Countdown To Kitty Hawk Names Two Pilots For Wright Flyer

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Since last year, four pilots have been learning to fly the earliest Wright airplanes so they could advance to the Wrights' 1903 Flyer in time for this December's centennial celebration. Veteran test pilot Scott Crossfield, first to fly Mach 2, has been overseeing their training. "It's one of the most challenging programs I've worked on," he told reporters yesterday. The early aircraft are notoriously difficult to handle. Yet all four of the pilots, Crossfield said, showed extraordinary ability and dedication. Choosing only two to fly at Kitty Hawk "was one of those things I wish I didn't have to do," he said. In the end, he named engineering professor Kevin Kochersberger and airline captain Terry Queijo as the Wilbur and Orville stand-ins. The other two pilots, Ken Hyde, president of The Wright Experience, and airline pilot Chris Johnson will continue to train as backup support Kochersberger and Queijo will appear in period costume at the Wright Brothers National Memorial on December 17. Just like the first time, who flies and who runs along to guide the takeoff will be decided by the toss of a coin.