Registration Number NC4532
Here is an example of an airplane juggled between owners
and creditors on the cusp of the Great Depression.
This airplane is a Ford 4-AT, S/N 4-AT-16, rolled out the
door on March 8, 1928 by Stout Metal Airplane Co., Dearborn, MI.
It was sold to Maddux Air Lines, Inc. of Los
Angeles, CA on March 29, 1928. Register passenger Jack Maddux was the owner of the airline.
It was a trimotored airplane with Wright engines
L-7543, C-8094, R-8155. Below, courtesy of the San Diego Aerospace Museum Flickr Stream (SDAM), is a photograph of NC4532, Cliff Henderson on the left, with three other unidentified gentlemen. If you can help identify them, please let me KNOW.
NC4532 landed at Tucson on April 13, 1928 piloted by Larry
early transport pilot and Chief Pilot for Maddux. He carried
seven passengers (out of 12 possible), including Mr. & Mrs.
Maddux, Mr. & Mrs. A.A. Alton, Mr. & Mrs. J.N. Kerwin and Melanie J. Miller. They were on a round-robin trip from Los Angeles,
staying on the ground in Tucson for only an hour. Image, below, of NC4532 in flight is from Aero Digest, July, 1928.
Although difficult to read, the text talks about a round trip made by the reporter
on Maddux Air Lines over the Los Angeles to San Francisco
route with a stop at Bakersfield,
CA. The author was very satisfied with the voyage; comfort,
fellow passengers, speed and accomodations. For the flight
experience aboard a sister ship, see NC1781.
The same image as in the Aero Digest article was used by
Maddux for its 1929 time table and tariff brochure (right).
January 1929, NC4532 suffered an accident in Santa Rosa,
CA. Register pilot M. Guglielmetti (transport license #5064) reported
struck soft spot in landing, nosing up on sudden stop.” Five
passengers reported no injuries, however the airplane had
fuselage in front of rudder & crushed bulkheads in 4
rear bays.” Mr.
Maddux called it, “A trifling accident.” It
was repaired as of February 15, 1929 with replacement parts coming
from the factory.
In August 1929, the airplane transferred to the Maddux Air
Lines Company (note the difference: “Company”
vs. “Inc.”). In October there was a violation
cited involving the, “mate on this airplane and use
of intoxicating liquor by passengers.” Prohibition was
still the law of the land, don’t forget. But, no action was
Regardless, the photograph below was taken by your Webmaster of a framed image on the wall of a Los Angeles restaurant. It was undated, but it wears the Maddox livery, which dates it to post-1929.
Ford NC4532 Aloft, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Webmaster)
Maddux sold NC4532 to Consolidated Air Lines, Sacramento,
CA on September 23, 1930, with legal ownership
on the bill of sale assigned to Aviation Credit Corp.,
CA. A certificate of repossession was issued
by Aviation Credit on Jamuary 28, 1931, simultaneous with its sale
to Western Pacific Aviation Corp., Alameda Airport, Alemeda,
CA. Six seats were removed as Western Pacific intended
to use the ship primarily for freight. Curtains and curtain
rods were also removed.
A certificate of repossession was again issued by Aviation
Credit on April 24, 1931, simultaneous with its sale to Pony Express
Company, Seattle, WA. Its registration had expired, and it
was granted a ferry flight from Seattle to Swan Island for
inspection. The inspection failed because of corrosion on
the wing and fuselage.
On June 24, 1931 title again went to Aviation Credit. With over
a year hiatus, an inquiry by the federal government to Aviation
Credit Corp. on November 22, 1932 was answered thus:
“1. Do you still own the aircraft? …………………
2. Is the aircraft now in service?.........................
3. Has it been permanently dismantled or salvaged?..Not licensed,
nor fit to fly.”
There was no answer to a query made in November, 1934. The registration
was revoked December 26, 1934, Merry Christmas.
UPLOADED: 06/05 REVISED: 04/20/06, 04/21/06, 09/03/06, 01/02/15, 09/12/16