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Some of this information comes from the biographical file for pilot Reid, CR-205000-01, reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.


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Jack Reid landed at Tucson Sunday, December 9, 1928 flying Travel Air NC9006. He carried a single passenger, Carl McConnell. Based at San Diego, CA, they were westbound from El Paso, TX to San Diego. Almost a year later in 1929 Reid was killed flying Emsco B-3 NX832H (not a Register airplane) at the Cleveland Air Races.

Below, shortly before Reid's fatal crash with the Emsco, he is shown at left with Emsco aircraft designer Rocheville at center. Another image of Reid is with Register pilot R.O.D. Sullivan.

Cleveland News, August 31, 1929 (Source: NASM)
Cleveland News, August 31, 1931 (Source: NASM)

Site contributor Mike Gerow shares with us images taken by his father, Russ. Reid was an Emsco employee and old Navy friend of Rocheville. He set a new world’s solo endurance record with the airplane below on Aug. 31, 1929, but fell asleep and crashed 38 hours 40 minutes into the flight. In a snafu emblematic of Emsco’s chronic hard luck, Reid was actually airborne hours earlier waiting for the delayed official timing of the flight to begin. The two photographs below were taken by Russ Gerow, Long Beach Airport, 1929.

Emsco NX832H, Long Beach, CA, 1929 (Source: Gerow)
Emsco NX832H, Long Beach, CA, 1929 (Source: Gerow)

In both these photos, NX832H is seen readying for a test flight at Long Beach. In the lower photo, note glare reflecting off the immaculate finish for which EMSCO aircraft were famous. Russ Gerow’s note on this picture reads: “Jack Reid’s ‘Death Ship.’ This ship lifted over 6,000 lbs. of gas and oil with a single 300 h.p. engine.

Emsco NX832H, Long Beach, CA, 1929 (Source: Gerow)
co NX832H, Long Beach, CA, 1929 (Source: Gerow)

What looks like stripes on the wheel farings of this airplane is actually reflected light from the ridges in the taut fabric comprising the outer covering of the pants. The aircraft is "leveled" by propping the tail skid on an oil drum.

A vignette from the New York Times, below, shows the fate of Reid's Emsco NX832H near Cleveland.

New York Times, September 8, 1929 (Source: NASM)
New York Times, September 8, 1929 (Source: NASM)

Below, again courtesy of Mike Gerow, is the Emsco B-2 "Challenger" NC849E. To view other images of this airplane, please direct your browser to the airplane's link and the other links therefrom.

Emsco "Challenger" NC849E, Pre-1930 (Source: Gerow)
Emsco "Challenger" NC849E, Pre-1930 (Source: Gerow)

This photo, also taken by Mike's father, possibly captures the roll out of this aircraft. Mike says about the photograph, "The ... man on the left is probably Jack Reid. The first official EMSCO aircraft, 849E was powered by three 170 hp Curtiss “Challenger” engines, hence the aircraft’s name. It was advertised as being able to take off with a full load with any two engines operating. In January 1930, the aircraft was converted to a twin-engine configuration using 300 hp Wright J-6s and redesignated Emsco B-5 “Whirlwind.” After a 7,000-mile promotional junket to Emsco’s various holdings around the country, NC849E was flown in August 1933 by Register pilot Paul T. Adams to its new owner in Guatemala City, where its ultimate fate remains a mystery."


Dossier 2.1.135


The Register
I'm looking for photographs and information about pilot Reid and Travel Air NC9006 to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.
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