Helgoland Island Air Disaster

The Helgoland Island Air Disaster occurred on September 9, 1913, and is traditionally considered the first air disaster involving more than ten fatalities.

A German Navy Zeppelin L-1 airship with 20 passengers and crew on board flew into a strong storm, crashing 20 miles north of Heligoland Island into the North Sea. The ship broke in two and the control car immediately sank, drowning 14 of its occupants.

"The value of the Zeppelin airship as instruments of war has not been affected by the loss of the L-1 off Heligoland."

In this laconic conclusion of the official report of the disaster which robbed Germany of the new naval air scout is contained the dictum of the Kaiser's war experts that the Zeppelin airships emerge from Tuesday night's crowning catastrophe with their effectiveness unshattered