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Phil Beaudoin Comments on Crash and Pilots

SPRINGFIELD — Phil Beaudoin, president of Wright “B” Flyer Inc. commented on the deaths of two of the program's volunteer pilots this weekend. The crash happened during a test flight of the Wright “B” Flyer’s Silver Bird on Saturday morning.

"Wright 'B' Flyer certainly extends our deepest condolences to the families of Mitchell Cary and Dom Gum," Beaudoin said. "They're volunteer pilots. They're members of our board of trustees. Mitch is the former president of the organization. They're both highly competent pilots with extensive experiences flying our airplanes. They always observe the highest standards of safety. And more importantly, I suppose, they're dear friends of ours here at Wright 'B' Flyer."

Reports say the pilots were killed on impact shortly after they announced they were making a forced landing. Wright "B" Flyer Inc. uses Wright replica planes to promote Dayton, Ohio, as the birthplace of aviation. The aircraft was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for its first formal test flight last month at Springfield Beckley Airport.

Beaudoin said National Transportation and Safety Board investigators examined the crash site all day Saturday and Sunday. They say their findings of what likely caused the crash won’t be announced for up to eight months.