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Mon Dec 17, 12:45 PM ET

Re-Enactment of Wright Bros. Flight Fails

By MARGARET LILLARD, Associated Press Writer

Photo: Reuters

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. - One-hundred years after the Wright brothers' first flight, an attempt to re-create the moment failed Wednesday when a replica craft couldn't get off the ground and sputtered into the mud.

The muslin-winged flyer dropped off the end of a wooden track and stopped dead in a muddy puddle. Pilot Kevin Kochersberger dropped his head in apparent chagrin and later laughed as the plane was hoisted back on the track.

The attempt had already been delayed by about three hours after a heavy downpour.

It was not immediately clear if the team would give the launch another try. Organizers took the plane back inside a tent pavilion for an inspection to see if they can make another try.

The re-enactment was originally scheduled for 10:35 a.m., exactly 100 years after the brothers from Dayton, Ohio, made their first tentative hops through the air with a delicate contraption fashioned in their bicycle shop.

President Bush was on hand earlier Wednesday and remarked on the inclement conditions for the re-enactment.

"On the day they did fly, just like today, the conditions were not ideal," Bush told a crowd of about 30,000 at the Wright Brothers National Memorial.

"The Wright brothers hit some disappointments along the way. There must have been times when they had to fight their own doubts," he said.

"They pressed on, believing in the great work they had begun and in their own capacity to see it though. We would not know their names today if these men had been pessimists."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

AviationHistory.org shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.



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