MEMBER ALERT: AOPA Pilot Information Center and Member Services will be closed today, Dec. 12, after 2:30 p.m. Eastern, and will reopen Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Thank you for your understanding.
November 21, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Click to enlarge this photo, and see if you can spot Orville Wright's face.
If you heard that 10,000 visitors went to Kill Devil Hills, N.C., to celebrate the accomplishments of the Wright brothers, you’d think it concerned powered flight, right? Orville Wright continued glider experiments until 1911 that are now seen as the beginning of modern soaring flight.
In late October, visitors crowded Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head, N.C., and the nearby Wright Brothers National Memorial for Soaring100—the 100th anniversary of Wright’s record of a flight lasting nine minutes and 45 seconds.
The program was dominated by sailplane flights at the Wright Brothers National Memorial and hang glider flights at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. At the memorial, 15 sailplanes and motorgliders flown by invited pilots conducted individual demonstrations by taking off from First Flight, an airstrip adjacent to the historic site, and landing on the site itself. After landing, the pilots talked to visitors about their aircraft.
A plaque was dedicated declaring the site a National Landmark of Soaring. The plaque honors pioneers who have flown the Outer Banks dunes, including the Wrights, hang-glider pioneer Francis Rogallo, and other sailplane, paraglider, and hang-glider pilots. Speaking at the event was Tom D. Crouch of the National Air and Space Museum. Also speaking was Amanda Wright Lane, great grandniece of the Wright brothers.
Static displays included a just-completed replica of the Wright 1911 glider built by Rick Young of Richmond, Va., and an as-yet uncovered version of the glider built by family and friends in honor of the late Jim Dayton of Mechanicsville, Md.
AOPA is asking the FAA to withdraw a proposed airworthiness directive that could affect thousands of ECi cylinders.
Cessna reports "strong deliveries" of the new TTx since being awarded an FAA type certificate in June, and Brazil has followed suit.
NetJets has added a new safety feature to its long-range fleet: a doctor who is always in.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.