In october I revisited the southwest for a combination of memories, the open roads, scenery, tourist sights and... vintage planes. Some hightlights were planned, but I also like to look into local airports with an eye for tarmac turtles, hangar relics and flightline mummies, the neglected, abandoned and/or derelict aircraft.
DOCTORS MESA, ECKERT, CO
The owner was very surprised to find a propliner enthusiast knocking on his door and I was invited in. But he questioned me on my knowledge of the DC-3 in general and wanted to know how I knew about this location.
In fact I found myself the person interviewed more than I could put ask questions to him... I do know he was the owner of 3 or 4 such planes down south (Storm Drilling Co of Houston,TX?), but sold the business and the planes years ago.
I don't think I asked him directly, but in my daily notes of that trip I found his name was Steve Rehmeier.
Except for the DC-3, for sentimental reasons and the special history this DC-3 had during its career. Including a midflight damage to one of the wings, as a passenger plane, but landed safely. He let me read an article about it in an old magazine and I have yet to find it online....
Note- perhaps the owner did not own this particular plane, but purchased it after his retirement in its derelict condition, for its history.
I left my card with Mr Rehmeier, hoping he would contact me and provide me with details of his career in aviation, but he never did. Alas.
History by ATDB.aero
The owner is very proud of his Douglas C-53D and its history.
Hope he will contact me (EMAIL), we had a very nice visit, a warm welcome, but we had to leave when lack of
lunch became apparent. I hope he will fill me in on some special details of N101SF and the other aircraft he operated.
See also my post on my Photos by Friends & Guests #46
A vintage photo I found on Facebook, N101SF in better years, by Anton Heumann (Las Vegas, july 1979)
History from http://goodall.com.au/beech18-production/beech18-part-2.pdf
NX44602 Beech Aircraft Corp, Wichita KS 1.12.45/46
NC44602 Timkin Roller Bearing Co, OH 5.12.46/53
N44602 Falls Stamping and Welding Co, Cuyahoga Falls OH 2.6.53/74
Ronald W. Smith/ Smithair, Sharpsburg GA 21.6.74/84 - (Aerospace Products cargo door installed 4.75)
badly damaged by windstorm, Atlanta GA 19.11.81
DFW Airfreight Inc, Dallas -Fort Worth TX 1.11.84
John R. Gorman, Fort Worth TX 2.12.84/86
Majestic Airlines, Salt Lake City UT 03.7.86/13 (stripped airframe, no paint, Globe-San Carlos AZ 97/11)
struck-off USCR 11.3.13
N44602 (A-10) noted at Globe-San Carlos AZ 5.97 (with E18S N203C stripped)
D18S type, no paint, all metal, stripped airframe at Globe-San Carlos AZ 1.8.11 alongside stripped E18S N203C.
Metallic aircraft assumed to be N44602.
The ravaged interiors of both Twin Beeches
Adding insult after injury: this damage must have been inflicted after the gear collapsed
Beech D18S N44602 will never fly over them hills any more!
N44602 screams its agony being grounded forever..
Msn BA-35 and A-10 identified
A tumbleweed underlines the static status of N44602
Another long time resident of San Carlos Apache Airport (P13) near Globe,AZ: Grumman HU-16 Albatross N4796U.
A post on Facebook in 2020 showed all three planes still there.
N4796U (c/n G-388) I have seen depicted as Albatross HU-16C but also as a G.111 (G-111) variant.
It is ex/ BuNo. 137915 and was delivered to U.S. Navy 19??. Here is a photo of those days (ca.1959): aerialvisuals.ca/AirframeDossier.php?Serial=17971
Quoted owner one Robert Mace, Globe, AZ, 19??-present ..?
FAA's N-inquiry (27Nov17): reg'd 18sep2008 for TRE Aviation Corporation (Delaware).
I have seen a photo taken in 2008 with that rh-engine off, so this Albatross has been a lame duck here for many
years now and must have been registered to TRE Aviation in this condition. For what purpose?
Joe Baugher has it on as:
'137915 (MSN 388) - delivered to US Navy Jan 20, 1955. Assigned to NAS Bermuda. Assigned to the U.S. Naval Air Attache in Oslo in September 1959.
