"COMPLETELY DESTROYED BY FIRE AT ANCHORAGE, ALASKA 11/23/37"
airplane is a Fairchild Model F-71 (S/N 607; ATC #89) manufactured
in January, 1929 by the Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corporation,
Farmingdale, NY. It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney
Wasp engine (S/N 927) of 410HP. It was a seven-place airplane
weighing in at 5,500 pounds gross. It was a large airplane,
with a wingspan of 50 feet and a length of 35' 7".
It sold on January 29, 1929 to United Aviation Corporation
of Chicago, IL for $18,900. J.
Parker Van Zandt was Vice
President of this organization. United at the time was operating
Scenic Airways and Interstate Airlines as subsidiaries. The
airplane was immediately transferred to Scenic Airways (of
which Van Zandt was President), "for aerial transportation
& sight-seeing through the southwestern states and occasional
flights in Mexico."
We find the airplane at Tucson for its first of three landings
on March 1, 1929. The pilot was Philip D. Lucas (transport
license #730). He carried five unidentified passengers, and
they were southeast bound from Phoenix, AZ to El Paso, TX.
His passengers were lucky, because two weeks later, on March
17,1929, pilot Lucas wrecked the airplane at El Paso with
six passengers on board. No one was injured, but the airplane
suffered a wiped out landing gear, and damage to the lower
part of the fuselage and wing tip and the propeller. The
accident report states, "L/G collapsed on T/O. Excessive
strain due to ground loop." The airplane was shipped to the
Fairchild factory and repaired as of August 7, 1929.
On March 4, 1930 it was sold to Frank Free of Phoenix, AZ
Sky Harbor Airport. It landed again at Tucson on March15,
by Charles Goldtrap carrying six passengers. Their itinerary
was a round robin from Phoenix. Scenic Airways had, by this
time, folded due to the Depression, and Sky Harbor was relatively
barren. Ruth Reinhold (reference, left sidebar, p. 184) describes
|"The year 1930 was an unhappy one
for Scenic Airways' Phoenix Sky Harbor. The field's new
owners....had no desire to run and airport; thus Charlie
Goldtrap, the former operator of South-Central, was invited
to become 'nominal manager.' He and his partner...moved
in with their Monocoupes and a Monoprep. These, plus
a new Aeronca and a few privately owned units, helped
to fill the void left by Scenic's departure."
Below is an image from the same reference showing the flight
line at Sky Harbor in 1930. You can see two Mono-aircraft
at left; third from left appears to be an Aeronca. The big
Fairchild was also resident, but does not appear in this
The airplane's final visit to Tucson was on July 16, 1930 piloted
by Henry J. Hoey carrying four passengers. They were northbound
from Nogales, AZ to Grand Canyon, AZ. Three days later on
the 19th it was purchased again by United Aviation Corp.,
who transferred it to Richard K. Peck of Elgin, IL on November
NC9738 went through the hands of two more owners in the
Chicago area. It then sold on May 25, 1935 to Jay Graybill
at Boeing Field, Seattle, WA. He had floats installed in
September, 1936 when the airplane had accumulated 600 flight
Graybill sold the airplane to Al Jones of Anchorage, AK
on June 23, 1937. He installed water rudders on the floats
in July, and a Wasp C engine (S/N 1884) was installed on
September 30, 1937 at 748 total flight hours.
Two months later, the final disposition states, "COMPLETELY
DESTROYED BY FIRE AT ANCHORAGE, ALASKA 11/23/37."
UPLOADED: 03/23/06 REVISED: 11/07/07, 06/16/11