This aircraft was a Fokker F-10 tri-motor, (S/N 1002; ATC
Gr. 2-2), manufactured May 3, 1928 by the Atlantic Aircraft
Corporation, Teterboro Airport, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. It
left the factory with three Pratt & Whitney Wasp engines
(S/N L 705; C 685; R 706) of 420 HP each. It was a
It sold on May 11, 1928 to Western Air Express, Inc., Los
Angeles, CA. A week later, on May 18, 1928 at 12:15PM,
we find NC5358 landing at Tucson flown by Hugh Wells carrying
seven passengers. The passengers were listed in the
Register, so we know who they were: Local journalist
Mrs. Bernice Cosulich of the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson,
D.R. Lane, H.D. Maier, W.R. Yahner, James T. King, and Lt.
and Mrs. R.C. Moffat.
Pilot and passengers were northwestbound from El Paso, TX to Phoenix, AZ. Theirs was a goodwill voyage as indicated
in the Remarks section of the Register. They were
traveling, "From Teterboro Airport, N.J. to Los Angeles,
final destination." Further, the flight was sponsored
by the, "California Development Association Goodwill
Tour, Plane No. 3". Los Angeles appeared to be
the first stop on the west coast, but they would continue, "To
San Francisco/ Western Air Express #3".
Two days before it landed at Tucson, NC5358 was photographed at Kansas City, MO. You can view the photograph at the link. It looks like the airplane is on its landing approach. It is unusual that we can piece together any sort of an itinerary for a Register airplane. But in this case we have Kansas City, El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco. There may have been other stops in between in the spirit of "good will."
A few days later, a sister F-10, NX5170 landed being flown by Max Cornwell. NX5170 and 5358 were two of the three airliners being flown to the west coast for service with Western Air Express. Please direct your browser to Wells' and Cornwell's links for further information.
I haven’t researched it, but pilot Hugh Wells may
have served with Pan American Airways later on. Does anyone KNOW? He did operate a passenger and freight airline in Peru, at least until 1941.
A year or so later, NC5358 was remodeled (no details) on
July 15, 1929 by Western Air Express. It suffered an
accident at Oakland, CA on December 26, 1929. WAE advised
the CAA of their intention to rebuild the airplane, but there
is no record of this having been done. The file for
the airplane was cancelled April 27, 1931. No further
UPLOADED: 07/06/06 REVISED: 02/28/11, 03/17/13