Thomas Selfridge, the first person to be killed in a powered aeroplane crash – 17 September 1908

Posted on September 16th, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

On 17 September 1908 at Fort Myer, Virginia, Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge became the first person to die in a powered airplane crash – he was 26.


Read newspaper reports about the accident


Selfridge was a passenger on a plane (‘the Wright Flyer’) that was piloted by Orville Wright – reports say that the cause of the crash was a broken propeller.

To mark this sad day, here is a newspaper story – published on 19 September 1908 – that reports on the accident.

Historical newspaper report on Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge - the first airplane fatality

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Saturday 19 September 1908
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

View the whole newspaper page 


Read other newspaper reports about the accident


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