Airplane Crash - Fort Myer, Virginia 09/17/1908

Details of airplane crash/ shootdown - Fort Myer, Virginia


Date09/17/1908
Time17:18
LocationFort Myer, Virginia
OperatorMilitary - U.S. Army
RouteDemonstration
TypeWright Flyer III
Cn/In1
Aboard2
Fatalities1
Ground0
SummaryDuring a demonstration flight, a U.S. Army flyer flown by Orville Wright nose-dived into the ground from a height of approximately 75 feet, killing Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge who was a passenger. This was the first recorded airplane fatality in history. One of two propellers separated in flight, tearing loose the wires bracing the rudder and causing the loss of control of the aircraft. Orville Wright suffered broken ribs, pelvis and a leg. Selfridge suffered a crushed skull and died a short time later.

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