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Pilot hopes to reenact 1914 flight over Tampa Bay

December 28, 2013
Associated Press

POLK CITY, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man is hoping to reenact the nation's first commercial flight on the centennial of the aviation milestone.

The Tampa Tribune ( reports that Kermit Weeks has recreated the bi-wing seaplane that pilot Tony Jannus first flew over Tampa Bay 100 years ago. Using scraps of archival data and photographs, Weeks and his crew have built nearly everything from scratch. The aircraft's wings are made of wood.

He must now get approval from Federal Aviation Administration officials to launch from St. Petersburg's North Yacht Basin on Jan. 1 and retrace Jannus' 23-minute trek.

New Year's Day will mark the 100th anniversary of what is considered the country's first regularly scheduled commercial flight. In 1914, passengers paid $5 for a one-way ticket across Tampa Bay.



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