NC, Connecticut clash in "first flight fight"

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Associated Press

Posted on October 24, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 6:40 PM

Ohio and North Carolina are drawing a line on the tarmac in the debate over who was the first to fly.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a law last summer saying German-born aviator and Connecticut resident Gustave Whitehead was the first to make a powered flight. The law says it happened two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright, both from Ohio, lifted off on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Ohio state Rep. Rick Perales and North Carolina state Sen. Bill Cook held news conferences Thursday to dispute Connecticut's action and reassert the Wright Brothers were first in flight.

"It is a ridiculous claim.  And the out of focus photograph they provide looks more like a frog to me than anything man made," said Cook.

"I will propose a resolution in the Ohio General Assembly to counter the Connecticut law and reinforce the Wright Brothers were the first to discover powered flight in 1903," said Ohio State Representative Rick Perales of Dayton.

Perales says the claim of Whitehead supporters has surfaced before and is based on an inconclusive photograph. He represents the district where the Wright Brothers had a hanger and tested planes.

13News Now reporter/anchor Joe Flanagan will have more beginning on 13News at 5.

AP-WF-10-24-13 1558GMT

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