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Lilienthal's Fatal Glider Crash in 1896: Evidence Regarding the Cause of Death

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Harsch V, Bardrum B, Illig P. Lilienthal's fatal glider crash in 1896: evidence regarding the cause of death. Aviat Space Environ Med 2008; 79:993–4.

Otto Lilienthal's pioneering work on gliders helped form the basis for development of powered aircraft. His death following a glider crash in 1896 was officially ascribed to fracture of the cervical spine. However, the clinical details assembled here make it more likely that he died from head trauma with resulting complications, possibly including intracranial hematoma.

Keywords: Otto Lilienthal; aviation accidents; glider design; intracranial hematoma

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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