This is one you might have to think about for a minute. When is the last time you saw a blimp in the sky?

Not a hot air balloon in the shape of a blimp or a mini remote-controlled blimp, but the real thing?

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For me, it would have to be at least five years ago, when I was in the state of Florida. Living in St. Petersburg near Tropicana Field, I would often see the Goodyear blimp around game time. Nowadays, blimps are actually a rare sight to see.

However, the Colorado Department of Transportation has used helium-filled blimps in the past to monitor traffic in the Denver area. So, you have probably seen those $50,000 blimps collecting CDOT data.

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But one of the main reasons why you rarely see these machines anymore is because they cost quite a bit to operate. Blimps run on helium and can cost up to $100,000 to operate for a single trip. According to Reader's Digest, there are only 128 qualified blimp pilots in the United States. Only 17 of those pilots are paid to fly a blimp full-time. Training is also pretty intense for a blimp pilot, which calls for 250 to 400 hours of training before a pilot can take their craft on a solo excursion.

Probably one of the biggest reasons why blimps are so rare is that there are not many left in existence. There are approximately 25 blimps that remain and only half of those blimps are used for advertising purposes.

If you happen to see a blimp floating around in the sky, take a second to enjoy it. Since they are so rare now, you may never know when you will witness an occasion like that again.


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