There's no steering wheel on the thing--there's a wheel on each side of the pilot and two pedals to move the airship up and down.
It was a gorgeous day and there were almost no bumps at the 1,500 feet we were flying at. I wasn't really nervous until Harbuck shut off the engines--which run on jet fuel--to prove (over the Hudson River) that the blimp could stay buoyant without power.
Given that it's a small group of blimp pilots in the world, I asked Carl if he knew the circumstances behind the XFL blimp. That blimp, which crashed 2001, I always suspected was somehow a master plan by modern day P.T. Barnum, Vince McMahon, who of course owned half of the upstart football league. Since a crashed blimp generates a whole lot more publicity that one floating through the air, I thought McMahon called for it to crash--the pilot survived-- and would easily pay the $2.5 million in damage the airship sustained in exchange for the buzz. Carl said he knew the pilot and said it was definitely an accident.
One more thing on the business of blimps before you see the video below. Ever notice how there are never two blimps over a stadium at the same time? Well, that's because companies pay for the air rights to sporting events and in exchange for one air to ground shot of the event, get one ground to air promotional shot from the network.