The Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register

OTHER RESOURCES

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.

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http://www.cafepress.com/content/global/img/spacer.gifThe Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of www.dmairfield.org 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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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.  Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-1-8.

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Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
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ABOUT THE DATABASE

WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT WAS BUILT

The database was built with much labor and eyestrain over a four-month period from October 2000 to January 2001. Microsoft Access is the database engine. Take a look at some of the register page images (for example, this one) and you'll see what I had to read, interpret, and move through my fingertips to my computer and into Access!

The primary table is a flat file of 3,704 records, one each for every landing recorded in the Register. Each record consists of 45 fields. This yields a database with over 165,000 individual data points. Some of the fields are blank (as when a pilot did not enter a departure time or destination), but most are filled. The database is being updated constantly as I discover new information, or as more clear information enables me to correct errors of spelling or content. You may review the most recent updates to the site by clicking "What's New on the Site?" at the bottom of any page.

The database is quality controlled, in that I did edit pilot's names or other information for uniformity and searchability. For example, I added certain information that I knew. An example would be if Ira Eaker signed in as "I. Eaker," I made that entry in the database read "Ira C. Eaker". Likewise, I cross checked handwriting so that if the handwriting of "J. Smith" matched that of "John Smith" I uniformly entered the most complete name so I didn't count them as two different people. I also added city and state information to locations.

I added some fields to make the data more tractable. I added a key field, which assigns each record a sequential number in the order that it appears chronologically in the Register. This makes it easy to sort the database back to its original chronological sequence. I added internal URLs for pilots, places and airplane data, which enables intrasite links to information I provide for those entities.

I added a "VIP?" field in order to flag pilots, aircraft or passengers identified as famous for one reason or another. I added a "MilorCiv?" field to identify pilots as military or civilian. The "Civ" ranking was further broken down to identify female pilots with a "Fem" notation. There are 1,718 civilian records, including 58 landings by 42 female pilots. There are 1,913 military records. I separated passenger listings into fields with individual passenger names. Passenger lists were studied as a separate entity, especially helpful in analyzing air transport operations.

The Register contains a "Remarks" column, which I included as a separate field in the database. Surprisingly, very few pilots used that space to write anything. Where they did, I enclosed their words in quotes when I transcribed them to the database. I also used this field for my own remarks, for example, if I wanted to add information about the pilot or aircraft. Where I included my own remarks, I did not enclose them in quotation marks.

POSSIBLE SOURCES OF ERROR

The Register is handwritten with nib pens or pencils, and it is pushing 85 years old. As such, the information transcribed to the database was subject to my interpretations of handwriting, confounded by inkblots and smudges. As I read various books and articles and cross-reference the information with my database, I frequently find errors that I made during my original transcriptions. These errors are corrected immediately. Again, check "What's New on the Site?".

At DMAFB Ops. Office

Although I made good effort to cross check multiple entries by the same pilot to make sure I didn't confuse letters or numbers, some records were still open to interpretation. Where I couldn't decipher the text, I simply entered it as "Unreadable".

I was able, in September 2002, to visit with the original Register maintained at the Operations Office at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. I reduced significantly the numbers of "Unreadable" entries in my database by having access to clearer, high-quality images of the original (photo, left).

Here are some other possible sources of error in the database. Civilian and military pilots were generally identified and entered into the database by the type or registration number of airplane flown, or by military rank notations written in the log. There may be some military pilots who did not include rank, and who were flying civilian aircraft, that were counted as civilian. I have no way of determining that kind of error, and I encourage others who may analyze the database to correct them.

Likewise, female pilots were identified by given name. If a woman signed in using only first initials, I had no way of identifying her as female. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I entered as "Civ" (male) any pilots identified with only initials for their given name. Again, I encourage others who analyze the database to correct that type of error.

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THIS DATABASE DRIVES THIS WEBSITE

The dropdown menus you use to select pilots, airplanes, passengers, places, etc. are populated algorithmically by the database.

Likewise, whenever you see a pilot, airplane or other entity tabulated in a search result, those results are populated algorithmically by the database.

OTHER BOOKS FOR YOU

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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-2-5.

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Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. 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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-3-2.

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