I Fly Again!!

View products that support dmairfield.org

OTHER RESOURCES

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.

---o0o---

 
Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
CulturalMotion PicturesFriendsNon Profit statusProducts and services
ReferencesPublicationsCollectionsGuest EditorsPress Coverage

GEORGE "SLIM" MAVES

George Maves, Pickwick Airways Pilot, Date Unknown (Source: McGee)
George Maves, Pickwick Airways Pilot, Date Unknown

George Maves arrived at Tucson as a passenger with Wallace Beery on on December 18, 1928. They flew Travel Air NC9015. Beery had just taken delivery of this brand new airplane at the Travel Air factory in Wichita and he and Maves were headed back to Los Angeles, CA.

We are fortunate to have photos and information shared with us by Maves' niece and sister (cited, right sidebar).

According to an unidentified and undated newspaper account (probably from California, ca. March 25, 1930, see the link for the airplane), at the time of this ferry flight, Maves worked for Hollywood actor Beery as pilot/mechanic for this airplane. He was 24 years old and had learned to fly at age 19 at Clover Field, Santa Monica, CA, as a pupil of Register pilot Art Goebel.

After learning to fly, he was a stunt pilot and a member of several "air circuses", including the well-known Hollywood stunt team known as the Thirteen Black Cats.

 

Among Ms. McGee's collection, is this photograph, below, of George Maves, left, posed with members of The Thirteen Black Cats.

George "Slim" Maves, Left, Circa 1926 (Source: McGee)
George "Slim" Maves, Left, Circa 1926

The identical photograph, below, appears in Wynne cited in the REFERENCES. The airplane and the other pilots in the photo are identified in this photo. Other Register pilots who were Black Cats at one time or another were Paul Richter, Jr. and Art Goebel, who taught Maves how to fly.

George "Slim" Maves, Left, Circa 1926
George "Slim" Maves, Left, Circa 1926

After his stunt flying, he entered the employment of Beery, during which time he came to Tucson on December 18th. He then took a position with Pickwick Airways (portrait, above) flying mail planes into Mexico. About January, 1930 he left Pickwick and went back to work for Beery. It is this second period of employment with Beery where a tragic accident with NC9015 took Maves' life.

Additional details of the accident are included at the links for Beery and the airplane cited at the top of this page. Maves' passengers at the time of his accident were his wife, Cynthia, and fellow pilot Lynn H. Hayes. Below, an undated photograph of Cynthia D. Maves. The airplane is Buhl NC6816 (S/N 29; landed at Tucson twice) flown in a few events at the 1928 National Air Races.  It carried race number 49, which is not visible in this photograph.  The pilot, Lee F. Shoenhair, signed our Register flying this airplane.

Cynthia D. Maves, Date & Location Unknown (Source: McGee)
Cynthia D. Maves, Date & Location Unknown

 

Undated News Photo, Ca. March 25, 1930 (Source: McGee)
Undated News Photo, Ca. March 25, 1930

At right, from an undated news article published ca. March 25, 1930, a fragment of the photograph showing the scene of their crash. The fuselage tubing can be seen in the foreground of the image. The article states, "An aerial joyride yesterday afternoon resulted in the death of two men and a woman who had taken out the new six-place Travel-air [sic] monoplane belonging to Wallace Beery, the motion-picture actor, without, he said, his permission. The plane crashed in the San Pasqual wash about twenty feet north of Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel and in a few moments was a mass of flaming wreckage....

"The crash took place in full view of scores of motorists on Valley Boulevard and persons in front of shops along the highway. They hurried to the scene but were powerless to do anything, as the flames drove them back....

"Witnesses questioned by R.I. Hazen and L.J. Holoubeck, inspector of the United States Department of Commerce [and Register pilot] ... agreed .... that the plane approached Valley Boulevard from the south at a low altitude, variously put at 300 to 600 feet, that it began to turn to the left, that the motor had been idling, that the pilot banked the plane, that just over the wash the plane fell off instead of coming out of the bank and then plunged, nose down, into the wash."

Their flight condition sounds like whomever was flying the airplane got too slow, turned the airplane, and the angle of bank drove the stall speed up beyond their airspeed, resulting in a stall break and the classic stall-spin accident.

Regarding Beery, the article states, "When informed of the accident, Beery was much affected, as he had employed Maves for various periods totaling about a year and a half and had flown many hours with him.

"He was entirely unaware, until informed of the crash, he said, that Maves had taken the plane from its hangar at the United Airport in Burbank. Beery is himself a pilot, having 1700 hours of flying to his credit and he said Maves had been hired by him only to accompany him when he flew and to take care of the plane on the ground.

"Beery said he had flown the plane himself for five hours Sunday and apparently it was in excellent condition."

Regardless, in the aftermath, "Examination of the wreckage disclosed that Maves and Hayes had been seated in the forward part at the dual controls and therefore it is not known which was flying the plane at the time of the accident. Mrs. Maves had been seated in the rear part of the cabin. A freak of the fire was that although nearly all the clothing had been burned off the men, a little bit of leather jacket which Maves had been wearing was found and in its pocket was a paper of safety matches which had not become ignited."

And further, "Maves and his wife had been married only two months.... Hayes, who was 26 years of age, leaves a widow and two small children...."

Additional information from Russ Plehinger on August 20, 2009 states, "My files indicate 3/14/30 as date of death.
Lynn Hayes, killed with him, had been a refueling pilot on a 6/30/29 endurance flight made by [Register pilot] Leo Nomis.  Hayes is not listed in my book as I discovered this info after publication.  Somewhere I have a photo of him.  Plane in photograph is a Buhl CA-3C Airsedan, possibly NC-6816 [see the airplane with Cynthia Maves standing in front of it, above]." Note the discrepancy in the date of death. The airplane record for NC9015 states that the airplane crashed on March 25, 1930. Can anyone CORROBORATE the date?

---o0o---

Dossier 2.3.12

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 07/29/09 REVISED: 08/20/09

 
Home
The Register
People
Places
Airplanes
Events
CREDITS
Thanks to Mary Kay McGee, niece of George Maves, and her mom for sharing images and information on this page. Her mom is Cynthia Maves' sister.
According to his family, the name Maves is," ... pronounced like Waves at the beach." 
 
Contact Us | Credits | Copyright © 2008 Delta Mike Airfield, Inc.
This website is best enjoyed in a 1024 x 768 screen resolution.
Web design by The Web Professional, Inc