High winds forced a blimp that carried a giant advertisement for presidential candidate Mitt Romney to make an emergency landing in Florida on Sunday night.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that the Romney blimp was carrying two people, both of whom safely made it away from the scene of the landing around 7:10 p.m. The airship was traveling from Boca Raton, the site of Monday night’s final presidential debate, to the North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines when the high winds necessitated a landing in Davie.
“The winds were so strong it was pushing them west,” said Davie police spokesman Capt. Dale Engle. “They were trying to drive east, but they couldn’t push into the wind.
“It experienced some high winds and was having a difficult time and crash-landed here in the field just south of Bamford Park in Davie,” he said. “They were experiencing some problems due to the wind which forced them to crash land here in the field.”
Engle also reported that the aircraft came down on its tail before rolling onto its side. The police captain said the pilot of the craft deserves praise for landing it in a field and avoiding houses.
The Romney blimp was just five miles away from its intended location before aviation crews transported the deflated mass on the rest of the journey. People near the scene couldn’t believe what they were seeing. The blimp came down in what’s expected to be an area of Florida that will vote heavily Democratic, with one neighbor joking that she brought down the craft with a rock.
“We saw the blimp hovering over the house and it was floating backwards it looked like it was actually coming down,” Teri Balter told NBC News. “I thought, boy, Mitt Romney really wants us to vote for him.”
“We were throwing baseballs outside the front yard, it was so low to the ground, it was just weird,” another neighbor said.
The blimp carried a giant picture of the Republican candidate and a message reading “America Needs Romney.” The irony of the crash coming the day before the final presidential debate, and with just weeks left before the election, was not lost on social media users.
“A blimp carrying a Mitt Romney campaign sign crashes in Florida. Barack Obama puts down the drone remote and has a good laugh,” tweeted @ RexHuppke.
“Just saw a blimp falling out of the sky. It says America Needs Romney..Yeah Right! You can’t even keep your blimp in the sky,” tweeted @Swadedarling.