****UPDATE****

I received emailed confirmation that the pilot, Michael Nerandzic, is indeed of Serbian origin. His family is from the village of Trostice near the city of Novi Pazar in Serbia (which the Muslims have been blatantly trying to take — see also last excerpt here).

**********

Yesterday, a top story on “Good Morning America” was about a pilot whose Goodyear blimp was flying near Oberursel, Germany when a loud noise and the smell of fuel flooded the cabin. Not knowing what was happening, the pilot hovered close to the ground and told his three passengers to jump out. The resulting loss of weight caused the blimp to shoot back up into the air, where it burst into flames.

“They found him still at the controls when it crashed. He also steered it away from his ground crew.” — pilot’s wife

The pilot’s name was Michael Nerandzic.

While the last name implies the Australian pilot had Croatian, Serbian or Bosnian roots, because there has been no mention — anywhere — of his ethnicity, with no ethnic group jumping to take credit for the man, that means he was most probably Serb. (We can’t have good Serbs, can we?)

I asked Nebojsa his opinion, and after doing some research, he found a bunch of Nerandzics — “from a Serb exile in Imperial Russian services (late 1700s) to modern-day interior designers. There was also a scientist living in Canada (who used to live in Belgrade), an artist on Youtube, and a Wikipedia editor - all Serbs. I also found a bunch of them in Kursumlija, southern Serbia (suggesting the surname is native to the area).

“On this here page. I found an audio recording of his voice (see bottom). He was either born in Australia, or has lived there so long, that he speaks in the local dialect perfectly, and pronounces his name Aussie-style, rather than Serbian style.”

Aussie pilot Michael Nerandzic dies in airship explosion, 3 passengers saved


Damn. Nice!

AN AUSTRALIAN blimp pilot has been hailed a hero after he saved three passengers by ordering them to jump from the burning airship only to then die himself.

Michael Nerandzic, from Balgownie in Wollongong, was attempting to land the A60 Goodyear airship at an airfield at Reichelsheim in Germany, when the blimp caught fire during descent. The 53-year-old and three journalists with him were returning from a local music festival.

It is understood the passengers smelt fuel and heard a loud whirring noise before the blimp caught fire.

Realising the airship was only moments away from disaster, Mr Nerandzic then made the heroic decision to put his own life on the line to save those of his passengers.

Hovering 2m above the ground he yelled for the three passengers to jump from the gondola to safety below.

That decision reduced the ballast weight of the airship which is believed to have caused it to shoot 50m into the air where it exploded with the burning wreckage falling to the ground. Mr Nerandzic was unable to escape and died in the wreckage.

Witnesses said they heard loud noises coming from the air before spotting a “fireball” moments before it crashed into a meadow near the airfield.

“We could hear the cries of the pilot as the fire surrounded him. It was terrible,” one said.

A close friend and former colleague said Mr Nerandzic was a talented pilot with a deep passion for flying.

He said his decision to save his passengers first summed up the type of person he was.

“He has always put other people first. I don’t even think he would have realised he was doing it - it would have just been instinct,” the friend, who declined to be named, said last night. “He will be a real loss to our community.”

The cause of the fire remained a mystery last night but Germany’s Federal Office for Accident Investigation was investigating.

The departed pilot’s website is still online.