Registration Number 7705
It Carried A Torch Singer And Trusty
This aircraft is a Buhl CA-8 Senior Air Sedan, S/N 39 (ATC
#GR2-46), built in August 1928 by Buhl Aircraft Company, Marysville,
MI. It had a 400-410 HP Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine, S/N
816. It weighed 6,100 pounds and left the factory as an eight-place
airplane. It was sold new on October 4, 1928 for $21,000 to the Casco
Development Co. Butte, MT for, “visiting mining properties,
U.S., Central and South America.” W.A. Clark III was
president and Director of Casco. The assigned pilot was Harold
J. “Jack” Lynch (transport license #1101) of Los
Angeles, CA. This airplane visited Tucson twice.
We find 7705 in Tucson on October 16, 1928 piloted by Jack Lynch.
He carried two passengers, Mrs. W.A. Clark and her daughter,
on their way from Los Angeles to El Paso, TX. Ten days later,
on October 26, 1928, we find the airplane again in Tucson headed
from El Paso to Los Angeles with pilot Lynch carrying three
passengers this time, Mr. Clark, R.I. Wescott and singer Helen
Morgan. Some visitors may remember her work of the late
20s, “Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" and "Bill".
Below, an undated photograph of 7705 (cited, left sidebar). Although undated, the photo is probably earlier than May, 1932 when the "NX" registration was approved (see below). It would have worn "NX7705" on its wing if this photo was taken after that. Pilot Lynch stands by the airplane and inscribed this personal token, "To My Pal Pete. Sincerely, Jack Lynch." Lynch wears a double-breasted blazer, cap and knickers.
Buhl 7705 With Pilot Lynch, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Flickr)
The airplane moved to Los Angeles and, on April 22, 1932, Mr. Clark
applied for an experimental license for the airplane for,
“parachute exhibition dropping.” It was approved
for “X” license May 4, 1932, but it seems Mr. Clark
didn’t get to see much parachuting. He was reported
deceased in May. Indeed, he and Mr. Lynch were killed in an accident, which was reported in the Prescott (AZ) Evening Courier of May 16, 1932. Headlined "CLARK AND LYNCH KILLED IN VERDE CRASH," the article reported that Lynch was instructing Clark in the art of blind or instrument flight. A technique then of decending from clouded areas was to put the airplane into a spin and recover from the spin once clear air was reached.
Their airplane was put into a spin and it never recovered. Both men were killed instantly. Clark was 29 and Lynch 43 years old. They left two wives and five children between them. The airplane they crashed in was NC6481, a Stearman C-3B, not a Register airplane. Photos of NC6481, and of Lynch and Clark, are at the link. More information is at the biography page link for Lynch, above.
In Clark's absence, Buhl 7705 was still modified to, “demonstrate
the Trusty Life-Saving Device which is built into the plane.”
It was desired to make an 8-month tour of the U.S. with two
pilots and four professional parachute jumpers to demonstrate
the device patented by Harry P. Trusty. The Trusty system
was essentially parachutes for the pilot’s and each
passenger’s seat that were controlled by the pilot.
There is no record of the results of testing, but Mr. Trusty
bought the airplane on June 21, 1933. As of May 1, 1935, he had re-covered
the rear of the fuselage, wings and tail surfaces at Aero
Trades, Roosevelt Field, NY. The airplane had accumulated
600:00 flight hours.
An undated (but probably sometime in May 1935) letter from
Mr. Trusty to Mr. Eugene Vidal, D.O.C., Washington, DC is
part of this aircraft’s NASM record. On the letterhead
of “The Trusty Life Saving Device for Passenger Carrying
Aircraft” Los Angeles, CA, Mr. Trusty writes:
“Dear Mr. Vidal:
"Regarding the experimental license on my Buhl Air Sedan,
equipped with the trusty Life Saving Device, I wish
to know if it will now be possible for me to obtain
and NC license in place of my experimental license since
my Life Saving Device is no longer in the experimental
stage; also in view of the following.
“The Aero Trades Corporation, at Roosevelt Field,
has just completely overhauled my plane. This included
recovering and doping all wings, tail surfaces and the
rear end of the fuselage. Also repainted the whole ship.
They installed new approved type navigation lights and
new gasoline gauges.
“Mr. Donald B. Walling, of Roosevelt Field, gave
the motor a major overhauling [this overhaul is not
mentioned in the NASM record].
“The propeller and hub were inspected and tested
by The Pester Propeller Service [also not mentioned
in the “official” record].
“All the work was inspected and approved by the
Department of Commerce at Roosevelt Field, and my plane
and motor are now in A-1 condition.
“Kindly advise me regarding this matter as early
There is no record of the response to Trusty's request. He sold
the airplane on October 22, 1937 to William M. Keenan who planned
to convert it to 6 or 8-passenger configuration. No bill of
sale or other documents were submitted to the government,
however, and the registration had already been cancelled as
of November 16, 1936. No further information for this, seemingly pristine,
UPLOADED: 07/26/05 REVISED: 12/17/09, 02/25/15