Bird strike Accident Wright Model B , 03 Apr 1912
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 73649
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Wright Model B
Owner/operator:Calbraith Perry Rodgers
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Pacific Ocean, off Long Beach, California -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Long Beach, California
Destination airport:Long Beach, California
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Flying a Wright Model B on a demonstration flight at Long Beach, California, Calbraith Perry Rodgers collides with a seagull, which becomes entangled in his plane's control cables. His neck was broken and his thorax damaged by the engine of the airplane. He died a few moments later,The plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean, and Rodgers becomes the first fatality in history as the result of a bird strike.

According to a contemporary press report (Washington Post. April 4, 1912): "C. P. Rodgers' Aero Plunges Into Surf at Long Beach. Hundreds See Tragedy. Hero of First Transcontinental Flight Victim of His Own Daring. When Lifted From Wrecked Machine His Neck Is Found to Be Broken. Calbraith P. Rodgers, the first man to cross the American continent in an aeroplane, was killed here instantly late today, when his biplane, in which he had been soaring over the ocean, fell from a height of 200 feet and buried him in the wreck. His neck was broken and his body mangled by the engine of his machine."

According to contemporary records, his was the 127th airplane fatality since aviation began and the 22nd American aviator to die in an accident. Rodgers was interred at Allegheny Cemetery in his hometown of Pittsburgh.


1. Brotak, Ed, "When Birds Strike," Aviation History, May 2016, p. 46.
4. "C. P. Rodgers' Aero Plunges Into Surf at Long Beach. Hundreds See Tragedy. Hero of First Transcontinental Flight Victim of His Own Daring" Washington Post. April 4, 1912.
5. "Aviator C.P. Rodgers Almost Instantly Killed. His Biplane Falls Distance of 200 Feet", Daily Times, Chattanooga, Tennessee, April 4, 1912
6. Thorpe, John (2003). "Fatalities and destroyed civil aircraft due to bird strikes, 1912-2002" (PDF). International Bird Strike Committee, IBSC 26 Warsaw.


A contemporary photographic post card of the crash Calbraith Rodgers and the wreckage of the Wright CO Model EX

Revision history:

27-Mar-2010 08:41 TB Added
06-Jul-2010 23:42 Anon. Updated
15-Dec-2016 19:36 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
15-Dec-2016 19:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2023 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av., 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314