31 years ago on July 3rd, 1993
The Pizza Hut blimp crashes onto 410 West 53rd Street
An eyewitness described the 165-foot blimp deflating and dropping ballast sandbags as it attempted to avoid sinking down onto the buildings.
The Pizza Hut blimp promoting their Bigfoot pizza had just arrived in the city, following the Hudson River, and was to be part of the July 4th fireworks celebration. It seemed that a tear in the skin had brought down the blimp and left it draped across the front of the building. No damage was reported during its last inspection before flying that day from Boston to New York, and both the pilot Lee Cermak and co-pilot Pat Russell survived the crash. Officials theorized that a piece of the tail assembly had punctured the blimp.
Thankfully, the only casualties were a few cars crushed by falling sandbags that the blimp dropped as it came down!
View a video below of the emergency response and interviews with eyewitnesses.