A replica of the Wright Brothers' 1905 Flyer III crashed today — the second crash for the plane in two years — sending pilot Mark Dusenberry, 48, to the hospital and badly damaging the wood & fabric craft [at right]. The crash occurred at Huffman Prairie on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio.
Dusenberry was practicing for a flight to mark the 104th anniversary of practical flight, scheduled to take place on Monday, October 5. He was making his second practice run of the day when he encountered trouble 19 seconds after takeoff. Witnesses say the plane was a mere ten feet above the field when the craft suddenly began making noises, pitched up, and then slammed nose-first into the ground.
Dusenberry was transported to Miami Valley Hospital via CareFlight helicopter, where he is currently listed in critical condition.
He also crashed two years ago at Huffman Prairie during a demonstration to mark the 102nd anniversary.
The Wright Brothers first achieved manned flight on December 17, 1903.
To learn more about the remarkable achievements of the Wright Brothers read Failure magazine's 2003 feature Get Your Wings.