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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.

Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
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Registration Number NC8617

A History Of Accidents, A Few Questionable Pilots, And Some Not So Questionable

This aircraft was a Fleet Husky 1/2 with original manufacturer’s serial number 29. The Fleet Aircraft Company, Buffalo, NY built it on 3/30/29. It left the factory at 1,580 lbs., with a 110 HP Warner Scarab engine S/N 184. It was a two-passenger airplane that landed four times at Tucson. See its sister ships, NC8601, NC8602 and NC8610.

It sold on 3/30/29 to United Aviation Corp., Chicago, IL, then directly to Scenic Airways, Inc., Phoenix, AZ on 3/31/29 for, “passenger carrying and student instruction.” We see the airplane land for the first time on 4/12/1929 piloted solo by A.E. Hamer. He was northwest bound from El Paso, TX to Phoenix, AZ. Hamer also landed solo the second time on 4/27/1929. He was headed from Pearce, AZ to Phoenix.

It suffered an accident on 7/15/29 (no details on where, or who was flying). It required replacement of the left upper and both right wings. The engine was also replaced with Warner S/N 275.

The airplane sold on 4/9/30 to O’Donnell Aircraft, Inc. of Long Beach, CA. The company was owned by James Lloyd O’Donnell and Gladys O’Donnell, both well-known pilots and signers of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register. They bought it on 4/9/30 from receivership on behalf of Scenic Airways. The O’Donnells installed a new engine cowling and re-covered the entire ship.

It suffered an accident on 10/5/30 at Long Beach, which required replacement of the spars and repair to the left upper wing. On 5/27/31 the registration was suspended for a violation of the Air Commerce Act. The airplane was allowed to be flown between 5/11 and 5/31 by an unlicensed pilot (May E. Davis). She offered an explanation, paid a penalty, and the registration was reinstated.

We find the airplane at Tucson for the third time on 8/24/1931 piloted by Robert Barber carrying Randall Scott as passenger. They were headed from Calexico, CA to Douglas, AZ. It landed for the last time somewhere between 8/24 and 9/4/31 piloted by Sam Goodson. He left no record of where he came from or where he was going.
Another accident at Rodeo, NM on 9/11/31 resulted in replacement of spars and landing gear parts.

And yet another accident at Long Beach, CA on 1/18/32 resulted in a violation to the pilot. Geo. A. Hales (private license # 20882) was cited for, “incompetency, carelessness” and his license was suspended for 60 days.

On 1/31/33 the airplane transferred to Milo G. Burcham of Long Beach, CA. Burcham was an early aerobatic pilot. It suffered an accident at Dycer Airport in Los Angeles on 12/14/33, which required repairs to both lower wings, motor ring and mount, center section, and top struts. The engine was converted to a Kinner K-5, S/N 592.

On 3/7/34, Burcham sold the airplane to the Chinese Aviation Research Association, Los Angeles, CA. Over the next two years it remained in the Chinese community, selling six times to owners with Chinese surnames. On 7/8/37, with 2114:20 flight hours, the airplane sold to the Ryan Aeronautical Corp. of San Diego.

On 12/6/37 it suffered its final accident at Palo Alto, CA. The pilot, Fred Munro (never landed at Tucson), was injured and cited in a violation for, “flying while intoxicated and making false statement of U.S. citizenship (native of Toronto, Canada).” His license (#8617) was revoked 6/8/38.

It then sold five more times up to 12/19/38, finally being owned by Western Air College of Alhambra, CA. It was reported to be rebuilt by the College, but it was not presented for inspection, there was no approval for its airworthiness certificate, and the registration was cancelled on 7/8/39.


The Register
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