Countryman & McDaniel -  The Logistics - Customs Broker Attorney

"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"  


"Stepping In It"

That Aromatic Flight To Base

Feature Date: December, 2003

Countryman & McDaniel

 The Air & Ocean Logistics- Customs Broker Attorneys

"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

On The Scene -- At Carson, Califrnia

 A 2003 Countryman & McDaniel

Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

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 "Stepping In It"

That Aromatic Flight To Base

The Time: 10 PM

The Date: Wednesday, 4 December 2003

The Place: A Manure Pile, Carson, CA

4 December 2003

Airship "Spirit of America" - GZ-20
In the 1930s, Goodyear built two giant rigid airships for the Navy. Within their envelopes, they had internal metal frames used to maintain their shape. The aircraft measured more than 2 football fields in length & needed 6.5 million cubic feet of helium to become airborne at its gross weight of more than 400,000 pounds.

The USS Akron and USS Macon were designed as aerial aircraft carriers & could launch & retrieve specially equipped planes while in flight. Although a good concept, sadly, both airships were lost in storms within 2 years of going into service, effectively ending the era of the rigid airships.

In the 1940s & 1950s, Goodyear built a series of large surveillance airships used to protect merchant fleets along the coast. They also served as early warning radar stations. Some of these airships could stay aloft for more than a week at a time. In fact, an airship of this type still holds the flying endurance record of 11 days in flight. The airship was a Goodyear- built ZPG-2 called "Snow Bird." In March 1957, it flew from Weymouth, Massachusetts, to Europe & Africa and back to Key West, Florida, without refueling or landing.

Today, Goodyear operates 3 airships in the U.S. -- the "Spirit of America", based in the City of Carson, California; the "Spirit of Goodyear", based in Akron, Ohio; and the "Stars & Stripes", based in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Our story is about an unusual freshman year event for the Airship "Spirit of America".

Seen in her better days - this is the Airship "Spirit of America" as she launched in 2003

Length: 192 feet

Width: 50 feet

Height: 59.5 feet

Volume: 202,700 cubic feet

Maximum Gross Weight: 12,840 pounds

Maximum Speed: 50 mph

Cruise Speed: 30 mph

Powerplant: Two 210 hp fuel-injected, air-cooled aircraft piston engines

Propellers: Two-blade constant speed, 78 inches

Passengers: 5, plus pilot

Operating Altitude: 1,000 to 3,000 feet (10,000 feet maximum)

Gondola: Aluminum & welded steel tube

Maximum Gondola Length: 22.75 feet

Fins, Rudders, Elevators: Polyester fabric over aluminum & welded steel

Empennage (tail): "+" Configuration

Envelope: Neoprene-impregnated polyester fabric, two-ply

Night Sign Lights: Over 165,000 LED's with over 256 colors

Landing Gear: Fixed

Subsonic Manure Protection Gear: On order

At 10 PM on 4 Dec. 2003 Los Angeles KNBC TV News Chopper 4 brought the news.....

The "Spirit of America" -- had "Stepped In It!" & Was In A Manure Pile !

The "Spirit of America" had crashed just a few miles from our "Runway 25 Right" Countryman & McDaniel home at Los Angeles Int'l Airport. (at the white plane symbol -left) at Carson, CA.

The Manure Pile is not a registered aviation marker.

"Spirit of America" was returning from shooting a video of the L.A. Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles during an NBA game for the L.A. Lakers. As "Spirit of America" landed at its Goodyear base in this Carson suburb, south of Los Angeles, the ground crew wasn't able to secure her on the 1st approach.

The plan had been to circle "Spirit of America" around again, but there was not enough power for liftoff -- so she got away from the ground crew, came loose from her moorings, drifted into a parked truck & nose-dived into a giant fertilizer pile beside a plant nursery -- 300 yards from her landing base. A cameraman from Los Angeles KTTV Channel 11 inside "Spirit of America" was slightly injured -- bruised & released. Indeed, "Spirit of America" -- had "Stepped In It!"

News crews line up on 5 Dec. to record "Spirit of America" as she savors the wonders of the manure pile. Note that reporter is holding his nose.

The accident caused a large tear in the front of Spirit of America's envelope & knocked out the gondola's front window.



"Spirit of America," dwarfs Gilbert Palomino & his horse Napolitano on Dec. 4. He was training the horse near where the "Spirit of America" crashed Dec. 3 night. Note that horse is also holding its nose.

Cow, horse, airship & manure are now one. (Photo of Wally Skalij for the Los Angeles Times.)

Geeez -- Only in Los Angeles!

Now see our Special Feature "Airships: Century 20 & 21"

Cows: 1 - Airships: 0

Our "Stepping In It" INDEX For This Feature --

We've had some fun with the unfortunate crash of "Spirit of America," but the truth is WE LOVE AIRSHIPS!!!

The link below is our loving tribute to the rather amazing history of Airships -- and their industry future in the 21st Century --

Take few moments to visit a time when "When Giants Roamed The Skies."

>>> Airships: Century 20 & 21 <<<

There are many historic photos at the site.

Take A Break - Our LAX Videdo - Home Theme! - this is where your Cargo Letter staff lives!

EDITOR'S NOTE FOR SURVEYORS, ATTORNEYS & MARINE ADJUSTERS: The Internet edition effort of The Cargo Letter now celebrates it's 9th Year of Service -- making us quite senior in this segment of the industry. We once estimated container underway losses at about 1,500 per year. Lloyd's put that figure at about 10,000 earlier this year. Quite obviously, the reporting mechanism for these massive losses is not supported by the lines. News of these events is not posted to the maritime community. Our new project is to call upon you -- those handling the claims -- to let us know of each container loss at sea-- in confidentiality. Many of you survey on behalf of cargo interests with no need for confidentiality. Others work for the lines & need to be protected. As a respected Int'l publication, The Cargo Letter enjoys full press privileges & cannot be forced to disclose our sources of information. No successful attempt has ever been made. If a personal notation for your report is desired -- each contributor will be given a "hot link" to your company Website in each & every report. Please take moment & report your "overside" containers to us. If you do not wish attribution, your entry will be "anonymous." This will will benefit our industry -- for obvious reasons! McD

NOTE: The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% Confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters." Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.  

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