WITH respect, may I suggest that Percy Sinclair Pilcher (January 16, 1866-October 2, 1899) became the first fatality of British aviation history and not, despite his many achievements, the Hon CS Rolls (On This Day, The Herald, July 12).

Pilcher was on the point of flying his own design of powered aircraft, four years ahead of the Wright brothers, but a mechanical failure caused a demonstration flight on September 30, 1899 to be cancelled. Instead he flew in one of his previously successful gliders but it crashed and he died of his injuries two days later.

Despite being born in England, Pilcher had strong links to Scotland. He trained at the Elder shipyard in Govan, was briefly on the staff of Glasgow University in the Naval Architecture Department, and tested some of his early gliders at Cardross.

David L Smith,

4 Abercorn Road,

Newton Mearns.