Registration Number NC1082
It Probably Was Love...
This airplane is a Travel Air Model 4000, manufacturer’s
serial number 203. It was manufactured 8/9/1927 by Travel
Air Manufacturing Company, Inc., Wichita, KS. It was sold,
and license applied for the same day, to J. Lloyd O’Donnell,
139 North Milton Ave., Whittier, CA. As it left the factory,
its original registration number was non-prefixed, that is
1082 was not preceded by NC, NR or NX. That is why it appears
in the Register
as just a number. It came from the factory with a 200 HP Wright
J-5 C engine, S/N 7646. The airplane weighed 2,450 pounds.
The Davis-Monthan transient log lists 3 visits by NC1082
between August 21,1927 and October 1, 1927. The pilot for the first two
visits was J.L. O’Donnell. Based in Los Angeles (“racers
airport” noted in the margin by the pilot, probably
Beach), the airplane was inspected by the U.S. Border Patrol while it was on the ground at Tucson. Its second visit is an arrival from New York,
NY with a pilot’s notation in the remarks section of
“Can’t possibly be love”. One could wonder
if the love object was the airplane, or some person. Chances
are it is the latter, since Lloyd was the husband of pilot
Gladys O'Donnell (signed the Register in 1929 and 1931), and
he would be returning home to her after a long cross-country
The airplane changed hands a couple of times, was registered
as NC1082, and on August 24, 1931 it was sold to Milo H. Campbell,
6331 Wingham, Pine Lawn, MO. Mr. Campbell was a TWA pilot.
On its third visit to Davis-Monthan on April 22, 1932, it is piloted
by Mr. Campbell carrying his wife as lone passenger.
Between 1932 and 1937 it changed hands 8 more times. It was
reconditioned and overhauled, speed cowlings and wheel fairings
removed, and a 35-gallon sky-writing oil tank installed in
the front cockpit (registered NR and “restricted for
sky-writing”). On August 19, 1938 it suffered an accident
in Traverse City, MI (pilot was Vincent Mulac). It had about 1,000 hours total time. It was
“not to be rebuilt”, and its license cancelled
on November 2, 1938.
Update of June 11, 2014: Vincent Mulac's grandson contacted me and states: "The pilot was my grandfather. He didn't die until 1974. He was the airport manager in Traverse City before moving to Ohio and finally Burlington, Vermont to run a training school for Northeastern Airlines during WWII and remained here until his death."
UPLOADED: 6/9/05 REVISED: 11/18/08, 06/11/14