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Airship Crash in Germany

On Sunday 12 June 2011, an airship owned and operated by Lightship Europe Limited (LEL) caught fire at Reichelsheim Airfield in Germany. It has been reported in the press that the pilot, by his actions, enabled the safe evacuation from the gondola of his three passengers; subsequently the pilot suffered fatal injuries. There were no injuries to the passengers or ground crew. The airship was one of two A60 Lightships chartered by Goodyear from LEL for marketing purposes in Europe. Goodyear and LEL issued a joint statement. "An airship - owned and operated by Lightship Europe Limited - caught fire at Reichelsheim Airfield in Germany on Sunday evening. One member of the LEL flight crew suffered fatal injuries. His relatives have been informed. There were no injuries to passengers or ground crew. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the LEL crew member and the passengers on the flight. The airship was one of two chartered from LEL for marketing purposes in Europe. The second airship has been withdrawn from service until further notice. As is customary in incidents involving aircraft, the aviation and local authorities have initiated an investigation. Neither LEL or Goodyear can speculate on causes Airships have a very good safety record. Goodyear has owned and operated airships in the United States for more than 85 years and never seriously injured a passenger. In addition, third party vendors, such as LEL, have operated aircraft for Goodyear for more than 15 years without serious incident."

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