USA 2017


Copyright Ruud Leeuw Photos © R.Leeuw

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.

Our route was circular, with start and finish in Salt Lake City. The planes I found in Colorado and (mainly) in Arizona. I am glad I could strike a few items from the bucketlist!
Read on.



DC-3 Eckert
Rarely photographed, esspecially in its present location near Eckert,CO: Douglas C-53D N101SF (c/n 11674).
In 1982 the registration expired (for Pat C. Duncan of Florida). It probably flew to the primitive airstrip nearby,
Doctors Mesa (6COO,, but it must have been quite a haul to get it up to the ranch!

DC-3 Eckert,CO
The DC-3 is parked amongst many non-aviation items. The ranch and the C-53D are placed 'on top of the world'!

DC-3 Eckert,CO
N101SF is in a poor state but is not yet lost for future generations yet.
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
but sold the business and the planes years ago. 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....
I am sorry I never got his name but I hope he will be in contact (I left my card) and we get to hear more of his flying days!

DC-3 Eckert,CO

History by
History of N101SF

DC-3 Eckert,CO
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

"Seen high over the numbers landing runway 27. Built in 1943 as a Douglas C-53D with serial 42-68747 for the USAAF - United States Army Air Force. Other serials - N101SF with Mr P.C. Duncan, and also N33334 with Northwest Orient wearing FN 334 - delivered in May 1951 and in service until June 1958.
Nice tail colors with the lone tree at Monterey, California."  in Pacific Internationale Airlines (1978)
And 1980 at San Juan (SJU), Puerto Rico: "Seen in basic Nevada Airlines mural livery, this DC-3 served Northwest as NC33334 after WWII, followed by Pan American-Southern and various corporate owners.
Last FAA database record 1982, but was reported stored at Doctors Mesa, CO"

A vintage photo I found on Facebook, N101SF in better years, by Anton Heumann (Las Vegas, july 1979)
N101SF by Anton Heumann (Facebook)



Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ
We passed along San Carlos Apache Airport (P13) where for many years two Beech 18s are stored plus a HU-16 Albatross.

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ
Beech E18S N203C (c/n BA-35), reg'd 02Feb81 for George B Carlton (of El Paso TX).
On a flight operated by Nevada Pacific this aircraft had an incident at Grand Canyon, Arizona (KGCN).
The NTSB reports that on 04Aug1975 this aircraft departed Las Vegas (LAS) for GCN. During the landing roll the
right gear collapsed. NTSB cited probable cause as material failure.
Now she sits at Globe,AZ - must have been hauled here. 1346132/L (2008, photo by Nicholas Vollaro)

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ
Beech D18S N44602 (c/n A-10)

History from
A-10 D18S
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.

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ
The ravaged interiors of both Twin Beeches

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ
Adding insult after injury: this damage must have been inflicted after the gear collapsed

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ
Beech D18S N44602 will never fly over them hills any more!

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ
N44602 screams its agony being grounded forever..

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ
Msn BA-35 and A-10 identified

Beech 18s stored at Globe,AZ
A tumbleed underlines the static status of N44602

HU-16 at Globe,AZ
Another long time resident of San Carlos Apache Airport (P13) near Globe,AZ: Grumman HU-16 Albatross N4796U

HU-16 at Globe,AZ
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):
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?

HU-16 at Globe,AZ

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'.



Flying J Ranch

©Ruud Leeuw
Don't ask for directions locally, except at the Post Office, because people will not know this location as an airport.
It is situated on top of a hill and cannot be seen from the public road.

C-119 53-8074 at Flying J Ranch,AZ
Piper PA-23 N1280P (msn 23-314, mfr 1955), was reg'd to Susan Jenkins in 2013 (expired in 2016)

In 1954 Piper Aircraft Corporation introduced the four-place, retractable gear Apache, developed from the Twin Stinson and the first of the Piper 'Indian' executive and business lines.
Over 2.000 all-metal Apaches, a departure from the classic tube and fabric Cub and, at US$32,000, the least expensive light twin, were built before being upgraded in 1960 to the popular Aztec series.
Only fitting one is preserved here in San Carlos Apache Territory!

C-119 53-8074 at Flying J Ranch,AZ
But this was the one I came for: Fairchild C-119L Flying Boxcar 53-8074 (c/n 177), AMARG code CJ457.

