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Tue, Aug 05, 2003

Hughes Racer Replica, Pilot, Lost in WY Crash

"Until it stops being fun." -- Jim Wright, when asked how long he would keep flying the H-1 (from his website)

The plane crashed just north of Old Faithful geyser, nearly on the temporarily-closed Firehole Road in Yellowstone National Park on Monday evening, returning to Oregon from Oshkosh. The circumstances of the crash are unknown.

Several witnesses are being questioned.

For a brief time, Howard Hughes, who commissioned, partially designed, and piloted the original from which this replica was built, was the fastest-ever man in the world, in a flight of his airplane. The replica itself also holds an air speed record.

Our sympathies and prayers go to Betty Wright and Jim's friends, family, and team...

**   Report created 8/5/2003   Record 1   **
IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 258Y        Make/Model: EXP      Description: EXP- HUGHES 1 B
  Date: 08/05/2003     Time: 0030
  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed
LOCATION
  City: YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK   State: WY   Country: US
DESCRIPTION
  ACFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, ONE PERSON ON BOARD WAS FATALLY INJURED, NORTH OF OLD GEYSER IN YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WY
INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                 # Crew:  1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
WEATHER: SPECI KWYS 042346Z AUTO 16008KT 20SM BKN040 22/09 A3026
OTHER DATA
  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Unknown      Operation: General Aviation
  Departed: GILLETTE, WY                Dep Date: 08/05/2003   Dep. Time: 0030
  Destination: EUGENE, OR               Flt Plan: UNK          Wx Briefing: Y
  Last Radio Cont: UNK
  Last Clearance: UNK
  FAA FSDO: CASPER, WY  (NM04)                    Entry date: 08/05/2003

I didn't know, when I saw this painfully beautiful, and authentic, replica Hughes H-1B racer being pushed to the flight line at Oshkosh this weekend, that I would never see it, or its owner/pilot, Jim Wright, again.

FMI: www.wrightools.com

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