Middletown, CT – July 29, 1911

Middletown, Connecticut – July 29, 1911 

     On the afternoon of July 29, 1911, well known Connecticut aviator Nels J. Nelson of New Britain, Conn., was giving a flying exhibition at what was called by the press at the time the “State Insane Hospital” in Middletown.  Roughly 2,000 spectators sat on the lawn of the grounds to watch the show. 

     At one point Nelson came in for a landing and struck a telephone wire which caused the plane to turn sideways and crash.  The aircraft was wrecked, and although Nelson was pitched to the ground, he was not seriously injured.  

     It was noted by the press that this “flight was the first one ever held in this county”,  meaning Middlesex County, Connecticut. 

     At the time of this accident Nelson was just beginning his career, but he went on to become famous as one of Connecticut’s early aviators.  For more information about Nels Nelson, see www.earlyaviators.com

     Mr. Nelson would also survive another aircraft accident at Rocky Point, Rhode Island, on July 4, 1913, when a hydro-plane he was flying crashed in the water.    For further details, look under “Civil Aviation Accidents” – “Rhode Island” on this website.  

     Mr. Nelson died in 1964.

     Source: New York Tribune, “Flies For The Insane”, July 30, 1911   

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