The last flight was made with operator only on board. After a flight of 7 minutes and 29 seconds, while busied in making a turn, the operator inadvertently moved the fore-and-aft controlling lever. The machine plunged into the ground, while traveling with the wind, at a speed of approximately 55 miles an hour. The anemometer showed a distance of a little over 8 kilometers (5 miles).
The frame supporting the front rudder was broken; the central section of the upper main bearing surface was broken and torn; but beyond this, the main surfaces and rudders received but slight damage. The motor, radiators, and machinery came through uninjured. Repairs could have been made in a week's time, but the time allowed for these experiments having elapsed, we were compelled to close experiments for the present.
These flights were witnessed by the men of the Kill Devil life-saving station, to whom we were indebted for much assistance, by a number of newspaper men, and by some other persons who were hunting and fishing in the vicinity.
The machine showed a speed of nearly 41 miles an hour with two men on board, and a little over 44 miles with one man. The control was very satisfactory in winds of 15 to 20 miles an hour, and there was not a distinguishable difference in control when traveling with, against, or across the wind.
— Orville and Wilbur Wright.
This story was originally printed with the title, "The Wright Perspective".