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Pilot Training - Photo Gallery
What if you don’t have that approved flight manual for an airplane? What if there’s no experienced instructor? Then what do you do? That’s exactly the problem faced by the intrepid pilots who will re-enact the Wright brothers’ first powered flight on December 17, 2003 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina-the site of the first powered airplane flight a hundred years ago.

When it comes to the training needed to “check out” in EAA’s Wright Flyer reproduction, there’s nobody around anymore who really qualifies as an instructor. Like Orville and Wilbur, they are starting from scratch and learning as they go. But the team assembled to put the exclamation point on EAA’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk celebration (presented by Ford Motor Company and supported by Eclipse Aviation, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Northop Grumman) has a few aces up its sleeve. In charge of the training program is former NASA test pilot Scott Crossfield of X-15 program fame, whose vast experience in a broad spectrum of flight test and space programs is proving invaluable.

The two pilot finalists are Dr. Kevin Kochersberger, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, who has extensive experience both as a sailplane pilot and as a hang glider pilot. Terry Queijo is an airline captain flying Boeing 757/767, a veteran skydiver, and light plane pilot. Even for such highly accomplished professionals, preparing to fly the Wright reproduction is a challenging prospect-and is unlike learning to fly virtually any other aircraft.

Click images for larger view

Pre-dawn preparations in
Warrenton, VA.

Scott Crossfield, pilot trainer, and Kevin Kochersberger, pilot candidate,
look over the last-minute
details of the plane.

Ken Hyde, back-up pilot candidate
and master builder of EAA’s 1903
Wright Flyer, looks over the glider
before the training runs.

Ken Hyde, left, back-up pilot candidate
and master builder of EAA’s 1903 Wright Flyer and Scott Crossfield, pilot trainer, converse before the training flights.

Towed behind an SUV traveling
about 27 mph, the glider slowly
takes off in the morning mist.

As the sun rises it burns the early
morning fog off creating a clear
day for training on the glider.

The glider in flight with Terry
Queijo aboard.

Terry Queijo, pilot candidate, at
the start of her glider flight.

The glider in flight with Chris Johnson,
back-up pilot candidate, aboard.

Scott Crossfield, pilot trainer instucts
Terry Queijo and Ken Hyde, on more details of flight in the glider.

An SUV pulling the glider
provided thrust for liftoff.

The glider in flight with
Kevin Kochersberger, pilot
candidate aboard.

The glider lifts off the ground
with Kevin Kochersberger aboard.

Data from the 1903 Wright Flyer
wind tunnel tests helped create a
Wright Flyer simulator used for
training the pilot candidates.

Scott Crossfield has taken on the responsibility of training the pilots who
will recreate the historic flight on
Dec. 17. Crossfield is know for being
the first man to exceed Mach 2.

Scott Crossfield mans the towline
pulling the training glider. More
than 150 training flights have
been flown so far.

The 1902 glider was modified
with a 1903 canard to give
 it better manners.

The 1902 Wright glider reproduction
used for pilot training.

The 1902 Wright glider reproduction
used for pilot training.

The Flyer training strip in
Warrenton, VA.


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