To MASDC as 1U0024 01Apr1968. To Dross Metals Inc, Tucson AZ 20Jan82.
To N4796U Dross Metals Inc, Tucson AZ March 1984.
To ACME, Shakopee MN in May 1984.
To Robert C. Mace, Globe AZ 14Oct1988.
To T. H. Leasing Inc, Wilmington DE 09May08.
To TRE Aviation Corp, Wilmington DE, registered 18Sep2008, current.'
'Batch 137899/137933 was Grumman UF-1 Albatross model G-64; redesignated HU-16C in 1962'.
And here is an image by Ron Mak, providing a glance back to the better days of N4796U:
Some info from my (RL) database:
In July 2009 I read a thread that casted doubt on N34AH being ex/ BuNo. 39070, as its history was thought to be N34AH->FAC 1632 -> N34AH while 39070 was sighted at D.Monthan during this time.
Will it actually head for a new future soon? Would seem a waste otherwise!
N45641 is a Luscombe 8A (c/n 2168), manufactured in 1946 and N2290K is a Luscombe 8E (c/n 5017, mfr 1947)
SCENIC FLIGHT OVER AMARG & PINAL AIR PARK
The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), often called The Boneyard, is a United States Air Force aircraft and missile storage and maintenance facility in Tucson, Arizona, located on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Next we headed for Pinal Air Park, a little bit further up north. This is a storage for civil aviation.
Pinal Airpark (IATA: MZJ, ICAO: KMZJ, FAA LID: MZJ) is a county-owned, public-use airport located seven nautical miles (13 km) northwest of the central business district of Marana, in Pinal County, Arizona, United States.
Its primary function serves as a boneyard for civilian commercial aircraft, where the area's dry desert climate mitigates corrosion of the aircraft. It is the largest commercial aircraft storage and heavy maintenance facility in the world. Even so, many aircraft which are brought there wind up being scrapped. Nearby the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base provides the same service to the US government.
Aircraft at Pinal Airpark formerly belonged to Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, Aerosur, Hellenic and Surinam Airways and other carriers.
Built in 1942 by the Sundt & Del Webb Construction Companies and opened in March 1943, the facility was known as Marana Army Air Field. During World War II, the airfield was under the command of the 389th Army Air Force Base Unit, AAF West Coast Training Center and used as a training base, as part of the 50,000 Pilot Training Program.
Marana conducted basic flight training & the training of transport pilots in instrument flying and navigation, being the home of the 3024th (Pilot School, Basic). Chinese pilots were also trained there.
Marana was closed after World War II and in 1948, Pinal County accepted a deed to the property, subsequent to the air force's disposal of most of the buildings, waterlines, gas lines, and electrical lines. From 1948-51, Pinal County leased the property to multiple tenants, and from 1951-56, Marana was reused as a contractor-operated USAF flying school, operated by Darr Aeronautical Technical Company.
Marana became the headquarters of all Central Intelligence Agency air operations during the Vietnam War years, when it was the primary facility of Intermountain Airlines, a wholly owned CIA "front" company which was used to supply covert operations in Southeast Asia & elsewhere. Intermountain was infamous for its thinly veiled CIA special ops which included development & use of the Fulton Skyhook, but its cover was its non-scheduled freight & maintenance operations. Marana was the principal continental United States maintenance base for Southeast Asia CIA operations including Air America and Continental Air Services.
I compiled a seperate page, 2017 PAGE 6, for the photos I took here.
Grumman HU-16's stored at Pinal Airpark. One will find mostly jetliners here.
HU-16E N113FB was the first one to be flown out of storage here, to Hannibal,MO on 03May2018.
See item on Photos by Friends & Guests #54 - N122FB made it out in Aug.2018 Photos by Friends & Guests #55
I am not entirely sure but these HU-16s could be stored here thru JetYard..? Or maybe they all are..?
JetYard LLC is a FAA 145 Repair Station #7QAR515C, providing complete aircraft storage and parking along with part-out and disassembly services.
