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Mon, Aug 01, 2011

Two Fatally Injured In Wright 'B' Flyer Replica Accident

Veteran Pilots Aboard The Historic Replica Were Volunteers For The Organization

Two veteran pilots were fatally injured Saturday when the replica Wright "B" Flyer they were aboard went down during a test flight. One of them was a former president of the Wright "B" Flyer non-profit organization which had built the aircraft.

File Photo

The aircraft was the organization's "Silver Bird", which according to the non-profit's winter newsletter was set to begin flight tests "as soon as weather permits."

The Dayton Daily News reports that Authorities have identified the pilots as Don Gum and Mitchell Cary. Both lived in Greene County, Ohio and were members of the group's board of trustees. The paper reports that a witness said who lives nearby said he heard the engine cut off, then accelerate and backfire before it went down in in a field near the Clark/Greene county line at about 1100 local time. Authorities said that all-terrain vehicles were needed to reach the site.

The first person on the scene said the airplane looked as if it had "crumbled into itself." He called out to the pilots, but got no response.

The flight had originated at Beckley Municipal Airport in Springfield, OH, where all of the flight testing was taking place. It was about 25 hours into its required 40 hours of test flying, and had received an FAA certification for those flight tests last fall.

FMI: www.wright-b-flyer.org

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