Registration Number NC8813
An Accident With No Pilot
This aircraft is a Stearman C-3B S/N 227 (ATC #55). It was
manufactured on 4/16/29 by The Stearman Aircraft Co. of Wichita,
KS. Installed originally was a 220 HP Wright J-5 Whirlwind
engine, S/N B-9819. It weighed 2,650 pounds.
It sold in April 1929 to Rogers Aircraft, Inc. of Los Angeles,
CA. Four months later, Rogers sold it to Hal Skelly c/o Paramount
Studios, Los Angeles, CA. During Mr. Skelly’s custody,
NC8813 comes to Tucson on 4/10/1930 piloted solo by Jimmie
Angel, for whom Angel Falls in Venezuela is named.
Mr. Skelly sold the airplane to Cecil H. Coffrin of Brooklyn,
NY on 12/1/33. It stayed in the New York area until 1/25/35
when it sold to Greer Flying Service of Memphis, TN. It had
accumulated about 450 flight hours, and was converted to a
crop duster with a hopper in the front seat as of 6/18/35.
It suffered an accident in Hearne, TX on 8/5/35. Three wings
were rebuilt, new spars and ribs installed, and the fuselage
repaired. It was entirely re-covered and then sold a year
later on 8/6/36 to Brazos Varisco and Gardner Nagle of Bryan,
It transferred on 7/26/37 to the Texas Dusting Co., Inc.
of Bryan, TX. Texas Dusting was owned by Varisco and Nagle.
The wing leading edges were reinforced in accordance with
Stearman Bulletin #54 on 2/5/38. 30 x 5.00 wheels and navigation
lights were installed. The airplane had accumulated 1436:30
flight hours as of 6/5/40.
It suffered another accident at Bryan, TX on 2/12/41. Airport
attendant, Raphael Escalant, “primed engine, and when
it started, jumped the blocks and ran out on airport area,
struck a rut and turned over. Damage to: top right wing, bottom
left wing, landing gear, propeller, engine mount, rudder,
There was no record of repairs, but the airplane sold twice
more. It was re-covered by its final owner, Winford W. Brown
of South Miami, FL. Brown also had four wings from Stearman
8837 (not a Davis-Monthan aircraft) removed and installed
on NC8813. Whether it flew again is unknown. A government
inquiry of March 1948 went unanswered and the registration
was cancelled 7/15/48.
UPLOADED: 08/08/05 REVISED: