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Wright Brothers model kills pilots

A newly produced model of a Wright Brothers biplane has crashed, killing the two volunteer pilots aboard.

The pair had extensive experience of flying the plane, built by Wright "B" Flyer Inc, a not-for-profit corporation that uses such aircraft to promote awareness of Dayton, Ohio, as the birthplace of aviation.

The pilots, Mitchell Cary, 65, and Don Gum, 73, observed the highest standards of safety and had made huge contributions to the organisation and the aviation heritage community, Phil Beaudoin, the group's president, said.

"They were good friends and we will miss them deeply," he added.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said that it was told shortly before 11am on Saturday that the aircraft had come down about three miles from the airport.

The plane, Silver Bird, was the third made by the group at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport and had been approved for its test flight programme by the Federal Aviation Administration. It had completed about 60 per cent of its mandatory flight testing, Mr Beaudoin said.