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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 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, TX.

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, lift struts.”

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.


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