Curtiss A-1 Replica Crashes During Practice Flight

Aircraft sustains damage, pilot uninjured.

Curtiss A-1 Triad Replica

Curtiss A-1 Triad Replica

** Photo courtesy of the Glenn H. Curtiss
Museum, Hammondsport, NY**

A reproduction Curtiss A-1 Triad crash landed last week shortly after taking off from Keuka Lake in New York, postponing a planned demonstration flight celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Navy’s acquisition of the airplane.

The replica was built by volunteers at the Glenn Curtiss Museum, located in Hammondsport, NY, and was equipped with an original World War I engine.

While the aircraft sustained substantial damage during the crash, the pilot, 58-year-old retired airline captain Kevin House, wasn’t injured.

“He wasn’t even wet actually,” said museum director Trafford Doherty. “It was one of those freak things.”

Doherty attributed the crash landing to the pilot’s difficulty using the aircraft’s shoulder yolk aileron system.

“These things are tricky to fly. Basically, something went wrong. He over-controlled and it came back down on the water at a bad angle,” House told the Associated Press.

The aircraft was towed back to shore after the crash, and will be repaired, according to Doherty.

The Curtiss A-1 Triad was the first amphibious aircraft, as well as the first aircraft ever used by the Navy. It was first flown by a Navy pilot on July 1, 1911.