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
Monica, CA. Soon, the airplane would be the property of the
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
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
|"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