With a crew of 16 to operate the airship, it requires a central point of contact, a conduit to connect the pilot and the ground crew during flight operations and in ground support activities; the blimp's Crew Chief fills that important duty. Since there are no "schools" to develop an Airship Ground Crew Chief (CC), it is on the job training for this position that makes it so unique. For a crew member to advance to this position there must be at least 5 years of relevant airship ground handling operations experience.
The CC directs the Ground Crew in airship activities related to the safe and acceptable preparation of take offs, landings, ground handling and masting operations. The CC consults and coordinates with the pilot staff for the safe and appropriate site for masting at remote locations as per FAA and local airport guidelines. The CC maintains and administers schedules related to ground operations and personnel; daily work activities, vacations, holidays, pressure watches, refueling and general maintenance as necessary to accommodate the public relations and operational needs of the airship.
For ground handling on a flight to flight basis, the ground crew reports to the CC and the CC reports to the PIC.