Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Reflecting on an Aviation Milestone

Exactly one hundred years ago today, the world suffered its first fatality resulting from powered flight. On September 17, 1908, while riding as a passenger in an experimental military aircraft, 1st Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge of the U.S. Army was killed when the airplane, piloted by Orville Wright, crashed during a test flight. Selfridge's loss was no small thing for the aviation world. It had only been five years since the Wright Brothers had made their historic flight from the sand dunes of North Carolina, and Selfridge himself was a promising designer of aircraft and keenly interested in the possible applications of flight for military purposes. Little wonder that in July of 1917, when the U.S. was opening new military airfields during World War I, the new base near Mount Clemens, Michigan was named Selfridge Field in his memory.
Please join us on Tuesday, September 23 at 12:10 p.m., when Lt. Col. Louis J. Nigro, executive director of the Selfridge Military Air Museum, will present "The Story of Thomas Selfridge." The program is free and no registration is required.

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