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This information comes from the listings of Non-Prefixed and Non-Suffixed aircraft reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.


Your copy of the "Davis-Monthan Airfield Register" with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available at the link. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.


Helen Morgan was born Aug. 2, 1900, in Danville, IL and died Oct. 8, 1941, in Chicago, IL.


A site visitor points out that this photograph of the airplane is on Flickr as of December 15, 2009. Note, as of 6/25/15 this link is inoperative.


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Registration Number 7705

It Carried A Torch Singer And Trusty Parachutes

This aircraft is a Buhl CA-8 Senior Air Sedan, S/N 39 (ATC #GR2-46), built in August 1928 by Buhl Aircraft Company, Marysville, MI. It had a 400-410 HP Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine, S/N 816. It weighed 6,100 pounds and left the factory as an eight-place airplane. It was sold new on October 4, 1928 for $21,000 to the Casco Development Co. Butte, MT for, “visiting mining properties, U.S., Central and South America.” W.A. Clark III was president and Director of Casco. The assigned pilot was Harold J. “Jack” Lynch (transport license #1101) of Los Angeles, CA. This airplane visited Tucson twice.

We find 7705 in Tucson on October 16, 1928 piloted by Jack Lynch. He carried two passengers, Mrs. W.A. Clark and her daughter, on their way from Los Angeles to El Paso, TX. Ten days later, on October 26, 1928, we find the airplane again in Tucson headed from El Paso to Los Angeles with pilot Lynch carrying three passengers this time, Mr. Clark, R.I. Wescott and singer Helen Morgan. Some visitors may remember her work of the late 20s, “Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" and "Bill".

Below, an undated photograph of 7705 (cited, left sidebar). Although undated, the photo is probably earlier than May, 1932 when the "NX" registration was approved (see below). It would have worn "NX7705" on its wing if this photo was taken after that. Pilot Lynch stands by the airplane and inscribed this personal token, "To My Pal Pete. Sincerely, Jack Lynch." Lynch wears a double-breasted blazer, cap and knickers.

Buhl 7705 With Pilot Lynch, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Flickr)
Buhl 7705 With Pilot Lynch, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Flickr)

The airplane moved to Los Angeles and, on April 22, 1932, Mr. Clark applied for an experimental license for the airplane for, “parachute exhibition dropping.” It was approved for “X” license May 4, 1932, but it seems Mr. Clark didn’t get to see much parachuting. He was reported deceased in May. Indeed, he and Mr. Lynch were killed in an accident, which was reported in the Prescott (AZ) Evening Courier of May 16, 1932. Headlined "CLARK AND LYNCH KILLED IN VERDE CRASH," the article reported that Lynch was instructing Clark in the art of blind or instrument flight. A technique then of decending from clouded areas was to put the airplane into a spin and recover from the spin once clear air was reached.

Their airplane was put into a spin and it never recovered. Both men were killed instantly. Clark was 29 and Lynch 43 years old. They left two wives and five children between them. The airplane they crashed in was NC6481, a Stearman C-3B, not a Register airplane. Photos of NC6481, and of Lynch and Clark, are at the link. More information is at the biography page link for Lynch, above.

In Clark's absence, Buhl 7705 was still modified to, “demonstrate the Trusty Life-Saving Device which is built into the plane.” It was desired to make an 8-month tour of the U.S. with two pilots and four professional parachute jumpers to demonstrate the device patented by Harry P. Trusty. The Trusty system was essentially parachutes for the pilot’s and each passenger’s seat that were controlled by the pilot.

There is no record of the results of testing, but Mr. Trusty bought the airplane on June 21, 1933. As of May 1, 1935, he had re-covered the rear of the fuselage, wings and tail surfaces at Aero Trades, Roosevelt Field, NY. The airplane had accumulated 600:00 flight hours.

An undated (but probably sometime in May 1935) letter from Mr. Trusty to Mr. Eugene Vidal, D.O.C., Washington, DC is part of this aircraft’s NASM record. On the letterhead of “The Trusty Life Saving Device for Passenger Carrying Aircraft” Los Angeles, CA, Mr. Trusty writes:

“Dear Mr. Vidal:

"Regarding the experimental license on my Buhl Air Sedan, equipped with the trusty Life Saving Device, I wish to know if it will now be possible for me to obtain and NC license in place of my experimental license since my Life Saving Device is no longer in the experimental stage; also in view of the following.

“The Aero Trades Corporation, at Roosevelt Field, has just completely overhauled my plane. This included recovering and doping all wings, tail surfaces and the rear end of the fuselage. Also repainted the whole ship. They installed new approved type navigation lights and new gasoline gauges.

“Mr. Donald B. Walling, of Roosevelt Field, gave the motor a major overhauling [this overhaul is not mentioned in the NASM record].

“The propeller and hub were inspected and tested by The Pester Propeller Service [also not mentioned in the “official” record].

“All the work was inspected and approved by the Department of Commerce at Roosevelt Field, and my plane and motor are now in A-1 condition.

“Kindly advise me regarding this matter as early as possible.”


There is no record of the response to Trusty's request. He sold the airplane on October 22, 1937 to William M. Keenan who planned to convert it to 6 or 8-passenger configuration. No bill of sale or other documents were submitted to the government, however, and the registration had already been cancelled as of November 16, 1936. No further information for this, seemingly pristine, refurbished airplane.


UPLOADED: 07/26/05 REVISED: 12/17/09, 02/25/15

The Register
I'm looking for photographs of this airplane to include on this page. If you have one or more you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.

---o0o--- Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of and the 10th year of effort on the project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.


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