Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Big Goal Light Floats Away

Budweiser decided to bless Canadian hockey fans with one of the best promotional ideas ever: their own goal light! The Budweiser Red Lights have been lighting up every time a selected team scores in bars and homes across the Great White North for some time now, and Budweiser decided to take the promotion a little further by bringing a Budweiser Red Light zeppelin to life that was adorned with a pile of LED lights to make it light up like a goal light. As seen above, it looks pretty close to the real thing!

However, with the cross-Canada promotion ending, Budweiser decided to deflate the Red Zeppelin as it reached its final touring point in Saint John, New Brunswick. Deflating a zeppelin is probably no easy task, and it got a lot harder when the semi-deflated zeppelin broke free of its tether in the gusting winds on Saturday afternoon! As you probably guessed, the helium-filled zeppelin then floated away on the gusts as the Budweiser zeppelin crew could do little but watch helplessly!

Thankfully after a few frantic days, the lost goal light zeppelin was found this morning! "It's in a wooded area in New Brunswick that doesn't look like it's going to be real easy to get to," Wade Keller, director of corporate affairs for the Atlantic region for Labatt Breweries, told CBC's Alan White today.

I'm not sure what kind of damage has been done to the blimp that stands at two storeys high and is 21-feet in length, but I can't imagine it would be unharmed after coming to rest in an isolated, wooded area. Generally, things like tree branches like to catch material and cause it to tear, so there might be some serious patching needed on the Red Zeppelin.

The worst part in this whole thing? "It's the only one we have," Keller said, refusing to disclose the value of the blimp.

You don't really give a lot of thought to a balloon filled with helium floating upwards when you see one. However, Mobile Airships Inc., the manufacturer of the Red Zeppelin, said that "the air pressure at higher altitude would cause it to rupture. It would then slowly deflate and sink to the ground, with wind speed and direction determining where the deflated blimp would float before landing."

So imagine a two-storey balloon floating up where planes may travel. Transport Canada did, and they had their Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADOR) issued an alert for the Moncton airport and the Saint John flight service station to be on the lookout for an unmanned blimp possibly messing up air-traffic routes as it floated aimlessly in the air. That kind of thing is hard to miss and does move slowly in relation to an airplane, but there's still the possibility that it could cause a collision if a pilot wasn't aware that it was out there.

Luckily, though, the blimp was found in New Brunswick as its tour of the maritime province came to an end. While the zeppelin didn't light up upon being found, here's hoping that Labatt Breweries can salvage this zeppelin without too much trouble so that we can see it in the skies again!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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