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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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.


The fate of NC9813 was given full account in "Talltimber Pilots" (1953), and in "Fly the Biggest Piece Back" (1979). I have not read these books. If you have and would like to offer comments, please do here.

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TRAVEL AIR B-6000 NC9813


This airplane is a Travel Air Model B-6000 (S/N 1027; ATC #130). It was manufactured by the Travel Air Company, Wichita, KS on May 8, 1929. It came from the factory with a Wright J-6 engine (S/N 10372) of 300 HP. It was a six-place airplane weighing 4,230 pounds. It sold to H.C. Lippiatt of Hollywood, CA on May 8, 1929. Lippiatt was a Travel Air dealer.

Lippiatt sold it to G.E. Ruckstell of West Los Angeles, CA on July 12, 1929. It sold twice more in 1929 and 1930, winding up in the hands of Roy T. Minor on April 22, 1930. In the hands of pilot Minor, NC9813 landed at Tucson on September 16, 1930 carrying three unidentified passengers. They were west bound from El Paso, TX to Los Angeles, CA.

Minor sold the airplane to Aero Brokerage Service Co. of Los Angeles on January 29, 1931. It then began a life inland, first being transferred to an owner in Spokane, WA on the same date. It stayed in Spokane until March 1934, accumulating 667:50 flight hours.

It then was sold farther inland to Idaho, where, from 1935 to 1939 it operated as an air transport and forest service observer. It had accumulated 1,790:25 flight hours as of June 22, 1939. On August 22, 1939 it suffered an accident at 8:00PM about 15 miles SW of Hamilton, MT. The pilot and single passenger suffered major injuries.

They were flying a forest firefighter support mission in Roaring Lion Canyon (the metaphor holds). The mission was to drop supplies to men on the ground. In turbulent air conditions, on the final trip into the canyon, the airplane was flying at 500 feet above the trees searching for the fire fighter's campsite. The site had been burned over and abandoned, and the pilot attempted to turn to leave the canyon when the aircraft was caught in a down draft which forced it into trees. The airplane, except for the engine, was a total loss. There was no mention of the fate of the crew.

The registration was cancelled as of August 22, 1939.


UPLOADED: 03/23/06 REVISED: 07/06/11

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.


The 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, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.


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