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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.

---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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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Registration Number NC5310

Potential World Traveler Turned Duster

This aircraft is a Stearman C-2B S/N 127 (ATC #55 pending). It was manufactured on May 22, 1928 by The Stearman Aircraft Co. of Wichita, KS. Installed originally was a 200 HP Wright J-5 AB engine, S/N 8378. It weighed 2,650 pounds.

It sold on May 23, 1928 to Ross Hadley of Los Angeles (president of Pacific Aeromotive Corp., distributor of Wright engines), who flew it immediately from the factory to Detroit, Columbus, Indianapolis, Dayton, Chicago, Amarillo, El Paso, Phoenix, Los Angeles. The airplane was painted green, red and blue, and sported a monogram saying, “Ross-Hollywood-USA” (see the link for NC8809, another Stearman flown by Hadley that had the same logo on the side).

It was probably during this long cross-country flight that NC5310 landed at Tucson June 23, 1928, at 6:20PM flown by owner/pilot Hadley. He was inbound from El Paso, headed for Phoenix. As of July 9, 1928, the airplane had flown 67.5 hours.

A few months later, on October 7, 1928, Hadley had an accident in Los Angeles (no injury) that resulted in, “cracked beam in lower right wing and badly bent right front L/G strut.” It was repaired, inspected and approved by November 22, 1928.

According to the record, Hadley planned a European trip, sailing on the "Ile de France" April 2, 1929 with the airplane to fly in: France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Roumania and England. Hadley, born November 25, 1900, held F.A.I. certificate #7033 and a Federation Aerienne International Sporting License #161 for 1929. It was reported that as of March 25, 1929 the airplane was in New York City awaiting shipment to Europe.

Alas, things did not go as planned. On April 1, 1929 Hadley was involved with NC5310 in an accident in Lordsburg, NM, a long way from New York City. He and his passenger, Chester Loomis, were uninjured. The airplane, however, suffered, “propellor [sic] bent, center and rear motor case cracked, fuselage gas tank damaged, upper and lower right wings broken, right interplane struts bent.” Hadley did not repair it.

In August, the airframe was sold to Western College of Aeronautics in Los Angeles, and on 9/10/29 to Aero Corporation of California, Los Angeles. Aero was owned by Jack Frye, an early air transport operator. The airplane was repaired and fitted with a hopper for crop dusting with a Wright J-5 225 HP engine (S/N 8362) installed. Its registration was changed to “R”, restricted for crop dusting.

In this configuration NR5310 landed again at Tucson October 26, 1929, piloted by Lee Willey, a line pilot for Standard Air Lines, and an employee of Aero Corporation of California. Willey was enroute from Ciudad Obregon in Mexico back to Los Angeles. There is no record of why he was in Mexico.

Finally, the airplane “washed out” in Fresno, CA on May 10, 1930 when it, “failed to recover from acrobatic maneuvers.” The pilot was George Naeve. No mention of his fate; we hope he parachuted to safety. The registration for NR5310 was cancelled May 27, 1930.


I'm happy to report that on March 3, 2006 I received the following email from a site visitor.

"My father was George Naeve. He did survive the 1930 "wash out.""

No details yet, but I'll send them along when I hear.


UPLOADED: 06/05 REVISED: 03/20/06, 08/25/11

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