American Airlines Pilots Play Key Role

15th Dec 2003

American Airlines, the world`s largest airline and the only commercial
passenger air carrier to participate in the official First Flight
Centennial Celebration, will be well represented at events Wednesday
honoring one of the most important and world- changing scientific
breakthroughs in history—man`s first powered flight.

To commemorate the First Century of Flight, reenactments will take place
on Dec. 17, using an exact replica of that first Wright Flyer, at Kitty
Hawk, N.C. An American Airlines pilot, Capt. Terry Queijo, is one of two
pilots selected to fly the reenactments. Another American pilot, First
Officer Chris Johnson, was selected as an alternate pilot. And retired
American Captain Ken Hyde, also an alternate pilot, led the replica
Queijo and Johnson have been working intensively for months with Hyde, who
has been working on the replica plane since 1998. Since little
documentation exists about how the Wrights` original plane was built, Hyde
has been using old photographs, personal letters and artifacts provided by
the Wright family. Both Queijo and Johnson have helped construct the
plane, conduct research and study weather conditions and wind patterns for
the reenactment flight.

The pilots` training has included practice in a replica of a 1902 vintage
glider used by the Wrights before their powered flight in 1903, as well as
practice time in virtual simulators. Initially, they trained in Virginia,
with the glider being towed behind a car to simulate the blustery winds
they would encounter on the beaches of the Outer Banks.

They have recently been training at Kitty Hawk, looking forward to cold
weather and at least 15-mile per hour winds on Dec. 17—conditions
similar to those the Wrights experienced 100 years ago.

The American Airlines aviators are very experienced and ideally suited for
their roles in the historic event:


—Hyde, of Warrenton, Va., joined American Airlines in 1965 and retired
in 1998 after 33 years of service. He is the president and founder of The
Wright Experience—the company contracted by the Experimental Aircraft
Association (EAA) to produce the 1903 Wright flyer replica.—Queijo, of
Trappe, Md., has been with American since 1985. She currently flies out of
Washington, D.C. Queijo helped make history in 1986 by serving as co-pilot
of American`s first all-female flight crew.—Johnson, of Manassas, Va.,
is a major for the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He joined American in 1992 and
is currently based at Washington Dulles International Airport.

“We are proud that American Airlines Captain Ken Hyde (retired), Captain
Terry Queijo, and First Officer Chris Johnson are principals in the Wright
Experience that will re-enact man`s first powered flight at Kitty Hawk
next week,” said Capt. Mark Hettermann, vice president of flight, American
Airlines. “Who would have thought the Wright Brothers` 1903 Flyer would
lay the groundwork for an industry that today transports millions of
passengers around the world each year, virtually eliminating global
boundaries from an economic and societal standpoint and bringing people
During the days leading up to the Dec. 17 reenactment, pilots aboard all
3,900-plus daily American Airlines flights will make an inflight
announcement about the historic event.

For more than a year, Hyde, Queijo and Johnson, along with Dr. Kevin
Kochersberger, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the
Rochester Institute of Technology, have been training for the Centennial
celebration. Queijo and Kochersberger have been selected for the roles of
Orville and Wilbur Wright. The pilot for the first flight will be
determined by the flip of a coin on the morning of the flight, just as it
was by the Wright brothers. (Orville won the toss and flew first on the
single person aircraft.) The first flight is scheduled to take off at
10:35 a.m.—the precise time of Orville`s launch—with the second
attempt flown by the second pilot at 2 p.m.

American Airlines Mechanics Will Be Honored
Also at Kitty Hawk, American Airlines mechanics Richard Hankins and
Preston Jones will receive the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award,
recognizing each for their more than 50 years in aviation. Based in Kansas
City, Hankins and Jones also received the award in 2001. Other American
Airlines Maintenance & Engineering employees who have previously received
the “Master Mechanic” award include Bill Cahill, Marion Crumm, Mohamed
Daoud, Walter Davis, Bill Fey, Karl Knight, Roy Stewart, Bill Taylor and
Richard Wilson. The Charles Taylor award is named for the mechanic who
designed and built the engine that powered the Wright Flyer.

More information, with images, on the first flight reenactments is
available on the EAA Web site`s Countdown to Kitty Hawk page, at .

American Airlines is the world`s largest carrier. American, American Eagle
and the AmericanConnection regional carriers serve more than 250 cities in
over 40 countries with more than 3,900 daily flights. The combined network
fleet numbers more than 1,000 aircraft. American`s award-winning Web site,, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus
personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a
founding member of the oneworld Alliance. American Airlines editorial, based on news release distributed by PR Newswire



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