DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) — The famous Goodyear Blimp is in the Pee Dee this weekend for the race at Darlington.

News13’s Manny Martinez was invited to fly on the blimp from Florence Regional Airport to Darlington and back, a trip that took 45 minutes moving at about 40 mph.

“I think what makes the Goodyear Blimp so special is I’ve flown helicopters and fixed wings in the past, and this is by far the most graceful form of flying that I’ve ever done,” pilot Ryan Clarke said. “It’s just beautiful being up there, and it’s something special to share with people. Every time our passengers get off, they always get off with a big smile and there’s so much history involved. It’s so nice to be part of it and share it with people.”

The blimp crew was in Charlotte last weekend and will be in the Pee Dee through Sunday.

On Monday, the blimp will fly back to Florida.

Watch Manny detail his experience on the blimp in the video player above.

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Manny Martinez is the weekend evening anchor and a reporter at News13. Manny is from Chicago. He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in broadcast journalism. Follow Manny on Twitter and read more of his work here.