I get paid to be a blimp pilot

Bill Bayliss' office is lighter than air. As a senior blimp pilot for Goodyear, he's had an aerial front row seat to major events.

"One thing we really enjoy is it's always different, … whether we're doing TV coverage for a variety of sports and entertainment reasons or we're doing passenger rides," Bayliss said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch."

His airship hovered high above Phoenix, Arizona for Super XLIX, and is headed northwest to University Place, Washington, to cover the U.S. Open Golf tournament in June.

"My favorite event thus far was covering Landon Donovan's retirement game for the LA Galaxy. I am a big soccer fan so I really enjoyed the overhead view," he said.

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One of Goodyear’s blimps in flight.
Goodyear
One of Goodyear’s blimps in flight.

Taking passengers for a ride is something Bayliss enjoys as well. Particularly, he likes taking them up in his favorite steep angle climb.

"I'll ask them 'do you guys like roller coasters?' And if they all agree, then we'll do a steep climb. We take some air out of the forward ballast," he said. "Our maximum climb angle is 30 degrees, so much steeper than you're used to seeing most aircraft climb."

"Sometimes they get a little scared and you can see them kind of grab their seats but most of them they are screaming with joy. They're all smiling, you can look back and it's cool to see," he added.

Landing and take-off differ from other aircraft in another way: It takes a crew of 15 people.

It takes a minimum of fifteen people to launch and land a blimp.
Goodyear
It takes a minimum of fifteen people to launch and land a blimp.

"It's quite a team effort to coordinate. We have what's called a handling line party and car party so each of those parties is responsible for different aspects of the operation. The handling line party always has to make sure that the blimp is angled into the wind. The blimp doesn't have wings like an airplane so we can't correct for a cross wind so that's their jobs on the lines," he said.

Bayliss appreciates the uniqueness of piloting a blimp.

"I really enjoy the instinctive type of flying. We don't have auto pilot, it's always different. No take-offs and landings are ever the same…and something we never get tired of is the view," he said.