Wilford Gerbracht was an aircraft business owner based in Ames, IA. His business, the Gerbracht Aeronautic Corporation, was co-owned with his brother, Joe. They offered flight training and charter flights in a cabin Travel Air they named "Pegasus". Site visitor D. Cahill says about that airplane, "The Gerbracht airplane depicted in the photo at the Ames [Historical Society, link below] site is the first Travel Air 7000 "Pegasus" (there were 4 of them, but this may be the only Hisso- powered ship.) Just called a "Pegasus" originally, the "thousand" nomenclature came later."
You can read about their business and see excellent images of the Gerbracht brothers, their airplanes, including "Pegasus", and an aerial view of their airfield at this link from the Ames Historical Society. From the description of the airfield at the link, there were two physical locations, one before and one after 1927. These locations were divined using Google Earth, and are described more fully at the Ames link, above.
Gerbracht landed at Tucson and signed the Register twice. His visits appear to coincide with a three-week round-trip from Iowa to the west coast. His first landing was on Tuesday, June 28, 1927 at 8:30AM. He was flying a Travel Air, NC1076. It is not clear if any of the aircraft pictured at the Historical Society link, above, are of NC1076 (registration numbers are not visible).
Regardless, his single passenger was James Hall, Jr. They were westbound from El Paso, TX to Los Angeles, CA. They were inspected by the U.S. Border Patrol, and the officer signed the Remarks column of the Register, "W.B. Crow Patrol Inspector".
His second visit to Tucson was on Wednesday, July 20, 1927. He was flying the same Travel Air, carrying passenger Frank Goodale. They were eastbound from Yuma, AZ to El Paso. Gerbracht was probably on his return trip home to Iowa in this relatively new airplane. He was again inspected by the Border Patrol and the Remarks column was signed, ""Chester Gracie U.S.I.S. Border Patrol".
Mike Gerow provides us with the following news quote from the Ames Daily Tribune and Ames Evening Times, July 6, 1926. The Gerbracht brothers' "Pegasus" was used to give airplane rides (last paragraph).
"AMES OBSERVES FOURTH OF JULY BY CELEBRATIONS - 2,000 ATTEND BAPTIST PICNIC AT MAXWELL PARK -- Patriotic gatherings in Ames and adjoining communities Sunday marked Fourth of July observance for Story county people. Of primary importance to Ames people was the patriotic program at Maxwell park sponsored by the Christian churches of Boone and Story counties which was attended by 2,000 persons.
"Judge Hubert Utterback of Des Moines in the principal address issued a challenge to good citizenship. A talk by Miss Charlotte Fraser, immigration worker of New York City, dealt with a related subject. Miss Fraser also spoke last night at the Baptist church on her work among the foreigners.
Several thousand persons heard Col. Smith W. Brookhart, republican nominee for United States senator, in a patriotic address at Dayton's park Sunday afternoon. The Des Moines University choir under the direction of Dean Raymond Carr was also an attraction at Dayton's.
"Many Story county persons were at Lake Comar Sunday to take part in the patriotic ceremonies conducted by the Ames post, American Legion which were part of a nation-wide program given by Legion posts thruout the country at the same hour.
"OPEN SWIMMING POOL -- The Fourth also marked the opening of Riverside park with its large swimming pool on East Sixteenth street. During the weekend, scores of local people found relief from the heat in the pool which had just been completed for the holiday. The Ames municipal band appeared in three concerts at the park Sunday.
"Seventy-three flights were reported by the Gerbracht Aeronautic company during the opening two days of its airport, about 60 per cent of the passengers being women. Every city in Story county was represented among the passengers, while three tourists parties stopped to take a flight. Wilford Gerbracht, who holds both national and international pilot licenses, piloted the Pegasus on all flights. More than 4,000 persons visited the airport the first two days, according to check made at the gate."
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 02/11/09 REVISED: 02/24/09, 03/01/09