Orville Wright Bust Stolen From Monument


Orville Wright is missing and the National Parks Service (NPS) wants him back. A copper reproduction of a bust of one of the founding fathers of aviation as we know it was stolen from the Wright Brothers Monument on Big Kill Devil Hill overnight Saturday or Sunday morning. The heavy granite base was toppled and damaged. Wilbur apparently escaped untouched. The damage was discovered by a hiker early Sunday morning and the NPS is urging anyone who knows anything about the crime to call its tip line at 888-653-0009.

It’s not the first time one or both of the brothers has been removed from their perches above the windswept dunes where the brothers conducted their early flight tests. The original sculptures that used to be at the monument have been stolen twice before and recovered so the NPS apparently decided to put those in safekeeping and display the copies. It would nevertheless like to restore the monument as quickly as possible and the fastest and easiest way would be to get the reproduction back.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. It always starts this way, a seemingly nonsensical crime that turns out to be part of a much-larger nefarious plot. Will Aviore crack the case? Or The Rocketeer?

    • Thieves probably know unscrupulous recyclers and take their loot only to them. I’m building a Super Baby Great Lakes. The Corvair engine (2 case halves and 3 cylinder heads) I was going to use in the build was stolen last week from in front of my garage. I’m sure I’ll never see it again.