A few weeks ago, Joliet was abuzz with news the Goodyear Blimp was in town. I reached out to friends at the Joliet Park District, but couldn’t make contact with the blimp. Then yesterday, as my son and I were playing catch outside, he pointed to the sky and said, “Look daddy!”

The blimp had returned!

I remember last week that the blimp stopped in Joliet en route to Minnesota for a PGA event and would likely stop back in Joliet on it’s return trip.

“This is my chance!” I thought. I packed up my son and we drove down to the Joliet Municipal Airport in hope of catching a glimpse of the 275-foot beauty.

And there she was!

A small group of us hung out by a few hangers checking out the airborne Goliath. I wasn’t there for a view from afar though. Oh no. I was there to get up close and personal.

I noticed the crew disembarking from the airship, so I crept a bit closer in hopes of catching the captain of the ship, flashing my press credentials (the logo on my station-issued polo shirt), and getting an interview with the pilot.

I yelled out to one of the members of what appeared to be the ground crew, “Hey man! I’m with 95.9 The River, a local radio station here. You mind if I get a minute or two with the pilot?”

“Oh, hey, sure. He’s the one over there.”

“The one with all the stripes on his shoulder?”

Laughing, “Yep, that’s him.”

“Cool, thanks,” I said.

The pilot and other members of the blimp crew were walking swiftly from the vessel to waiting Goodyear transportation, heads down, dragging luggage, much like you see airline pilots pulling.

It was obvious he was tired after a long flight and just wanted to relax.

“Hey! I’m Nick with 95.9 The River! Mind if I ask you a few questions real quick?!” I said with glee.

I noticed a slight eyeroll from the tired pilot, but he politely agreed, “You have exactly two minutes.”

That’s all I needed to hear! “Yeah, no problem”

I continued to ask him questions for approximately four minutes.

Here’s that short interview with the pilot of the Goodyear Blimp!

Pretty cool info there!

Here are a bunch of other photos and the live Facebook video from yesterday. A rare look into the cabin and cockpit of one of the world’s most famous flying machines!