Crashes of Wright Replica Aircraft

by Dr. Richard Stimson

in Famous Wright Airplane Flights

Pilots are having trouble flying replicas/reproductions of Wright brothers’ airplanes. There have been three such recent accidents subject to FAA crash investigation.

Ken Hyde of the Wright Experience in Warrenton, Va. flew his 1911 reproduction Model B into a tree on May 2003 and sustained some injuries, but none life threatening.

Later that year in November one of his pilots crashed a 1903 Flyer.

During the 102nd anniversary in 2007 of the first successful flight of a practical airplane, the 1905 Flyer crashed at Huffman Prairie in Dayton. Mark Dusenberry hit the ground with a wing while making his first turn and crashed his replica.

The modern pilots shouldn’t be surprised. The Wright brothers had many accidents. Orville had the most with eight major crashes.

His first was with a glider at Kitty Hawk on Sept. 23, 1902.

His second crash was with the 1904 Flyer at Huffman Prairie on August 24, 1904.

His third crash was also at Huffman Prairie on Nov. 1, 1904.

His fourth was again at Huffman Prairie flying the 1905 Flyer on July 14, 1905.

His fifth accident almost filled him; it did kill his passenger, Lt. Tom Selfridge. It occurred during the Army trials at Fort Myer on July 2, 1908.

His sixth accident was also at Fort Myer a year later on July 2, 1909.

His seventh accident was years later in the fall of 1911. He was back at Kitty Hawk with a new larger glider. He flew it into the side of a sand hill.

Just six days later he crashed again at Kitty Hawk with his new glider when it flipped over on its back just after release. That was his eighth accident.

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