Fatal Fall of Wright Airship is a 1908 New York Times article describing the event that caused the first fatality associated with heavier-than-air flight. United States Army Lieutenant Thomas Etholen Selfridge was killed in the crash, and Orville Wright was injured.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17.―Falling from a height of 75 feet, Orville Wright and Lieut. Thomas E. Selfridge of the Signal Corps were buried in the wreckage of Wright's aeroplane shortly after 5 o'clock this afternoon. The young army officer died at 8:10 o'clock to-night. Wright is badly hurt, although he probably will recover. The flying machine is a mass of tangled wires, torn and twisted planes, and tattered canvas. The accident was due to the breaking of one of the blades of the propeller on the left side.
Although there had been but a handful of people at the aeronautical testing grounds at Fort Myer during the last few days, fully 2,000 had gathered by 4:30 this afternoon. The aeroplane was still in its shed, but Mr. Wright arrived a few minutes later and ordered it taken to the northern end of the field, to be placed on the starting track in readiness for a flight.