Saturday, February 17 , 2018, 10:28 pm | Fair 45º


Local News

MetLife Blimp Makes Regular Treks Above Santa Barbara County

Santa Maria Public Airport serves as stopover for Snoopy Two airship and its crew

The airship dubbed Snoopy Two touched down this week at the Santa Maria Public Airport for its second visit in four days.

The Met Life blimp took off Tuesday morning after another overnight stay on the Central Coast.

The blimp spent the weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it flew overhead at the Oakland Raiders game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon.

En route to the NFL gig above Oakland, the airship and its crew also spent Thursday night in Santa Maria. 

The route north took the blimp over Santa Barbara, where a crew member snapped an aerial photo and posted it to the MetLife blimp Twitter account.

The frequent visits are attributed to geography.

“I think we are just a convenient location halfway between the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas,” said Chris Hastert, airport general manager.

In addition to convenience, Santa Maria’s airfield boasts plenty of room to provide temporary tie-down for airships, he noted.

Also, past airship crews have cited the hotel adjacent to the airfield as another reason they prefer to stay overnight in Santa Maria.

The Met Life blimp Snoopy Two is silhouetted by the sunset this week near the Santa Maria Public Airport (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Snoopy Two isn’t the only airship to visit. The Goodyear blimp also drops by Santa Maria during its West Coast excursions.

The MetLife Blimp Program began in 1987 and underwent an expansion in 1994, according to the company’s website.

MetLife operates three airships known as “Snoopy One,” “Snoopy Two,” and "Snoopy J,” but all three are the same model.

While Snoopy One primarily remains on the East Coast, Snoopy Two winters on the West Coast, touring above California, Nevada and Arizona, and uses the hashtag #Snoopy2 on social media. 

Together, the two airships combine to travel approximately 120,000 miles a year throughout the United States. Each blimp travels with a 14-member crew made up of two pilots and 12 crewmen.

The primary purpose of the blimp program is providing aerial video coverage of sporting and special events, MetLife officials said.

In a typical year, “Snoopy One” and “Snoopy Two” cover approximately 70 events for a variety of networks.

Snoopy Two has made several trips over the Central Coast in the past few weeks while en route to sporting events.

The blimp visits show the diversity of the Santa Maria airport, Hastert said, adding, “We’re a very capable airport.”

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >