View Full Version : Hughes H-1 replica - very sad news

5th Aug 2003, 23:55
Very sad to report that the beautiful Hughes H-1 replica has crashed near Caspar, WY, with the loss of the pilot.

Hughes H-1 (http://www.wrightools.com/hughes/)

FAA Occurence report... (http://www1.faa.gov/avr/aai/A_0805_N.txt)

6th Aug 2003, 01:18
Seems this year - 100th anniversary of powered flight - is going all out to be as bad a year as possible for this sort of thing. :(

6th Aug 2003, 05:52
Very sad news indeed. But metal can be replaced; human life can't. Presumably Jim Wright's wonderful H-1 replica was returning home after its show-stopping appearance at Oshkosh. What a tragic end.

Cyclic Hotline
6th Aug 2003, 06:08
Very sad end to a unique individual, and an equally unique aircraft.

Pilot Dies In Crash Of Replica Plane

By Pat McGillivray

Cottage Grove -
Jim Wright, a Cottage Grove pilot has died in the crash of his replica airplane. It went down just north of the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park Monday evening.

Wright was a man who dreamed big then made his dream come true. He had long been fascinated with a one of a kind racing plane built by Howard Hughes in 1935, so Wright built his own H-1 racer. Taking detailed measurements off the original in the Smithsonian, he used reverse engineering to recreate the plane in his Cottage Grove machine shop. "It is a reconstruction rather than a replica," he explained back in 1999.

The dream was realized last summer when Wright took the controls on the plane's first flight. He put more miles on his racer than Hughes ever had. But that also meant there was no warning of potentional problems, making Wright a true test pilot during every flight. "It is serious business," he explained last year. "Test flying can have bad results, especially on an airplane where there's no known data on the flight characteristics." For example a few months ago a landing gear failed and Wright had to put his plane down on the Cottage Grove runway on one wing. They determined it was an original design flaw and made some changes.

Cottage Grove aircraft mechanic Mark Clark says Wright wore a parachute and told him what would happen if a more serious problem ever developed with the plane. "He said that was a very scary thing and that if he ever had a situation happen like that again there was no doubt he would climb to altitude and bail out," says Clark. "So he was not so attached to that airplane that he would have put his personal life in jeopardy."

Wright was the only person ever to have flown his dream plane, and now his self-described journey of discovery is sadly, over.

I have control
6th Aug 2003, 06:09
Jim and his beautiful airplane lit up Oshkosh last week. R.I.P. :(

7th Aug 2003, 09:51
DamienB. Interesting that the centennial of man's first powered flight passed almost un-noticed on March 31, 1903 (some witnesses claim the year was 1902).

Although possibly man's first real powered flight occurred on May 11, 1903 along side the Opihi River, turning left to fly over a 30' tall river bank, then turned right to fly parallel to the middle of the river. After flying nearly 1,000 yards, the engine began to overheat and lost power, thus forcing a landing down the dry riverbed.

I am of course, speaking of the first man to fly a powered aircraft, New Zealander Richard Pearse, and not the US version of man's first flight by the Wright brothers, which occurred on December 17, 1903.