FROM THE GOLDEN STATE TO THE DEEP WOODS OF MONTANA
This airplane is a Travel Air Model B-6000 (S/N 1027; ATC
#130). It was manufactured by the Travel Air Company, Wichita,
KS on May 8, 1929. It came from the factory with a Wright
J-6 engine (S/N 10372) of 300 HP. It was a six-place airplane
weighing 4,230 pounds. It sold to H.C. Lippiatt of Hollywood,
CA on May 8, 1929. Lippiatt was a Travel Air dealer.
Lippiatt sold it to G.E.
Ruckstell of West Los Angeles,
CA on July 12, 1929. It sold twice more in 1929 and 1930,
winding up in the hands of Roy T. Minor on April 22, 1930.
In the hands of pilot Minor, NC9813 landed at Tucson on September
16, 1930 carrying three unidentified passengers.
They were west bound from El Paso, TX to Los
Minor sold the airplane to Aero Brokerage Service Co. of
Los Angeles on January 29, 1931. It then began a life inland,
first being transferred to an owner in Spokane, WA on
the same date. It stayed in Spokane until March 1934, accumulating
667:50 flight hours.
It then was sold farther inland to Idaho, where, from 1935
to 1939 it operated as an air transport and forest service observer.
It had accumulated 1,790:25 flight hours as of June 22, 1939.
On August 22, 1939 it suffered an accident at 8:00PM about
15 miles SW of Hamilton, MT. The pilot and single passenger
suffered major injuries.
They were flying a forest firefighter support mission in
Roaring Lion Canyon (the metaphor holds). The mission was
to drop supplies to men on the ground. In
turbulent air conditions, on the final trip into the canyon,
the airplane was flying at 500 feet above the trees searching
for the fire fighter's campsite. The site had been burned
over and abandoned, and the pilot attempted to turn to leave
the canyon when the aircraft
was caught in a down draft which forced it into trees. The
airplane, except for the engine, was a total loss. There was no mention of the fate of the crew.
The registration was cancelled as of August 22, 1939.
UPLOADED: 03/23/06 REVISED: 07/06/11