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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.

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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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MONOSPORT NC8957

Registration Number NC8957

A Day Before Dying

This aircraft is a Monosport, S/N 2000 (ATC #GR2-134), manufactured May 28, 1929 by the Mono-Aircraft, Inc. Moline, IL. It had a 110 HP Warner Scarab engine S/N 249. It weighed 1,650 pounds as a two-place airplane. It landed twice at Tucson.

It was re-manufactured as of October 11, 1929 with new landing gear and engine mount to conform to ATC #GR2-109. The fuselage was re-covered.

NC8957 landed first at Tucson on October 23, 1929 piloted solo by Donald A. Luscombe, the founder of the Luscombe aircraft manufacturing company. He was northwest bound from Douglas, AZ to Los Angeles, CA.

Between Luscombe's landing and the next one, we find NC8957 cited in the logbook of pilot R.W. Henderson. Please direct you browser to his link to examine his entry in Logbook #1, page 7.

We find the airplane at Tucson for the second time on December 18, 1929, piloted by R.T. “Stub” Quimby carrying passenger J.B. Hinchey (an air racer in the late 30s, who landed twice at Tucson a year or so later also flying Monocoupes). They arrived from Los Angeles at 3:10PM and were eastbound at 3:30 to Moline, IL. Note the quick turnaround.

The airplane crashed at Amarillo, TX on December 18, 1929. The wing struck the ground in landing; the cause offered was, “possibly darkness.” Pilot Quimby (transport license #103) was not injured, and, if he was still in the airplane, neither was Hinchey, since he came back to Tucson twice the following year flying his own aircraft.

It doesn’t take much forensic speculation to guess what happened. Twenty minutes on the ground at Tucson says they were probably in a hurry. An airplane following a direct route to Amarillo from Tucson (about 520 miles) at, say, 80 MPH, would require a good 7-8 hours of flight time. If they chose to try to make Amarillo that evening (and don't forget, they would have to stop for fuel a couple of more times), they would have arrived in the early hours of the 19th. Fatigue; darkness; probably a strange airport; a classic setup for problems that could have been prevented had they simply decided to break that chain late that afternoon and remain overnight at Tucson, enjoy a hot meal at, say, the Pioneer Hotel, get a good night's sleep and depart early on the 19th.

The final disposition of the aircraft states, “wing and fuselage damaged beyond repair, complete washout.” The registration was cancelled 2/14/30.

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 08/16/05 REVISED: 10/18/11, 04/25/12

 
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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.

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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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