Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wright Flyer replica crashes, ceremony canceled

Wright Flyer replica crashes, ceremony canceled: "WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — An authentic replica of the 1905 Wright Flyer III crashed Thursday morning, leaving its pilot seriously injured and forcing the cancellation of a ceremony scheduled for Oct. 5.Vintage aircraft builder and pilot Mark Dusenberry was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Following the crash, Dusenberry was conscious and communicating his injuries to paramedics at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field, said Park Ranger Nicholas Georgeff with the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.Dusenberry, an engineer from Dennison, was practicing for the 104th Anniversary of Practical Flight ceremony that had been planned for next week. The flight was to be a re-enactment of a historic flight made by Wilbur Wright 104 years earlier.Air Force safety, airfield operations and crash rescue personnel were on scene at the time of the crash, rehearsing for possible mishaps on the day of the ceremony, said Dave Egner, director of special operations with the 88th Operations Support Squadron at Wright-Patterson.Georgeff said Dusenberry made a ‘picture perfect’ successful straight and level practice flight at 9 a.m. that lasted approximately 22 seconds. Launch for the second flight at 9:30 a.m. was normal, but the aircraft started to oscillate vertically – a fairly common experience among early flights by the Wright brothers – then plunged about 20 feet to the ground, Georgeff said. The aircraft was about 19 seconds into its second flight when it crashed.Safety investigators with the FAA’s Cincinnati Flight Standards District Office arrived on scene shortly after the crash and are investigating the cause."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

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