Veteran Pilots Aboard The Historic Replica Were Volunteers For
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.
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
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