This airplane is a Travel Air 4000, S/N 640. It landed three times at Tucson, each time flown by Joseph M. Bennett. His first visit was on Sunday September 9, 1928. He carried two passengers, Mrs. A.E. Conant and Mrs. W.L. Curtis. Based in Bradford, PA, they were westbound from Lordsburg, NM to Los Angeles, CA. Bennett may have been on his way to LA as part of the entourage in the "On to Los Angeles" competition during the National Air Races. His second visit, on September 15th, was probably their eastbound return from Los Angeles after the air race. He carried the same two women.
Bennett's final visit was almost three years later on Monday, August 17, 1931. He was solo westbound from El Paso, TX to Los Angeles. There was no reason given in the Register for his flight. Pilot Bennett has no web presence as of the date of upload of this page.
Below, NC6142 on the ground, where contributor Dan Crouchley (credit, right sidebar) says he can, "...safely conclude that the photo of NC6142 was taken on my grandfather's camera at Grafton Airfield, North Grafton, Massachusetts on Saturday, August 31 or Sunday September 1, 1940 ("Labor Day weekend"). My Grandparents drove there from Providence to pick up my Dad from his extended flight lessons prior to returning for his senior year at Providence College. Grafton field is no longer there, now fully covered by development."
Travel Air NC6142, ca. 1941
Further, he says of the image, "...The photo was from my grandfather's photo album. My Dad learned to fly as a senior at Providence College and did his flying in that area. He then joined the Air Corp in July 1941 and trained at Stamford, Texas and Randolph Field, Texas.... His records show that he trained 25 hours in a Travel Air, so possibly this is that one or one similar. He trained at Hillsgrove Airport, near Warwick, Rhode Island, and took a flying course from "Jennings Brothers Air" at North Grafton, Massachusetts."
The automobiles visible in the background on the original photo corroborate the date. Note the seat belt straps hanging out of the front and rear cockpits.
UPLOADED: 02/28/08 REVISED: