Well-known Seabee pilot injured in Curtiss replica crash
Executive Director of the Glenn Curtiss Museum, Trafford Doherty, was quoted in the Star Gazette, “From what I saw yesterday, it’s a miracle that Jim’s alive. For that, we can be very, very thankful.”
The crash occurred about 3 p.m. Friday near the Penn Yan airport. Jim was flying the museum’s reproduction of a 1910 Curtiss Albany Flyer, the first aircraft to fly off of a ship. The aircraft was intended to fly as part of the Navy’s Centennial of naval aviation celebrations in 2011 in San Diego and Pensacola. In that it would not be ready for those events, the Museum does not expect to rebuild the replica.
The plane, a replica of Curtiss’s Albany Flyer, has a 30-foot wingspan and weighs 1,250 pounds. Its frame is made of bamboo, and it is powered by a 90-horsepower original Curtiss OX5 90-horsepower engine from the museum’s collection. One news story said observers of Friday’s crash reported a possible engine failure moments after the second take-off of the day.
Jim is a respected leader in the seaplane community nationally and a dear friend of SPA. We all will keep him in our prayers for a successful recovery and extend our best wishes to his wife and family. Cards may be sent to Jim at:
Jim Poel, Patient
c/o Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Ave
Rochester, NY 14642