Oh no you didn’t, Brazil! We’re ‘First In Flight’!

By on August 6, 2016

The Wright Brothers’ busts at the base of the monument in Kill Devil Hills. (file photo)

“First In Flight.”

We worked out our differences with Ohio on the phrase long ago. Connecticut tried and failed to claim it. Now it’s Brazil.

During the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio on Friday, a portion of the program featured the exploits of Alberto Santos-Dumont, who piloted a heavier-than-air machine in 1906.

Brazilians say that his achievement in the 14 BIS was the first to take off on its own without the aid of wind, and therefore should be credited as the first airplane flight.

But we Outer Bankers know that’s just a bunch of hot air.

Due to NBC’s contract with the Olympics, we are not allowed to share the actual video from the ceremony. The hosts kind of laughed it off for the most part.

I’ll save the commentary for another day on how the network continues to think showing a live event, in roughly the same time zone on a delay with commercials every three minutes, works in this day and age.

North Carolinians exploded in reaction, including this reporter, on Twitter:

The First Flight Society’s president, Mike “Moose” Smith, issued a statement on Facebook about the claim:

Responses from Brazilians were amusing at best, mostly in Portuguese about catapults being used.

They didn’t use one on the sands of Big Kill Devil Hill on Dec. 17, 1903, but don’t try to tell them.

While The Smithsonian and the National Park Service haven’t issued a direct response as of Saturday morning, there just happened to be a tweet from earlier this week that puts another part of the argument to rest regarding the Wright’s use of a rail instead of wheels in 1903.

So while it was Brazil’s night to shine on the world’s biggest stage, they crashed and burned with trying to say they were ‘First In Flight’.

Or the ‘Birthplace of Aviation’ as our friends and family in the Buckeye State can proudly proclaim.

Connecticut, on the other hand, you guys know better now, don’t you?



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