Park Service Bans Air Tours From Taking Off Near Wright Memorial

The National Park Service has banned air tours that take off near the memorial honoring the birth of flight.

Six years ago, the park service suspended air tours from taking off from the airstrip near the Wright Brothers National Memorial after a plane crashed. The park service has made the suspension permanent.

Park officials say providing airplane tours aren't required to accomplish the park's mission.

But Jay Mankedick, who started Kitty Hawk Aero Tours 26 years ago, says flying out of Dare County Regional Airport over the memorial isn't the same as taking off and landing near where the Wright brothers first flew.

A Kitty Hawk Aero Tours plane carrying five passengers crash-landed June 7, 2001, behind First Flight Middle School. Everyone survived.