Sutter County native son built and flew plane before the Wright Brothers

It’s little known, even locally, that the first American to build and fly an airplane was not a member of the Wright family, but the son of former Sutter County District Attorney Zachary Montgomery. John Montgomery, who was born in Yuba City, was in his early 20s when he and his brother dragged a glider built in their barn to a hill outside of San Diego and John piloted the plane the length of two football fields for what is believed to be the first instance of a heavier-than-air craft under controlled flight in the United States.

This video was produced in 2010 as part of an exhibit. We came across it today and decided to post it on YouTube and share with everyone the connection between the birds of Sutter County and the history of aviation. Even Alexander Graham Bell recognized that all future attempts at flying would stem from the machine Montgomery created and flew.