Tom Leyden goes inside the DirecTV Blimp

DETROIT (WXYZ) - During the Major League Baseball Playoffs in 2011, I was sitting in the auxiliary media area in the right field bleachers at Comerica Park.

As I looked up, I noticed the DirecTV Blimp high above and mentioned on Twitter how great it must be to watch the game from the blimp.

Little did I know, the blimp had its own twitter handle (@DTVBlimp ) and was more than willing to engage.  A friendly banter back and forth ensued and I've been "Twitter friends" with the @DTVBlimp boys since.

In fact, when we arrived in New Orleans for the Lions playoff game against the Saints in January, 2012, I looked up to see the DirecTV Blimp flying over the French Quarter.  When I sent them a Twitter message to say hello, they responded by asking where I was, exactly.

I told the crew I was having dinner at Pat O'Briens, and they responded with a quick, "We'll be right there."

Minutes later, I looked to the sky and saw the blimp directly above us, with the marquee "Hi Tom and WXYZ."

What a moment.

Last week, I chatted with the @DTVBlimp boys again and they told me they'd be in Detroit for a few Tigers games this weekend.  When they offered a ride I hopped at the chance.

Pilot Jeff Capek was great.  He showed me the ins and outs of how the blimp works and told me some fun stories of his travels around the country.  Sign technician Ross Higgins came along for the ride as well.

We took off from Grosse Ile and spent an hour in the air, cruising up the Detroit River to the downtown area, where I enjoyed a beautiful view of the Detroit skyline on a gorgeous day.

Thanks again to the @DTVBlimp boys!  I look forward to seeing you again sometime soon.

Don't forget to follow @DTVBlimp on Twitter and also @directv_blimp on Instagram.