View products that support


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.


Posey Brothers, Inc., Restoration of Rare and Unusual Aircraft.


See the books in the REFERENCES by Gunther and by Smith, both available at this link.


Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
CulturalMotion PicturesFriendsNon Profit statusProducts and services
ReferencesPublicationsCollectionsGuest EditorsPress Coverage


The good news is that this airplane is still with us; still registered with the FAA!

This airplane is a Pitcairn PA-5, s/n 30, manufactured June 30, 1928. It landed once at Tucson, Monday September 12, 1932. It was flown solo by Dana L. Fuller. Based at San Francisco, CA, he was westbound from Cleveland, OH to Yuma, AZ. The National Air Races were held at Cleveland that year from August 27-September 5th. Fuller was probably part of the large group of airplanes that passed through Tucson from mid-August to mid-September that were either going to or coming from the Races, or competing in the Cord Cup race that passed through Tucson near the 22nd of August.

Below is an image of the registration card for NC6708 when it was owned by Dana Fuller (courtesy of Stephen Pitcairn). David Pitcairn, current owner of NC6708, states about the sale, "Dana Fuller Purchased 6708 directly from Harold F. Pitcairn on August 21, 1931.  Nav lights were installed prior to the sale but the plane was not pre-wired for landing lights so they were not installed." The registration below, expiring in October 1932, would be the second semi-annual license after Fuller's purchase of the airplane. The certificate was signed by Register pilot Clarence Young.

Registration, NC6708, October 1, 1932 (Source: Stephen Pitcairn)
Registration, NC6708, October 1, 1932

Also from Stephen Pitcairn, this summary of ownership, below. Note that NC6708 was originally purchased by company patriarch Harold Pitcairn as his personal airplane. His company also made the two PCA-2 autogiros flown to Tucson by John M. Miller (NC10781) and Amelia Earhart (NC10780), and the PA-6, NC549K, flown to Tucson by Robert Buck.

Chain of Custody Sketch for NC6708 (Source: Stephen Pitcairn)
Chain of Custody Sketch for NC6708

The two black & white images, below, from the fall of 1930, come to us courtesy of David Pitcairn.

NC6708 During 1930 (Source: David Pitcairn)
NC6708 During 1930

Note the large, 3-bladed propeller (ground adjustable?). We might be looking at it after the J-6 was installed. These images were taken during the 1930 modifications cited above. The speed ring is not yet installed. Mr. Pitcairn says about the propeller, "All Mailwings had two bladed Hamilton Standard ground adjustable propellers however the Pitcairn factory was testing a three bladed unit on NC6708 and possibly on other aircraft.  It was found to be unsatisfactory so the speculation is that it was put on the Pitcairn PCA-1A when it was donated to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. See a picture of it here."

NC6708 During 1930 (Source: David Pitcairn)
NC6708 During 1930

Below, from David Pitcairn, NC6708 at Pitcairn Field  in Willow Grove, PA; date unknown. From the cars in the background, the date is probably somewhere in the 1940s.

NC6708, Willow Grove, PA, Date Unknown (Source: David Pitcairn)
NC6708, Willow Grove, PA, Date Unknown

Below, from Stephen Pitcairn, are two images of NC6708. The first is in 1977 when he bought it. This image is on a postcard. The second is from 2002.

NC6708 in 1977 (Source: Stephen Pitcairn)

Below is the back of the postcard with Mr. Pitcairn's note to me. Compare with Mr. Pitcairn's document, above.

NC6708 in 1977, Back of Postcard (Source: Stephen Pitcairn)
NC6708 in 1977, Back of Postcard

Below, the airplane in 2002.

NC6708 in 2002 (Source: Stephen Pitcairn)
NC6708 in 2002

Below, Mr. Pitcairn's annotation on the back of this photograph.

NC6708 in 2002, Photo Caption (Source: Stephen Pitcairn)
NC6708 in 2002, Photo Caption

As of the upload date of this page, NC6708 is being restored by David Pitcairn to its original factory geometry and color. According to Mr. Pitcairn, the color will be a Forest Green fuselage and vertical surfaces, with Cream wings and horizontal tail and a Cream stripe from the tail, under the cockpit, curving down just behind the cowling and then back to the tail along the bottom edge of the fuselage. This will be a very pretty airplane.