These services can also include demolition and recycling for aging aircraft and engines. JetYard can disassemble, part-out and recycle all commercial and military aircraft manufactured by Boeing, Airbus, McDonnell Douglas, Bombardier, Embraer, Lockheed Martin and others.
Jet Yard has an inventory of aircraft parts for sale. These parts have been harvested from aircraft or engines that Jet Yard has purchased. All parts have been removed and tagged by experienced FAA licensed Airframe and Powerplant Technicians.
Jet Yard will also source parts to facilitate customer needs.
The company's storage facility is located at 85233 E. Pinal Airpark Road, Suite 100, Marana, AZ 85653.
Their headquarters are at 1800 East Cliff Road, Suite 9, Burnsville, MN 55337-1375.
Heading back down south, the I-10 west of us.
On final approach for Tucson Int'l again, after being airborne for an hour. Really pleased I finally got this done!
Taxiïng back to the hangar, I had my eyes on that Trojan...
North American T-28A Trojan, N192G (c/n 159-79) - stored
N192G (at one time have been N1920G, as one can see the '0' has been erased)
The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan is a piston-engined military trainer aircraft used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy beginning in the 1950s.
A nice closing shot of a framed photo in the office:
PIMA AIR & SPACE MUSEUM
TOURING TUCSON'S SALVAGE YARDS
WESTERN INT'L AVIATION (W.I.A.)
John Gasho is President of Western International Aviation a.k.a. the Western Int'l Yard .
WIA Inc is classified under aircraft service & repair and has been in business for a great many years. It was established in 1983, and is located (afaik) in the yard where Time Aviation previously carried on business.
Several of such similar operators in the same business have cleaned out in recent 10-15 years. And those that remain show increasingly 'more green' on Google Maps.
John R. Gasho (Sr) tribute at the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame
You'll find John and his wife Sharon mentioned in an article on my website: A Bad Day at Scottsdale
For more details on these aircraft visit my 'SALVAGE YARDS'-page
On the left HU-16C BuNo.142428 and right HU-16B 51-0043
Details on my Tucson's Salvage Yards
The remains of HU-16E USCG 2135 (c/n G-362).
I believe among the rubble & remains two others reside: 1294 (c/n G-371) and 1026 (c/n G-100).
Unidentified US Army C-7 Caribou
For more details on most of these aircraft visit my 'SALVAGE YARDS'-page
Taken from the Western Int'l Yard, but the area beyond the fence belongs to United Aero (UAC)
When I checked later at their office, on the others side of the yard, I found them a less hospitable bunch: no entry.
So on the E.Drexel Road there are two salvage yards, across each other. I think they both belong to the same business
or are supervised by the same person, because when I asked at Specialized Aircraft Maintenance I was told by the
only worker to ask the boss at the other yard, pointing to the officewhere I had been denied entry minutes ago.
So both did not allow me to take photos inside the yard.
For more details on these aircraft visit my 'SALVAGE YARDS'-page
| United Aero a k.a.: United Aeronautical Corporation Yard.
"With over 60 acres of storage and warehouse space located next to Davis Monthan AFB, UAC has been operation at this location for over 50 years.
We apologize, but unfortunately UAC's Tucson facility is closed to the public, and a 'no trespassing' policy is strictly enforced.
In certain circumstance, special requests maybe granted, either for government or civilian purposes, but they must have prior written approval by management. Please contact email@example.com with any special requests, along with a detailed explanation for the purpose of visit the property."
The reception at ARM was much more friendly!
Aircraft Restoration and Marketing - armair.com
ARM, former Dross Metals Inc (DMI). I wasn't allowed to wander here as people were working with torches, etc.
I couldn't bring myself to abuse the hospitality, but I was tempted!
At the other end, the part where I could roam free. Plenty here to satisfy my curiosity.
I recently (november) I noticed a post on Facebook by Worldwide Recovery getting a Herc in a similar state
as on the right being prepared for transport (to Oklahoma, I believe). Not this one (0503) I don't think, but one on the other
end (which was out of bounds for me this day). Perhaps the work done there at the time, was preparing for that transport.
This was from outside the fence, the part I wasn't allowed in, some very nice Convairs waiting for a new owner here.
For further browsing (external links):