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History Repeating Itself: Wright Flyer Crashes Again

Thu, 27 Nov '03

What Goes Up Can Oft Come Down Long Before We Want It To...

The much-promoted Ken Hyde/EAA Wright Flyer project has had yet another setback... just a few weeks before the 'BIG DAY,' much like the 'gravitational setbacks' suffered by the Wright Brothers in the last heady days before they flew in 1903.

The 1903 Wright Flyer replica, coming off a short but successful test flight a few days ago, went down on another flight piloted by American Airlines Pilot Terry Queijo (pictured below). What looks suspiciously like a stall occurred as the crew was trying to gain a little more operational experience for the cantankerous bird that is becoming well-known for it's less than forgiving flight characteristics.

The Tuesday accident damaged the canard and other forward portions of the aircraft though Primary aircraft builder Ken Hyde claims the bird will be fixed and ready to fly next month as part of the 100th Anniversary Wright Brothers celebration.

Hyde(pictured right)  notes that, "What we experienced today is simply what the Wright brothers experienced during their first flight... This is not a major setback."

This particular exercise was a short one, the aircraft had barely broken ground when it apparently pitched down and impacted the ground hard enough to crack a number of wing struts, perforate the fabric covering in a number of areas, trash the landing skids and do a real nose job on the canard. The accident took place in the shadow of the Wright Brothers National Memorial.

There is no word as to whether the NTSB has dispatched an investigator (grin), but believe it or not there is a rudimentary data recorder installed on the aircraft.



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