Registration Number NC8617
A History Of Accidents, A Few Questionable
Pilots, And Some Not So Questionable
This aircraft was a Fleet Husky 1/2 with original manufacturer’s
serial number 29. The Fleet Aircraft Company, Buffalo, NY
built it on 3/30/29. It left the factory at 1,580 lbs., with
a 110 HP Warner Scarab engine S/N 184. It was a two-passenger
airplane that landed four times at Tucson. See its sister
ships, NC8601, NC8602
It sold on 3/30/29 to United Aviation Corp., Chicago, IL,
then directly to Scenic Airways, Inc., Phoenix, AZ on 3/31/29
for, “passenger carrying and student instruction.”
We see the airplane land for the first time on 4/12/1929 piloted
solo by A.E. Hamer. He was northwest bound from El Paso, TX
to Phoenix, AZ. Hamer also landed solo the second time on
4/27/1929. He was headed from Pearce, AZ to Phoenix.
It suffered an accident on 7/15/29 (no details on where,
or who was flying). It required replacement of the left upper
and both right wings. The engine was also replaced with Warner
The airplane sold on 4/9/30 to O’Donnell Aircraft,
Inc. of Long Beach, CA. The company was owned by James Lloyd
O’Donnell and Gladys O’Donnell, both well-known
pilots and signers of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register.
They bought it on 4/9/30 from receivership on behalf of Scenic
Airways. The O’Donnells installed a new engine cowling
and re-covered the entire ship.
It suffered an accident on 10/5/30 at Long Beach, which required
replacement of the spars and repair to the left upper wing.
On 5/27/31 the registration was suspended for a violation
of the Air Commerce Act. The airplane was allowed to be flown
between 5/11 and 5/31 by an unlicensed pilot (May E. Davis).
She offered an explanation, paid a penalty, and the registration
We find the airplane at Tucson for the third time on 8/24/1931
piloted by Robert Barber carrying Randall Scott as passenger.
They were headed from Calexico, CA to Douglas, AZ. It landed
for the last time somewhere between 8/24 and 9/4/31 piloted
by Sam Goodson. He left no record of where he came from or
where he was going.
Another accident at Rodeo, NM on 9/11/31 resulted in replacement
of spars and landing gear parts.
And yet another accident at Long Beach, CA on 1/18/32 resulted
in a violation to the pilot. Geo. A. Hales (private license
# 20882) was cited for, “incompetency, carelessness”
and his license was suspended for 60 days.
On 1/31/33 the airplane transferred to Milo G. Burcham of
Long Beach, CA. Burcham was an early aerobatic pilot. It suffered
an accident at Dycer Airport in Los Angeles on 12/14/33, which
required repairs to both lower wings, motor ring and mount,
center section, and top struts. The engine was converted to
a Kinner K-5, S/N 592.
On 3/7/34, Burcham sold the airplane to the Chinese Aviation
Research Association, Los Angeles, CA. Over the next two years
it remained in the Chinese community, selling six times to
owners with Chinese surnames. On 7/8/37, with 2114:20 flight
hours, the airplane sold to the Ryan Aeronautical Corp. of
On 12/6/37 it suffered its final accident at Palo Alto, CA.
The pilot, Fred Munro (never landed at Tucson), was injured
and cited in a violation for, “flying while intoxicated
and making false statement of U.S. citizenship (native of
Toronto, Canada).” His license (#8617) was revoked 6/8/38.
It then sold five more times up to 12/19/38, finally being
owned by Western Air College of Alhambra, CA. It was reported
to be rebuilt by the College, but it was not presented for
inspection, there was no approval for its airworthiness certificate,
and the registration was cancelled on 7/8/39.
UPLOADED: 08/05/05 REVISED: