San Antonio, TX Famous Aviator Killed, May 1911

George Kelly Aviator.jpg

KILLED BY HIS AERO -- LIEUT. KELLY HURLED TO DEATH AT SAN ANTONIO.

DEFECT FOUND IN MACHINE.

VICTIM THROWN FROM HIS CAR IN ATTEMPT TO SAVE OTHERS -- GEN. CARTER AND OFFICERS OF HEADQUARTERS STAFF WITNESS TRAGEDY AT MANEUVER CAMP.

SECOND ARMY AVIATOR TO BE KILLED.

San Antonio, Tex., May 10 -- A bolt hole an eighth of an inch in diameter bored where it should not have been in the prong of the "seat fork" of the army's Curtiss aeroplane caused the death of Lieut. GEORGE E. M. KELLY, Thirtieth Infantry, at 7:30 o'clock this morning, upon the aviation field at the maneuvers camp. Such is the verdict of a board of officers of the aero company which investigated the accident.
The board finds the accident was unavoidable, due probably to structural weakness of the aeroplane.
Lieut. KELLY had made a perfect flight, and was landing when the shock of the contact with the ground broke the "finger" at the misplaced bolt hole and twisted the machine. One of the supporting wires caught on the engine and threw it wide open, at a speed of 75 miles an hour. The aeroplane shot forward and headed directly for the tents of the Eleventh Infantry.
Lieut. KELLY saw the danger to the occupants of the tents and sought to turn the machine. One of the planes struck an embankment and toppled the aeroplane over. Lieut. KELLY was thrown 20 feet from the wreck and was landed on his head. His neck was broken and his skull fractured.
Gen. William H. Carter and practically every officer of his headquarters staff were witnesses of the accident, as were hundreds of other officers and men in the great camp.

Washington Post District of Columbia 1911-05-11