Born On This Day ~ February 8 ~ Thomas Selfridge ~ First Airplane Crash Casualty

Born: February 8, 1882 (San Francisco, California)
Died: September 17, 1908(Fort Myer)

Famous For/Known For:
First person to die as a passenger in an airplane crash.

A Little About Thomas Selfridge:
In 1903 Selfridge graduated from West Point.

Selfridge was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army and a member of the aeronautical research group, the Aerial Experiments Association.

Selfridge was a trained Army aviator who had flown solo.

First U.S. Soldier to pilot a plane, flying Alexander Graham Bell’s June Bug and White Wing air crafts.

In 1908 the Wright Brothers presented to the United States Army an aircraft.  Sulfridge, who was on the board for assessing the flyer, volunteered to be a passenger in a test ride with Orville Wright.

The test ride was originally scheduled for September 14 but due to high winds it was postponed for three days.

After three successful laps over the parade ground, a propeller flew off, causing the airplane to nose dive to the ground. Wright survived the crash but Selfridge died from his injuries.

Selfridge is buried in Arlington National Cemetery and close to the spot in which he died.

Thomas Selfridge died from a fractured skull due to an airplane crash at the age of 26.

Books About/Written By Thomas Selfridge:

Selfridge & Collins: The Life & Times of Military Aviation Pioneers Lt. Thomas Selfridge and Cap. Phelps Collins

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