||WRAL-TV Begins Coverage of First Flight Centennial
WRAL-TV began its extended coverage of the First Flight events planned from now until May on Tuesday, December 17, 2002, by sending a team to report on the celebration of the Wright Brothers historic flight. The official 99th anniversary of the man’s first powered flight took place on that date in 1903; the flight lasted but 12 seconds and covered 120 feet.
A team from WRAL-TV including reporter Scott Mason, photographer Don Ingle and KU truck driver and maintenance technician Tony Gupton traveled to the Outer Banks and did live reports during the several newscasts. The station also carried live coverage of the National Centennial of Flight kick-off of which Fayetteville’s Festival of Flight is a part.
North Carolina Governor Mike Easley and other dignitaries were onhand to observe the anniversary. The actual moment of flight, 10:35am, was also acknowledged. An impressive 99-plane flyby took place over the Wright Brothers National Monument at that time.
WRAL-TV also plans to cover the major events planned for May, the 100th anniversary. For eleven days, beginning May 16, 2003, the Festival of Flight in Fayetteville will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ flight. General Hugh Shelton, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the Honorary Chair of the event. Festival of Flight will be the largest public centennial event in North Carolina featuring a weekend arts festival, a two-day military air show at Pope AFB, a general aviation air show at Grannis Field and a seven-day exposition with aviation displays and interactive exhibits, all of which will culminate with a spectacular Memorial Day celebration.