Update of August 12, 2009: The next chapter on the life of this airplane is as follows. I visited with NC6708 and its present owner, David Pitcairn, on August 12, 2009. NC6708 is being restored at the Posey Brothers restoration facility in Robbinsville, NJ (see their link, left sidebar, where the wings are making progress and can be seen in the web cam). A video of NC6708 as it sat on that date, with commentary by Mr. Pitcairn and your Webmaster, can be viewed at the link. At the film viewer page, click on "NC6708".

Below are some photographs by your Webmaster taken August 12th. The first shows the port fuselage with pilot seat behind the empty instrument panel and double passenger seat in front of the panel.

NC6708, Port Fuselage, August 12, 2009 (Source: Your Webmaster)
NC6708, Port Fuselage, August 12, 2009

Below, David Pitcairn (L) and Mike Posey discuss an elevator bracket while crouched under the horizontal stabilizer. Note tail wheel axle just behind Posey's left elbow.

David Pitcairn (L) and Mike Posey, August 12, 2009 (Source: Your Webmaster)
David Pitcairn (L) and Mike Posey, August 12, 2009

Below, the port side pilot's seatbelt attach point. Forward is to the right. Messrs. Pitcairn and Posey are not happy with the seatbelt attachment, as it interferes with the step door.  The attachment is being reworked to be a cable like the original.

NC6708 Seatbelt Attach Point, August 12, 2009 (Source: Your Webmaster)
NC6708 Seatbelt Attach Point, August 12, 2009

Below, detail of the trim handle and chain on the starboard side of the cockpit (note instrument panel, upper left). Mr. Pitcairn provides further description of this trim system in the film linked above.

NC6708 Horizontal Stabilizer Trim Handle, August 12, 2009 (Source: Your Webmaster)
NC6708 Horizontal Stabilizer Trim Handle, August 12, 2009

Below, the throttle quadrant located on the port side of the cockpit.

NC6708 Throttle Quadrant Detail, August 12, 2009 (Source: Your Webmaster)
NC6708 Throttle Quadrant Detail, August 12, 2009

Let's not lose track of the fact that this same airplane landed at our small airfield in Tucson, AZ on August 12, 1932, fully seventy-seven years before the upload date of this page. It is remarkable, and a testimony to the robustness and reliability of the airplane, that it is still in existence today, and being authentically restored by a third generation of the Pitcairn family.

UPDATE OF March 8, 2012 Mr. Pitcairn shares the following photograph of the airplane showing the new fabric covering and initial paint application for the cream stripe. He says the photo captures the paint procedure just prior, "... to masking the cream stripe.  Green is painted next."

Restoration of NC6708. March, 2012 (Source: Pitcairn)
Restoration of NC6708. March, 2012 (Source: Pitcairn)

UPDATE OF June 15, 2014 This video of NC6708 in the air for its first flight is online at the link. According to Mr. Pitcairn, pilot Larry Posey is flying the airplane. A few wing and gear fairings are being completed before NC6708 is flown to Oshkosh this year.


UPLOADED: 12/09/08 REVISED: 09/18/09, 03/08/12

The Register

Thanks to Stephen Pitcairn and David Pitcairn for information and images of this airplane. Thanks to David for narrating the film linked below in the middle column.

As of the upload date of this page, NC6708 is owned by David Pitcairn. It was owned by Stephen immediately before him. Stephen Pitcairn made his final flight West on March 29, 2008. Before he passed, Stephen shared some history and photographs with us.

As well, during our correspondence, Stephen put me in contact with Register pilot John M. Miller who flew a Pitcairn autogiro to Tucson in 1931.

I'm looking for photographs and information about pilot Fuller to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.
Contact Us | Credits | Copyright © 2008 Delta Mike Airfield, Inc.
This website is best enjoyed in a 1024 x 768 screen resolution.
Web design by The Web Professional, Inc