Army blimp goes down in Lycoming County

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 29, 2015 4:04 AM

In this photo courtesy of Susan Switzer, shown is an untethered Army surveillance blimp Wednesday Oct. 28, 2015 in Bloomsburg, Pa. The unmanned Army surveillance blimp broke loose from its ground tether at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, a U.S. military base, on Wednesday and drifted over central Pennsylvania as two Air Force fighter jets tracked it. The blimp's long tether snapped power lines, causing outages. (Courtesy of Susan Switzer via AP)

(Muncy) -- An unmanned Army surveillance blimp that broke loose from its mooring at a Maryland military facility caused a bit of a stir across central Pennsylvania.

It floated over portions of the region for hours, causing electrical outages as its tether hit power lines and eventually came down near Muncy, Lycoming County.

About 27,000 utility customers in Schuylkill and Columbia counties were left without power for a few hours.

Two fighter jets were scrambled to follow the 240-foot helium-filled blimp.

Fitted with sensitive defense technology, the blimp escaped from the military's Aberdeen Proving Ground around 12:20 p.m. yesterday.

It drifted northward, climbing to about 16,000 feet and covered about 150 miles over about 3.5 hours.  

The Army is looking into how the blimp broke loose.

Published in News

Tagged under , , , , , , , , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »