Post-Crash Updates: Wright Pilot Recovering; Catalina Pilot’s Body Found


Mark Dusenberry, the pilot who was hurt last Thursday in the crash of the 1905 Wright Flyer III replica in Dayton, Ohio, has been upgraded from critical to fair condition, hospital officials told the Dayton Daily News on Wednesday. The officials said Dusenberry, 48, has been released from intensive care, but gave no further details. Dusenberry was practicing at Huffman Prairie Flying Field in preparation for a celebration of the 104th Anniversary of Practical Flight. He was just seconds into his second early morning flight when witnesses saw the aircraft begin to oscillate vertically before pitching down from about 20 feet and impacting the ground (click here for a video). Also last week, Jim Eachus, 61, was lost when his experimental Avid Catalina seaplane sank in Inks Lake near Burnet, Texas. Rescue teams searched for days but found no sign of the pilot. On Saturday morning, two campers discovered his body, which had drifted to shore.

Officials told the Burnet Bulletin an autopsy will help to determine if Eachus died from injuries suffered in the crash, if he drowned, or if perhaps he had suffered a medical problem either prior to the crash or afterward. Witnesses said Eachus had made a stop at Inks Lake State Park to empty water from the airplane’s pontoons, then took off and flew to a height of about 40 feet before the airplane started to descend. Its left wing dug into the water and it hit the surface. Eachus escaped through a window before the airplane sank, but then disappeared into the water.