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Wright Brothers replica crashes, 2 dead

July 30, 2011 at 10:00 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio, July 30 (UPI) -- Two men described as experienced pilots were killed Saturday when a replica of an airplane built by the Wright brothers crashed in Ohio, police said.

Don Gum, 73, of Beaver Creek, Ohio, and Mitchell Cary, 65, of Yellow Springs, Ohio, were both board members of Wright "B" Flyer Inc. of Dayton, CNN reported. The non-profit group designed the plane, a replica of the 1910 Wright Model B produced by Wilbur and Orville Wright seven years after their first successful flight in an airplane.

The State Highway Patrol said Gum and Cary took off from Springfield Beckley Municipal Airport. The crash was reported at about 11 a.m.

The highway patrol and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating the crash.

In a news release, Wright "B" Flyer said the replica was designed to look like the original plane but had modern controls and other equipment. The group said the plane was designed so it could be disassembled for shipping to international air shows.

"Mitch and Don were highly competent pilots with extensive experience flying Wright 'B' Flyer airplanes and other experimental aircraft," Phil Beaudoin, the group's president, told WHIO-TV, Dayton, a CNN affiliate.

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