You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Victim, suspect in West Liberty school shooting are both students

Investigators determine likely cause of Wright Flyer crash


The cause of the Wright “B” Flyer crash in Green Twp. that killed two pilots last year was likely because of a failed propeller shaft weld that resulted in a loss of engine thrust, federal investigators have determined.

A post-accident examination of the Silver Bird experimental aircraft’s left propeller shaft revealed a broken weld, which would have prevented the left propeller from being driven by the engine and therefore resulted in the loss of thrust, according to a probable cause report released this week by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The July 30 crash resulted in the death of experienced volunteer pilots Don Gum, 73, of Beavercreek and Mitchell Cary, 64, of Yellow Springs. They were unable to maintain control of the aircraft after the loss of thrust, the NTSB determined.

Both pilots were certified as commercial pilots and had more than 300 hours of combined flight time in the same make and model as the crashed airplane and more than 4,030 of total flight time.

Further investigation revealed that 25 to 35 percent of the thickness of the propeller shaft tube was not welded to the propeller shaft end. The part’s engineering drawing specified complete weld penetration, according to the report.

In a report released in late October, the NTSB indicated it was investigating the propellor shaft weld.

The Wright Flyer look-alike crashed seconds before 10:45 a.m. in a field about a mile west of 7391 Pitchin Road — nearly 40 minutes into a test flight originating from Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.

Wright “B” Flyer Inc. President Phil Beaudoin said Thursday the nonprofit company’s management and board of directors were reviewing the probable cause report but declined further comment.

Beaudoin also declined to say where the propeller shafts were welded. He’d confirmed to the Springfield News-Sun in November that the work had been contracted out.

A high definition video camera on board showed that plane yawed near the end of the recorded video. Both pilots were observed to manipulate controls following the yaw, and it showed the plane was controllable.

Several witnesses in the area reported hearing the airplane’s engine sound as though its RPM varied and observed it to be flying slow and banking to the left and right just before the crash. One witness reported that it spiraled downward.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Students breakout windows amid active shooter at West Liberty
Students breakout windows amid active shooter at West Liberty

A West Liberty High School student said students and staff were notified over the loudspeaker of an active shooter and to take cover. Freshman Lilly Keller, 14, said students eventually broke out windows and ran across fields and to U.S. 68 where they ran to the closest house.  She shot cell phone video of several students running from the school...
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases

COMMON PLEAS COURT NEW SUITS 17-CV-0019 - PNC Bank, NA, v. Christina M. Closson, 740 Snowhill Blvd., et al., complaint in foreclosure for $61,137. 17-CV-0020 - PNC Bank, NA, v. Leola Justice, 909 Eastmoor Dr., et al., complaint in foreclosure for $54,348. 17-CV-0021 - U.S. Bank Trust, N.A., as Trustee, v. Paul David Holliday, New Carlisle, et al.,...
Keeping a promise: Mother writes open, honest obituary for daughter who overdosed
Keeping a promise: Mother writes open, honest obituary for daughter who overdosed

In keeping a promise she made to her daughter, a mother is getting very candid about the 20-year-old's heroin overdose death. Casey Schwartzmier, of Ross Township, Pennsylvania, died Sunday. "She was funny and full of life and she was a drug addict," Michelle Schwartzmier said. Michelle Schwartzmier told WPXI that she knew her daughter was...
Student injured, shooter in custody at Ohio high school, deputies say
Student injured, shooter in custody at Ohio high school, deputies say

A high student was injured and a person is in custody after authorities in Salem, Ohio, were called to a report of a school shooting early Friday, officials said. The student's condition was not immediately known and deputies with the Champaign County Sheriff's Office declined to say what hospital the student was taken to. The incident was contained...
Victim, suspect in West Liberty school shooting are both students
Victim, suspect in West Liberty school shooting are both students

The Champaign County prosecuting attorney said there is an active, ongoing investigation and at this time there is very limited information in what can be provided. Other than one victim, the students are safe and the building has been secured. He said the family has been notified and the student is receiving treatment. The condition of the student...
More Stories