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This information comes from the listings of Non-Prefixed and Non-Suffixed aircraft reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.

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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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FORD TRIMOTOR NC4532

Registration Number NC4532

Merry Christmas

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.

NC5578
NC5578

NC4532 landed at Tucson on April 13, 1928 piloted by Larry Fritz, an 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.

NC4532, ca. 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.

Maddux Air Lines Brochure, 1929

The same image as in the Aero Digest article was used by Maddux for its 1929 time table and tariff brochure (right).

In January 1929, NC4532 suffered an accident in Santa Rosa, CA. Register pilot M. Guglielmetti (transport license #5064) reported that, “wheel struck soft spot in landing, nosing up on sudden stop.” Five passengers reported no injuries, however the airplane had a, “buckled 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 taken.

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)
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., San Francisco, 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? ………………… .…Unfortunately, yes.
2. Is the aircraft now in service?......................... ..........No.
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.

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UPLOADED: 06/05 REVISED: 04/20/06, 04/21/06, 09/03/06, 01/02/15, 09/12/16

 
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