Replica seaplane crashes into Superior Bay, pilot uninjured

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A replica 1913 flying boat crash landed on Superior Bay in Duluth Tuesday morning, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Co-owner of the Lark of Duluth remake, 63-year-old Mark Marino, was piloting the plane appeared to be coming in too fast after a brief test flight, authorities said. The plane hit the water hard, causing extensive damage to the plane.

Marino, the plane's sole occupant, was immediately picked up by a Duluth Airport Authority Boat, which was on the water as a safety precaution. He was not injured.

The newspaper reports the replica seaplane was certified to fly by the FAA in June.

The original Lark of Duluth took its first flight from the bay on July 12, 1913 as the world's first commercial airliner, project volunteer Tom Betts said in a video (below) created by the Duluth Aviation Institute.

The replica, which took more than five years to design and build, starred in last weekend's Lark O' The Lake Festival at Sky Harbor Airport in Duluth on the plane's 100-year anniversary. The Lark replica was also scheduled to appear in a vintage aircraft display in Oshkosh, Wis. later this summer.

Sky Harbor is one of few airports in the state with water runways, Marino said in the video, and was the ideal location to test fly the wheel-less plane.

The Duluth Aviation Institute documented the construction of the plane with a photo log.

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