21 July 1911: Denise Moore was a popular figure in aviation circles in France. She had been taking flying lessons at the Henri Farman Aviation School at Étampes, about 30 miles south of Paris.
She took off at 6:20 p.m. in Farman’s biplane, on her third flight of the day, and made two circuits of the field. On her third turn, the aircraft banked steeply and pitched downward. It crashed and Ms. Moore was killed. She was the first woman to be killed in an airplane accident.
Fatal Accident to Mme. Moore.
At the present moment there are a good many ladies learning to fly in France and they appear to be unperturbed by the fatal accident to Mme. Denise Moore at Mourmelon on Friday of last week. The unfortunate lady, of whom little is known beyond that she came from Algeria, had been making splendid progress during the three weeks she had been learning and during her early solo flights showed great promise. She was, however, fired by an ambition for altitude work and on the day when the accident happened, in spite of the emphatic directions of her instructor, she started off to go high. She had reached only 150 ft. however, when apparently she made a mistake in steering, for the machine fell sideways to the ground, the pilot being killed instantly.
—FLIGHT, No. 135. (No. 30. Vol. III.), 29 July 1911, at Page 665
Denise Moore was a pseudonym for Mrs. E. J. Cornesson, widow of Denis Cornesson. She was the former Miss E. Jane-Wright. She assumed the name to keep her family from discovering that she was learning to fly.
© 2018, Bryan R. Swopes