SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) – Faulty welding caused engine failure that led to the 2011 crash of a Wright Brothers biplane replica that killed two volunteer pilots, federal investigators said in a report released this week.
The two experienced pilots died when the Wright “B” Flyer replica, dubbed “Silver Bird,” crashed during an emergency landing in a field about 3 miles from an airport in Springfield, where they had taken off on July 30, 2011. Springfield is about 45 miles west of Columbus.
The broken propeller-shaft weld led to the loss of the newly built Wright “B” Flyer’s left engine during the test flight, according to probable cause report from the National Transportation Safety Board released Tuesday. However, despite losing one of the two engines, the report said, the pilots “should have been able to maintain control of the airplane during the forced landing attempt.”
The report noted “incomplete weld penetration” that led to the failure of the joint and the loss of power to the propeller shaft.
The July 30, 2011, crash killed experienced pilots Don Gum, 73, of Beavercreek and Mitchell Cary, 64, of Yellow Springs. The men were members of Wright “B” Flyer Inc., an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that uses the planes to promote public awareness of Dayton as the birthplace of aviation.
The Dayton Daily News reported that both pilots were certified as commercial pilots and had more than 300 hours of combined flight time in the same make and model as the crashed airplane and more than 4,030 of total flight time.
Witnesses told federal investigators that the plane’s engine speed began to vary as it flew at a low altitude. “The airplane was then observed in a spiraling descent to the ground,” the NTSB report said.
The group’s website said its first Wright “B” Flyer “has been a flying ambassador of Dayton’s aviation heritage for more than 25 years.” Another non-flying model is on display near Dayton.
Wright “B” Flyer Inc. President Phil Beaudoin told The Dayton Daily News that the company’s management and board of directors were reviewing the probable cause report. The organization didn’t immediately respond to phone and email messages Friday.
Information from: Dayton Daily News,
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments