KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

Going Flying with MetLife's "Snoopy 1" Blimp

Texas A&M takes on Missouri Saturday night at Kyle Field, and we'll get a bird's eye view of Johnny Football doing his thing to try get A&M to a 10-2 record.

The MetLife Blimp known as "Snoopy 1" will be hovering over the game to provide ESPN2 coverage.

It arrived early in Bryan-College Station fresh off coverage of the Baylor-Kansas State game in Waco last Saturday.

News 3 climbed aboard to see how the airship works.

He's white, blue, and red all over and could be flying by your home in the Brazos Valley.

MetLife Blimp "Snoopy 1" came to see the Aggie Football team in action.

Charlie Smith is the chief pilot.

"Seven years now and loving every minute of it," he said.

He's been all over the U.S. seeing the world from a different perspective and views of the biggest sporting match-ups.

"The camera is mounted about here," showed Smith.

The ground crew keeps the airship running smoothly.

Assistant Crew Chief Kyle Boudreau showed us the mooring mast which secures the blimp like a windsock.

"This blimp never gets deflated. Every place we go it flies," he said.

There's not a steering wheel either.

"Steering with your feet and hands on the side, ha," joked Smith.

After a lesson in Blimp operations 101, it was time to fly.

"Coulter Traffic, the MetLife Blimp 'Snoopy 1' is going to be pushing back from our mast," said Charlie Smith over the radio.

After a bit of a bumpy, rolling take off, we soared to 1,500 feet over Bryan/College Station.

This was my first ride ever in a blimp and we got a bird's eye view of the Brazos Valley.

From Coulter Airfield, we headed to the Texas A&M campus, casting a pretty big shadow on Kyle Field.

Our aerial airship tour continues toward Bryan and Merrill-Green Stadium.

"I'm trying to find the location of that stadium again do you see it anywhere?," asked Smith as he scanned the horizon for the stadium at Bryan High School.

Then, we went towards Downtown Bryan.

The MetLife Blimp crew travels the country eleven months out of the year getting to see these amazing sights. On game day, it will just be the pilot and the cameraman up here and they’ll be up in the air for anywhere between six and eight hours.

"I just got an opportunity to fly it early on and just kind of fell in love with it," Smith said.

So while this love affair continues, keep your eyes to the skies, because "Snoopy 1" might just be passing.

"Snoopy 1 and 2" cover around 75 events a year across the country while "Snoopy J" flies in Japan.

The crew says the public is welcome to see the airship at Coulter Field, but since it's an active airport, they request you stay back and not walk up next to it.

The blimp travels at a top speed of around 40 miles an hour and is 128 feet long, 44 feet high and holds 70,000 cubic feet of helium.

You can also request the blimp fly by your location. We have a link to that by clicking here.


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