Albany pilot grounded on anniversary - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany pilot grounded on anniversary

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December 17, 2003
Albany- Scott Gatlin spends time in the air almost every day.

"Every day that the weather permits yeah," Gatlin said.

The weather wasn't so kind Wednesday, keeping him grounded on the 100 year anniversary of powered flight. It was even crueler to people in Kitty Hawk, N.C. They waited in heavy rain to see a recreation of the first flight that was a lot less successful than the real one.

The Cessna 182 single engine plane that Gatlin was going to fly belongs to the Albany Flying Club and is one of the nicest of its kind. It's a long way from the plane Wilbur and Orville Wright flew a century ago with what would become one of the most important inventions to man.

"From a historical perspective I still don't think we have a good grasp on it because it's only been 100 years," he said.

The Wright brothers wouldn't recognize the controls and switches.

"I think they would marvel at the instrumentation, marvel at the control surfaces, but the basic concept in flying today, even with the big airliners that you see out there is the same that they developed."

The science of flight took off with the Wright Brothers. But it may still see major changes.

"I think as long as we still have an imagination, as long as man has a desire to do something that's not been done before I think we'll never totally have accomplished everything we can in flight."

What air travel may evolve into a century from now is hard to imagine. Just like a century ago, when something unimaginable took its first trip to become something Gatlin does every day.

posted at 9:10 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com