17.09.

1908: The First Flight with Fatal Consequences (Thomas Selfridge)

1908: The First Flight with Fatal Consequences (Thomas Selfridge)
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 17 September 1908
  • The fatal flight took place less than five years after the first flight of the Wright brothers in December 1903. If Lt. Selfridge had worn helmet, he would have survived the accident (protective helmets were introduced later).

On this day in 1908, U.S. Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge, the first victim of a plane crash in history, died.

The 26-year-old member of the U.S. Army died when the plane of the Wright brothers crashed. The plane was piloted by Orville Wright, and had two passengers. Orville survived the crash.

The fatal flight took place less than five years after the first flight of the Wright brothers in December 1903.

During the first flight, the plane was also piloted by Orville Wright, but there were no other passengers. Later, the brothers added another seat, and two people could sit next to each other, similar to today’s car seats.

Unfortunately, Thomas hit his head, fractured his skull, and died. The accident occurred in the vicinity of the famous Arlington cemetery near Washington, the U.S. capital.

If Lt. Selfridge had worn helmet, he would have survived the accident (protective helmets were introduced later).

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