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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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This airplane landed at Tucson on April 25, 1929 flown by Frederick C. Porter. He carried his wife as his single passenger. They were westbound from El Paso, TX to Clover Field, Santa Monica, CA. Soon, the airplane would be the property of the U.S. Government.

NC9629 is a Buhl Airsedan, Model CA-6 (S/N 43; ATC# 2-51) manufactured by the Buhl Aircraft Company, Marysville, MI in April 1929. It came from the factory with a Wright R-975 engine (S/N 10374) of 300 HP. It was a four-place airplane, weighing 4,050 pounds.

It was sold for $10,000 on March 30, 1929 to Frederick C. Porter of the Porter-Hughes (Charles M., not Howard) Aircraft Company, Brentwood Heights, CA. The company was a Buhl aircraft distributor. The flight logged in the Register is probably the ferry flight of this new airplane from the factory to the west coast.

Porter sold it on October 11, 1929 to the Bankline Oil Company of Los Angeles, CA for $17,000 (a tidy profit, made just before the stock market crashed on "Black Tuesday", October 29, 1929!). Bankline sold it on January 27, 1931 to Los Angeles Aircraft, Ltd. of Inglewood, CA, "to be used for motion picture work only". It had the door and two seats removed, and was restricted to the "pilot & photographer with seat belts and parachutes".

It suffered an accident on August 27, 1931 at Fresno, CA (no indication if it was employed in motion picture work at the time). It had damage to the spars and lower right wing. Repairs were made, and Wright engine S/N 19842 was installed. On April 9, 1932, with 588:52 total flight hours, Wright engine S/N 10374 was reinstalled (we assume it was overhauled).

Now, on May 9, 1933, NC9629 was reported held by U.S. Customs at Rockwell Field, San Diego, CA. The Customs Service report of September 13, 1932 (note the dates of seizure and reporting are quite far apart!) states:

"Airplane arriving from Mexico on 9/11/32 about 8 miles west of Fallbrook, Calif. seized by immigration patrol officers Renshaw, Ripley and Edwards, along with 175 gallons of liquors and a Marmon Coupe. Turned in at Chula Vista Patrol Hqtrs. were two prisoners: Sam Wise and Robert Earl Stevenson held under bonds of $5000 each. Airplane flown to Army Field, Coronado, Calif. & placed in storage. (Laws violated: Section 3061 & 3062 of revised statutes)."

The Marmon Coupe was probably the transfer vehicle for the contraband liquor meeting the airplane at Fallbrook. The Buhl was clearly not capable of carrying an automobile. On September 26, 1933, the airplane was recorded in the name of the United States Bureau of Customs. There is no record of its use by Customs. As of May 16, 1934, it was "transferred to U.S. Coast Guard", when "all flying activities fo U.S. Customs consolidated with and placed under supervision of U.S. Coast Guard."

NC9629 also landed twice a couple of years later at the Grand Central Air Terminal. There are photographs available at the link.


UPLOADED: 03/15/06 REVISED: 11/07/07, 06/03/08, 02/09/13, 08/18/13

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.


For information regarding the use of some confiscated aircraft by the US Coast Guard, please direct your browser to this link shared with us by site visitor Ken Freeze.


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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