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Parkersburg a Part of Aviation History

By: Gil McClanahan
By: Gil McClanahan

One-hundred years ago Wednesday Wilbur and Orville Wright flew into aviation history in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Weather prevented a successful re-creation Wednesday.

The Wright brothers had dozens of other successful flights after that December day, including some in Parkersburg.

Dec. 17, 1903, Orville Wright lifted his aircraft off the ground for 12 seconds and 120 feet, but what many may not realize is that nearly 10 years after that flight, the Wright brothers had made two trips to Parkersburg.

"Maybe they knew someone here, or maybe a lot of interest in flying in this area," says local historian Paul Borreli of Artcraft Studios.

He says the visits were in 1910 and 1913, and points out during one of the visits, City Park, was accidentally included in aviation history.

"There was an exposition at City Park. They took off from City Park someplace, never recorded where, hit a tree, flipped the plane into the old lily pad we had and destroyed it."

No one was injured says Borreli. He adds that neither of the Wright brothers were flying the plane, but it was one of a few events that put Parkersburg in aviation history.


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