PHOTO GALLERY: Chick-Fil-A airship circles the Natchez bluff on its way to Super Bowl

Published 11:25 am Monday, January 24, 2022

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NATCHEZ — A red and white blimp emblazoned with the Chick-Fil-A logo thrilled and amused Natchez residents and visitors as it crossed central Mississippi early Saturday.

The airship left Hawkins Field in Jackson, Mississippi, early Saturday morning and headed southwest, crossing the Natchez area mid-morning. The airship was piloted by Orlando, Florida-based pilot Terry Dillard along with fellow Florida pilot Steve Adams. The pair work for AirSign Airship Group and have been hired by Chick-Fil-A to fly the blimp with the Chick-Fil-A marketing information on it at the Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

On its way there, they detoured South to avoid cold weather and put on a brief air show.

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While in Natchez, the airship circled around the Natchez Bluff along the Mississippi River, entertaining  the people there, before heading off to overnight in Orange, Texas, late Saturday afternoon. Many stopped to gaze up at the airship and take pictures.

Natchezian Chris Tripp, a friend of Dillard’s, communicated with him on the ground via radio letting him know where friends would be watching—but couldn’t convince him to land and have brunch at Fat Mama’s.

Already behind schedule, Dillard said the blimp was only traveling at approximately 25 mph so they don’t expect to make it to California for several days.

“We’re hoping we can get there in seven to 10 days,” he said after landing in Texas late Saturday. “We plan to get to San Antonio tomorrow and then we’ll shut down for a few days due to weather ahead of us.”