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WCTV Goes Airborne in Goodyear Blimp with 91 Year Old Former Goodyear Employee [SLIDE SHOW]

By: Eyewitness News, Angelica Alvarez Email
By: Eyewitness News, Angelica Alvarez Email

[UPDATE] Tallahassee, FL - September 21, 2012 11:23pm

Ninety-one-year old Harriet Temanson is a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother, whose dream came true today. The Goodyear Blimp is in town for the FSU-Clemson game Saturday night. But on Friday, the blimp was just for Harriet.

She could barely contain her excitement, giggling and visibly giddy with excitement.

"It's been for several years that I've been really thinking about it," said Temanson.

She said taking flight in a Goodyear Blimp has been at the top of her bucket list. She even worked for the company when she was in her 20s.

"I worked on the gas tanks on the b29 bomber," said Temanson.

That was in 1941. She even helped craft parts that make up the Goodyear Blimp to this day.

On Friday afternoon it all came full circle for her. With her daughter in tow, she waited in the field near the Tallahassee Regional Airport. She watched as the blimp got closer and the crew pulled it in for a landing. That's when she took the pilot's art, then the seat right next to him. She put on a headset and took off! Finally fulfilling her dream.

"I've always watched them and couldn't imagine how that huge, could be up there in the air with no wings just gliding there, so awesome, and I just think wouldn't you like to be up there and see the world," said Temanson.

For an hour she soured over Tallahassee, and took in the bird's eye view of the Capitol and Doak Campbell Stadium from one-thousand feet in the air. The pilot, Matt Lussier, even officially named her his co-pilot.

"It was an absolute pleasure to take Harriet up," said Lussier.

As for Harriet, she said the ride was better than she imagined.

She said, "The trees, they looked so soft, like you could just jump right into them."

And she was left almost speechless and became emotional when asked about the people who helped make her dream come true.

"I just want to thank all my friends who made it able for me to go up, it's just.... beyond words," said Temanson."

Temanson doesn't know what's next for her adventures, but says for right now the excitement of the Goodyear Blimp will last her for a while.

Tallahassee, FL - September 21, 2012 9:20 pm

It's a bird... it's a plane.. no- it's the Goodyear Blimp! The Blimp is in Tallahassee to fly over the FSU Clemson game tomorrow.

And to do one more thing, make one 91 year old woman's dream come true.

91 year old Harriet Temanson has always dreamed of taking a ride in the Goodyear Blimp, and today her dream came to fruition.

The Tallahassee grandmother took a one hour flight at a thousand feet this afternoon.

She was all smiles and giggles. But she's not the only one with an adventurous spirit in her family.

When asked, what's next for you Harriet you did the blimp are you going out from here or is this it? Harriet responded, "well I can't keep up with my brother he went parasailing at 89 (laugh)."

Everyone, including the crew, loved Harriet and her vivacious spirit.

Here's another fun fact for you, there are only about 40 blimp pilots in the world while there about 300-400 astronauts in the world at any given time.

So it's quite an honor if you meet a blimp pilot. Harriet's was Matt, and he gave her a beautiful and smooth ride.
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Tallahassee, FL - September 21, 2012 8:31 pm

You're never too old to conquer your dreams.

A 91 year old Tallahassee woman went up in the Goodyear Blimp today.

It was a beautiful flight one thousand feet up with a bird's eye view of Tallahassee.

As great as that was, it was even better watching Harriet Temanson.

Her friends from church teamed up to make this grandmother's dream come true.

They surprised her just a few days ago with the news that she would be going up in the world-famous Goodyear Blimp.

Just a couple of hours ago she flew over Tallahassee's landmark Doak Campbell stadium, Capitol building and other landmarks.

Harriet Temanson: "I just, I don't know if there are words to express it and I'm honored to have been able to have gone up there and it was beyond what i even thought. To see the whole world from above and down it's more than in a plane."

The Goodyear crew say they were honored to take Harriet up for the ride of her life - in some ways she paved the way for them.

When was just 20 years old she actually crafted parts that make up the Goodyear Blimp today.

And here are a couple of fun facts for you - the Goodyear blimp was actually created for the military because it requires such little fuel- it is ideal for surveillance for long periods of time when refueling is not possible.

The blimp can stay up for as long as 36 hours without refueling.
But speed is not its forte - without wind it can only go as fast as 42 miles per hour.
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Tallahassee, FL - September 21, 2012 7:11 pm

A 91 year old Tallahassee woman was able to cross one thing off her bucket list.

She went up in the Goodyear Blimp, which will also fly over the FSU Clemson game tomorrow.

The flight itself was amazing, but it was even more amazing watching Harriet Temonson enjoy the ride.

She was ecstatic, especially since she used to work for Goodyear.

She actually helped make the parts that help the blimp fly; she was 20 years old at the time, and now, seven decades later she was finally able to take advantage of great scenic flight, courtesy of Goodyear.

Flying up 1000 feet in the air for an hour, FSU & FAMU campuses, the Capitol, and Harriet's favorite part - the tops of trees - could all be spotted!
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WCTV is enjoying a ride in the Goodyear blimp today! We're tagging along with Harriet Temanson, a 91 year-old retired Goodyear worker who's always dreamed of flying in a blimp.

Stay tuned to WCTV Eyewitness News as we show viewers a look at Tallahassee and the FSU stadium from the air!

A few fun facts about the Goodyear blimp:

Flies 500- 1000 feet

Fueled with same kind of fuel that fuels a propeller driven aircraft

Kept in air with 202 thousand cubic feet of helium

Goodyear has 15 pilots

Goodyear has 3 blimps aka airships

Goodyear has been flying airships since 1923. Most were built for the military.

The military liked them because they can go out for hours for surveillance without burning much fuel.

There are only about 40 blimp pilots in the world while there about 300-400 astronauts in the world at any given time.



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