LOCKHEED VEGA Model 5 Executive Special NC309H
EXECUTIVE TRANSPORT GONE TO MEXICO
This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5 Executive (S/N
80; ATC #93) manufactured during June 1929 by Lockheed Aircraft
CA. It left the factory with
a Pratt & Whitney Wasp B engine (S/N 1518) of 425 HP. It
was a five-place airplane. Painted blue, it was named
the “Blue Streak”. The "Executive" model Vegas
had a work desk, typewriter and small toilet installed in
the airplane for executive and secretarial use.
NC309H sold during 1929 to future Senator (1933-38) William Gibbs McAdoo
of Los Angeles, CA. McAdoo used the airplane
for personal transport between 1929 and 1935, with pilot
Harry Ashe at the controls. On a separate occasion, Ashe
landed at Tucson November 24, 1931 carrying two passengers. Their airplane was unidentified
as to registration or make, but was probably NC309H.
NC309H landed at Tucson twice, on July 22 & 25, 1929,
flown both times solo by E.L. Benway. He was westbound
on the 22nd from Memphis, TN to Burbank, CA. He was
eastbound on the 25th from Los
Angeles, CA to El Paso, TX. These
flights may have taken place before the airplane was turned
over to McAdoo.
On July 10, 1935 McAdoo, through an agent, sold the airplane
to Transportes Aereos de Chiapas, S.A., Mexico (TACSA). It
was exported to Mexico through Juarez by Francisco Sarabia,
owner of TACSA. It had P&W engine S/N 1814 installed,
replacing the original. Mexican certificate #28 was
issued August 26, 1935 and Mexican registration XA-BAM assigned. The
airplane was painted red with ivory trim and wings.
In 1939, after Sarabia’s death, the company was renamed
Compania Aeronautica Francisco Sarabia, S.A. (CAFSSA). The
airplane suffered an accident at Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico
on April 18, 1938. Details are unknown, but it was
repaired. As of March 13, 1940, the airplane was using
the wing from S/N 58, XA-BKG (nee: NC623E).
Circa 1939-40 CAFSSA requested cancellation of the license
XA-BAM after damage to the airplane somewhere in the Yucatan,
Chiapas or Campeche. Some parts were used in other
CAFSSA Vega aircraft. No further information.
UPLOADED: 06/01/06 REVISED: 07/08/11