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Tragedy Strikes

Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge prior to takeoff on final flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge prior to takeoff on final flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Tragedy struck during a flight on Sept. 17, 1908, when the right propeller on the 1908 Flyer fouled a guy wire, causing the plane to crash to earth. Orville Wright was seriously injured, while Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge, along on the flight as a passenger, was fatally injured, thus becoming the first person to die as the result of an airplane accident. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Tragedy struck during a flight on Sept. 17, 1908, when the right propeller on the 1908 Flyer fouled a guy wire, causing the plane to crash to earth. Orville Wright was seriously injured, while Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge, along on the flight as a passenger, was fatally injured, thus becoming the first person to die as the result of an airplane accident. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Wing ribs from the Wright 1908 Military Flyer on display in Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Wing ribs from the Wright 1908 Military Flyer on display in Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Fragments of the propeller blade that broke during the fateful flight on Sept. 17, 1908, where the right propeller on the 1908 Flyer fouled a guy wire, causing the plane to crash to earth. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Fragments of the propeller blade that broke during the fateful flight on Sept. 17, 1908, where the right propeller on the 1908 Flyer fouled a guy wire, causing the plane to crash to earth. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Fragments of the propeller blade that broke during the fateful flight on Sept. 17, 1908, where the right propeller on the 1908 Flyer fouled a guy wire, causing the plane to crash to earth. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Fragments of the propeller blade that broke during the fateful flight on Sept. 17, 1908, where the right propeller on the 1908 Flyer fouled a guy wire, causing the plane to crash to earth. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Fragments of the propeller blade that broke during the fateful flight on Sept. 17, 1908, where the right propeller on the 1908 Flyer fouled a guy wire, causing the plane to crash to earth. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Fragments of the propeller blade that broke during the fateful flight on Sept. 17, 1908, where the right propeller on the 1908 Flyer fouled a guy wire, causing the plane to crash to earth. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Tragedy struck during a flight on Sept. 17, 1908, when the right propeller on the 1908 Flyer fouled a guy wire, causing the plane to crash to earth. Orville Wright was seriously injured, while Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge, along on the flight as a passenger, was fatally injured, thus becoming the first person to die as the result of an airplane accident.

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