The Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register

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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.


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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This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5 (S/N 73; ATC #93) manufactured during May 1929 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA.  It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp B engine (S/N 1449) of 450 HP.  It was a five-place airplane.

It sold on an unspecified date in 1929 to the Schlee-Brock Aircraft Company, Detroit, MI.  Schlee-Brock was a Lockheed Distributor.  NC891E landed at Tucson once on June 5, 1929 flown by R.O.D. Sullivan.  He carried two passengers: his wife and son.  They were westbound from El Paso, TX to Santa Monica, CA.  There is no indication in the NASM record why Sullivan was flying the airplane at this time.  The airplane was about a month old.

Schlee-Brock transferred it to Middle States Airlines, Akron, OH later in 1929.  Middle States sold it to Midland Air Express, Kansas City, MO in 1930. The airplane shows up in this role in the pilot log of R.W. Henderson (see his Logbook #1, PDF page 17).

Midland Air Express sold NC891E to Air Express Corporation, New York, NY in 1932.  Air Express flew it on their trans-continental cargo routes between 1932 and 1933 as their aircraft #102.  It had been modified to a cargo carrier, with a “high-speed”, braced landing gear.  It was painted silver with green trim.

NC891E was sold during October 1933 to Capitol Airlines, Inc., Sacramento & San Bruno, CA who converted the airplane to a Vega 5C under ATC #384.

On February 21, 1934 the airplane was sold to Capitol Speed Lines, Inc., San Francisco, CA.  It was flown briefly on their Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, Marysville, Chico, Red Bluff and Redding routes. 

On March 28, 1934 NC891E sold to Varney Speed Lanes, Burbank, CA.  It was operated by Varney’s Southwest Division out of El Paso, TX.  It suffered an accident near Rattlesnake Butte, CO on May 1, 1935.  Pilot John J. Montijo (he was one of Amelia Earhart’s flight instructors) struck the ground in a low turn.  Montijo was killed. The Department of Commerce accident report is downloadable from Montijo's biography page at the link.

Besides its visit at Tucson, NC891E landed twice at Parks Airport. Please direct your browser to the link for further information.


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 06/01/06 REVISED: 03/01/11, 10/18/11, 03/28/13, 01/17/14

The Register
I'm looking for photographs of this airplane to include on this page. If you have one or more you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.

---o0o--- Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of 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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