Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Nick Kelly, Jacque Kelly, Matt Miller & Brianna Lloyd
Expedition Date: July 2, 2016
As a member of the Wright Seaplane Base Inc. club for a decade, we promote and educate the public that Orville Wright made over 100 flights from 1912 to 1914 on a hydroaeroplane (seaplane) at the bend of the Miami River in Moraine and West Carrollton. The Wright Brothers set up one of the first seaplane bases in the world on the Moraine side of the river. As a gift, my family purchased for me a ride on the 1911 Wright B Flyer replica so that I could fly in an early Wright Brothers plane although this was not a seaplane.
The Wright Brothers built America’s first airplane factory in 1910. The Model B was the first product.
I was led to the plane and carefully climbed steps to be seated by the pilot. A trip and fall to the left would have sent me into one of the two large rear propellers. A was harnessed in tightly to the seat located in front of the wings. A grounds crew member placed goggles and a headset on my head so that a could speak to the pilot. There was no dashboard in front of me, only a metal steering wheel and some metal framework but mainly nothing but open air. We taxied down the runway and when reaching 45mph the Brown Bird (the plane’s nickname) soared up into the sky to a height of 55 to 60ft cruising at 60mph. The pilot handled the slight crosswinds. I had a GoPro camera strapped to my head which I grabbed as the wind buffeted us. It was amazing to fly with nothing in front of you and experience the sights, sounds and feel of the wind just as the Wright Brothers and early test pilots felt. The flight was almost a mile long and lasted a mere 25 seconds. The landing was surprisingly soft and we taxied back to the hanger where my family awaited.
A certificate of accomplishment was given to me for flying. A toothpick was taped on the top right corner. I asked why. They explained that is for picking bugs out of your teeth, an early problem for pilots when flying in an open cockpit. The family took great photos and video. All in all, a memorable adventure.