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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, while supplies last.

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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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


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Registration Number NC8957

A Day Before Dying: Tucson

This aircraft is a Monosport, S/N 2000 (ATC #GR2-134), manufactured May 28, 1929 by the Central States Aero Company, Inc., Moline, IL. It had a 110 HP Warner Scarab engine S/N 249. It weighed 1,650 pounds as a two-place airplane. It landed twice at Tucson. Below is a photograph of NC8957 from 1000 Aircraft Photos.

Monosport NC8957, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Link)

NC8957 was re-manufactured as of October 11, 1929 with new landing gear and engine mount to conform to ATC #GR2-109. The fuselage was re-covered.

NC8957 landed first at Tucson on October 23, 1929 piloted solo by Donald A. Luscombe, a few years later the founder of the Luscombe Aircraft Manufacturing Company. He was northwest bound from Douglas, AZ to Los Angeles, CA.

Between Luscombe's landing and the next one, we find NC8957 cited in the logbook of pilot R.W. Henderson. Please direct you browser to his link to examine his entry in Logbook #1, page 7.

We find the airplane at Tucson for the second time on December 18, 1929, piloted by R.T. “Stub” Quinby carrying passenger J.B. Hinchey (an air racer in the late 30s, who landed twice at Tucson a year or so later also flying Monocoupes). They arrived from Los Angeles at 3:10PM and were eastbound at 3:30 to Moline, IL. Note the quick turnaround.

The airplane crashed at Amarillo, TX on December 18, 1929. The wing struck the ground in landing; the cause offered was, “possibly darkness.” Pilot Quinby (transport license #103) was not injured, and, if he was still in the airplane, neither was Hinchey, since he came back to Tucson twice the following year flying his own aircraft.

It doesn’t take much forensic speculation to guess what happened. Twenty minutes on the ground at Tucson says they were probably in a hurry. An airplane following a direct route to Amarillo from Tucson (about 520 miles) at, say, 80 MPH, would require a good 7-8 hours of flight time. If they chose to try to make Amarillo that evening (and don't forget, they would have to stop for fuel a couple of more times), they would have arrived in the early hours of the 19th. Fatigue; darkness; probably a strange airport; a classic setup for problems that could have been prevented had they simply decided to break that chain late that afternoon and remain overnight at Tucson, enjoy a hot meal at, say, the Pioneer Hotel, get a good night's sleep and depart early on the 19th.

The final disposition of the aircraft states, “wing and fuselage damaged beyond repair, complete washout.” The registration was cancelled February 14, 1930.


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 08/16/05 REVISED: 10/18/11, 04/25/12, 12/21/19

The Register
I'm looking for photographs of this airplane to include on this page. If you have one or more you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.


Military Aircraft of the Davis Monthan Register, 1925-1936 is available at the link. This book describes and illustrates with black & white photographs the majority of military aircraft that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. The book includes biographies of some of the pilots who flew the aircraft to Tucson as well as extensive listings of all the pilots and airplanes. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author, while supplies last.


Art Goebel's Own Story by Art Goebel (edited by G.W. Hyatt) is written in language that expands for us his life as a Golden Age aviation entrepreneur, who used his aviation exploits to build a business around his passion.  Available as a free download at the link.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. What was it like to fly from Oakland to Honolulu in a single-engine plane during August 1927? Was the 25,000 dollar prize worth it? Did the resulting fame balance the risk? For the first time ever, this book presents the pilot and navigator's stories written by them within days of their record-setting adventure. Pilot Art Goebel and navigator William V. Davis, Jr. take us with them on the Woolaroc, their orange and blue Travel Air monoplane (NX869) as they enter the hazardous world of Golden Age trans-oceanic air racing.


Clover Field: The First Century of Aviation in the Golden State. With the 100th anniversary in 2017 of the use of Clover Field as a place to land aircraft in Santa Monica, this book celebrates that use by exploring some of the people and aircraft that made the airport great.


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