Saturday Scenes

Thu 22 September 2011

High Flyers

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:33

On the 17th of September in 1908, Thomas Etholen Selfridge achieved the dubious notoriety of becoming the first person to die in a plane crash.

He was a pilot, one of the three pilots trained to fly the Army Dirigible Number One in the U.S. Signal Corps. However, on this unfortunate occasion he was a passenger. Orville Wright was the pilot. Orville had brought the Wright Flyer to show Signal Corps and took Selfridge up to circle Fort Myer. The right propeller broke and the aircraft went into a nose-dive.

From page one of the New York Times the following day:

Front Page – NYTimes.com

FATAL FALL OF WRIGHT AIRSHIP; Lieut. Selfridge Killed and Orville Wright Hurt by Breaking of Propeller. MACHINE A TOTAL WRECK; Increased Length of New Blade and Added Weight of a Passenger Probable Causes. CAVALRY RIDE DOWN CROWD; Rumor That the Machine Had Been Tampered with Denied by Army Officers — Not Well Guarded.

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.

Orville was asked if he had lost his nerve after the accident, to which he responded “The only thing I’m afraid of is that I can’t get well soon enough to finish those tests next year.”

Over a century later, on the 17th of September 2011, the following SatSceners – including a number of pilots – took photographs to post onto Twitter and record their Saturday scenes for posterity. Take a look:

And here are the photographers who took them:

We want to see MORE photographs of more places! Simply tweet the location of your photograph (taken on Saturday) to @SatScenes to be included.

Follow @SatScenes for more details and you’ll never miss another edition.

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