but interesting none the same, due primarily to the Goodyear blimp hangar (whatever it may be named or used for today). And also for what's right next door to the airport: the National Soap Box Derby downhill course, seen in the second image below, with the airport and the blimp hangar visible in the far background. Some interesting airport and trip esoterica that morphed an expected boring trip into a fun and memorable one. Truth be told, something that happens all the time to non-sked professional pilots.



References for Non-Pilots: