Pinellas 'Flight 2014' goes off without a hitch, despite the rai - WFLA News Channel 8

Pinellas 'Flight 2014' goes off without a hitch, despite the rain

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The rain didn't keep dozens of people from lining the banks of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club to watch 'Flight 2014' take off. The flight celebrated the 100th anniversary of the world's first commercial flight. It took off shortly after 10 New Year's morning in St. Petersburg, and landed at Peter O. Knight Airport on Davis Islands in Tampa.

Kermit Weeks, the creator and founder of Fantasy of Flight, has been preparing for this day for months. He built a replica of the Benoist aircraft that Tony Jannus flew on January 1st, 1914. Unfortunately, it wasn't ready in time. "we got the airplane built, we got everything running, we just kind of ran out of time." Said Weeks. "so, we'll get it flying. I hope to make the flight in 2014. That's my new year's resolution."

In place of the Benoist, Pilot Eddie Hoffman Jr. flew a Hoffman X-4 Mullet Skiff, an aircraft built by his father. Before he took off, he commented on what a historic day this is. "it's not about me. It's not about Kermit Weeks. It's not about our wonderful airplanes. It's about the event that happened 100 years ago." Said Hoffman. "and I'm glad so many people are out here to celebrate with us.

Related Story: Reproduction of first airliner not ready for historic flight

 Tim Busher is one of the many who braved the weather to witness this historical flight. "wanted to see this thing take off, and unfortunately, the Benoist didn't take off, but it's great to see it." Said Busher. "a lot of fun. A lot of history."

Related VIDEO: Fantasy of Flight founder to pay tribute to historic flight

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