Wright flight anniversary honored at local commemoration event

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
Wrights honored on 114th powered flight anniversary

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A commemoration of the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight was mixed with new and old on Friday morning atop Wright Memorial Hill, two days shy of the 114th anniversary.

>> PHOTOS: Plane buzzes Wright first flight commemoration

About fifty people packed the presentation room at the Huffman Prairie Interpretive Center, where Col. Bradley M. McDonald, Commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base hosted the event.

“It started with two gentlemen, it started with a dream, it started with powered flight. We are going to celebrate the fact that we are Airmen today because of what they did,” Col. McDonald said, as he described how the Wright Brothers’ work led to the formation of the U.S. Air Force.

Combined ShapeCaption
Burt Logan, Ohio History Connection Executive Director and CEO, was the keynote speaker at the 114th Anniversary of powered flight on Wright Memorial Hill. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Burt Logan, Ohio History Connection Executive Director and CEO, was the keynote speaker at the 114th Anniversary of powered flight on Wright Memorial Hill.  TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Burt Logan, Ohio History Connection Executive Director and CEO, was the keynote speaker at the 114th Anniversary of powered flight on Wright Memorial Hill. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

"The accomplishment of Wilbur and Orville Wright cannot be fairly grouped with other inventions from an era of remarkable achievements and creativity. It stands alone. It is singular," said keynote speaker Burt Logan, Ohio History Connection Executive Director and CEO. "The Wright Brothers' invention of flight instantly made the world smaller."

The Presidential Proclamation of Wright Brothers Day by Kendell Thomson, Superintendent, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park, was cut short. The roar of a World War II-era T-6 Texan flying overhead signaled that it was time for the wreath-laying at the Wright Brothers Memorial at 10:35 a.m. – the same hour as the first flight.

Combined ShapeCaption
World War II-era T-6 Texan, piloted by Centerville resident and air show performer Bill Leff flew over the Wright Brothers Memorial as a salute to the Wrights and returned for two circles around Wright Memorial Hili on the 114th Anniversary of powered flight. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

World War II-era T-6 Texan, piloted by Centerville resident and air show performer Bill Leff flew over the Wright Brothers Memorial as a salute to the Wrights and returned for two circles around Wright Memorial Hili on the 114th Anniversary of powered flight.  TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
World War II-era T-6 Texan, piloted by Centerville resident and air show performer Bill Leff flew over the Wright Brothers Memorial as a salute to the Wrights and returned for two circles around Wright Memorial Hili on the 114th Anniversary of powered flight. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Wright Family descendants Stephen Wright and Amanda Wright Lane carried a wreath with Col. McDonald and placed it near the memorial. The T-6, piloted by Centerville resident and air show performer Bill Leff, flew over the memorial as a salute to the Wrights and returned for two circles around Wright Memorial Hill.

Combined ShapeCaption
Wright Family descendants Amada Wright Lane and Stephen Wright with Col. Bradley M. McDonald, Commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at the 114th Anniversary of powered flight on Wright Memorial Hill. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Wright Family descendants Amada Wright Lane and Stephen Wright with Col. Bradley M. McDonald, Commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base  at the 114th Anniversary of powered flight on Wright Memorial Hill.  TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Wright Family descendants Amada Wright Lane and Stephen Wright with Col. Bradley M. McDonald, Commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at the 114th Anniversary of powered flight on Wright Memorial Hill. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

>> RELATED: 88th Air Base Wing announces holiday hours of operation

To end the program, Greenview High School student Alex Hackney, 15, was awarded the annual Mitchell Cary-Don Gum Memorial Aviation Scholarship by the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA). The scholarship for $1,500 provides financial assistance for a student working toward a light sport or private pilot’s certificate. The scholarship was established in memory of Mitchell Cary and Don Gum, two volunteer pilots for Wright B Flyer Inc. who died in 2011.

Hackney already has some flight experience with the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter at the Greene County Airport.

“With this award, I would like to begin taking flight lessons at the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport (Greene County),” Hackney said, after thanking NAHA and the widows of Carey and Gum.

Hackney plans to become an airline pilot for Dayton-based PSA Airlines.

Combined ShapeCaption
Jay Jabour, left, chairman of Wright B. Flyer Inc., congratulates Alex Hackney, 15, right, who was awarded the annual Mitchell Cary-Don Gum Memorial Aviation Scholarship by the National Aviation Heritage Alliance at the 114th Anniversary of powered flight on Wright Memorial Hill. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Jay Jabour, left, chairman of Wright B. Flyer Inc., congratulates Alex Hackney, 15, right, who was awarded the annual Mitchell Cary-Don Gum Memorial Aviation Scholarship by the National Aviation Heritage Alliance at the 114th Anniversary of powered flight on Wright Memorial Hill.  TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Jay Jabour, left, chairman of Wright B. Flyer Inc., congratulates Alex Hackney, 15, right, who was awarded the annual Mitchell Cary-Don Gum Memorial Aviation Scholarship by the National Aviation Heritage Alliance at the 114th Anniversary of powered flight on Wright Memorial Hill. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

About the Author