Ohio Senate Fighting ‘First Flight’ Claim

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Senate is beginning debate on a resolution repudiating Connecticut’s claim that another aviator beat the Wright brothers as first in flight.

The Ohio House approved the measure in May.

Ohio lawmakers are responding to a 2013 Connecticut law that honored aviator Gustave Whitehead as being two years ahead of Dayton-born Orville and Wilbur Wright’s 1903 flight off Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Rep. Rick Perales sponsored the Ohio resolution. He has suggested Connecticut is changing history without evidence and said Ohio must respond. He said aviation historians examined and dismissed accounts that Whitehead flew a powered, heavier-than-air machine of his own design on Aug. 14, 1901, “or on any other date.”

The Senate’s Government Oversight and Reform Committee was scheduled to hear the resolution Wednesday.