BATH (AP) – A replica of a Wright brothers plane crashed on takeoff Saturday during an air show in Bath, but the pilot wasn’t seriously injured.

Dana Smith of Limerick never gained altitude and the front wheel of his plane hit a curb at the edge of a parking lot, flipping over. It sustained moderate damage.

The 68-year-old pilot said he’ll have his plane flying again within a week.

“You get more publicity wrecking it then you do flying it,” he joked while inspecting the wreckage.

The accident occurred in front of around 100 people during an aviation show at Bath’s new industrial park called Wing Farm.

Smith builds and flies experimental aircraft that are replicas of the first airplanes.

The plane he flipped was a Wright brothers 1911 Model EX, the same kind of plane that Cal Rodgers flew during the first transcontinental flight from Sheepshead Bay, New York to Long Beach, California in 1911.

During an interview earlier this summer, Smith talked about his love for flying Wright replicas.

“I have the only Wright brothers planes capable of going out and doing air shows,” Smith said. “Most people don’t fly them because they are very primitive and they don’t fly very well.”

His wife Tricia Smith witnessed the accident. “It was a little scary,” she said. She said her husband was able to drive home after the accident.

The incident occurred during the opening of festivities that were planned as part of Ruth Law Day in Bath, in honor of the aviation pioneer.

On Aug. 9, 1913, before thousands of spectators at Wing Farm, Law went airborne for 23 minutes in a Model B Wright Flyer she bought from Orville Wright in 1912.

Law, who obtained her pilot’s license in 1912, went on to set many aviation records. She died in 1970.

AP-ES-08-17-03 0800EDT



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