C-119 53-8074 at Flying J Ranch,AZ
In 2005 I became aware of this preserved 'Dollar Nineteen' on its remote location and opened a Searchfor.. page

C-119 53-8074 at Flying J Ranch,AZ

C-119L 53-8074 sits in the middle nowhere... Google Earth lat/long coordinates are 32 50 48N 109 52 39W
It arrived on 27Mar75 at MASDC's storage center (called AMARG these days) near Tucson,AZ.
For 15 years it was stored there, gathering desert dust...
Mr Jenkins of Safford,AZ saved it from the scrapman, disassembled it and transported it to to his airstrip at his ranch.
Former USAF 53-8074 (c/n KF-177) was sold to Mr. H. Jenkins on 13Mar90.
It has been preserved at the Flying J Ranch since at least the mid 1990's. It was seen at Air Pro / Western Int'l scrapyard at Davis-Monthan back in April 1990, but it may have remained there a little longer. In 1997 it was seen
at the Flying J Ranch.

C-119 53-8074 at Flying J Ranch,AZ

Windvane at Flying J Ranch,AZ
Windvane at Flying J Ranch,AZ



C-117D N34AH
Douglas Super R4D-8 (C-117D) N34AH (c/n 43360, mfr 1952). Date of visit 07Oct17.
Our Satnav had a little trouble locating this airfield and I found N34AH behind a locked fence.

Douglas C-117D N34AH at Benson,AZ
A visit to the local FBO found me soon on the ramp, very kind. Pretty hot as well.

Douglas C-117D N34AH at Benson,AZ
I was told it had been purchased by someone unknow who would soon fly it to Tucson AZ.
As one can see some work needs to be done on N34H before this Super DC-3 can take off in the blue yonder...

Douglas C-117D N34AH at Benson,AZ

Some info from my (RL) database:
(N34AH?) Reported 24Apr88 at New Tamiami,FL: all silver colourscheme, no titles. On 06Feb89 at Miami Int'l.
N34AH, Fullair Acft Svcs (ex/N4458H).
N34AH Dross Metals Inc, AMARC 1997 list, 'AN 6C0027'. ex/Lakehurst.
Seen Oct.'96 in Dross Metal's yard (Tucson) as 39070.
Reg'd Feb.2000 for Aero-Tech Sales of Florida Inc.
On 25Oct99 at salvage yard near AMARC (AMARG), being rebuilt from R4D-5 c/n 10020.
Reg'd 29Apr05 to Thomas Keith Graziano (Benson,AZ), CofA issued 2005.
Bought by Transnorthern,AK. In July05 confirmed to me by Trans Northern Aviation, N34AH still at Benson.
R18Jul05 for Classic Air Transport, Las Vegas,NV.
During July 2006 reported as "has now received a new Douglas-style coat of paint including the Classic Air Transport logo on the forward fuselage".
N34AH has been here at Benson since August 2005.

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.

Douglas C-117D N34AH at Benson,AZ
Will it actually head for a new future soon? Would seem a waste otherwise!

Douglas C-117D N34AH at Benson,AZ

Benson AZ
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 the AMARG and Pinal Air Park
I had booked a scenic flight at Double Eagle Aviation

Scenic flight over the AMARG and Pinal Air Park
N80187 is a Cessna 172M (msn 17266431, mfr 1975)
When I asked if windows could cause a problem for photography, the reply was: "we'll open the windows"


Scenic flight over AMR / DMI salvage yard
We were airborne shortly after 07:00 a.m. and we see the salvage yard of ARM (former DMI, Dross Metal Inc) here.

Scenic flight over the AMARG and Pinal Air Park
The humonguous AMARG (ex/ AMARC and MASDC), the military planes storage in Tucson AZ.

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.
AMARG was previously Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, AMARC, the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center, MASDC, and was established after World War II as the 3040th Aircraft Storage Group.

AMARG takes care of nearly 4,000 aircraft, which makes it the largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world. An Air Force Materiel Command unit, the group is under the command of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. AMARG was originally meant to store excess Department of Defense and Coast Guard aircraft, but has in recent years been designated the sole repository of out-of-service aircraft from all branches of the US government.

AMARG was established in 1946[2] as the 4105th Army Air Force Base Unit to house B-29 and C-47 aircraft. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base was chosen because of Tucson's low humidity, infrequent rainfall, alkaline soil and high altitude of 2,550 feet (780 m), reducing rust and corrosion.[3][4] The hard soil makes it possible to move aircraft around without having to pave the storage areas.

In 1948, after the Air Force's creation as a separate service, the unit was renamed the 3040th Aircraft Storage Depot.
In 1965, the depot was renamed the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC), and tasked with processing aircraft for all the US armed forces (not just the Air Force).
The U.S. Navy had operated its own boneyard at Naval Air Station Litchfield Park at Goodyear, Arizona, for Navy, Marine and Coast Guard aircraft. In February 1965, some 500 (!) aircraft were moved from Litchfield Park to Davis-Monthan AFB. And NAS Litchfield Park was finally closed in 1968.

In the 1980s, the center began processing ICBMs for dismantling or reuse in satellite launches, and was renamed the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) to reflect the expanded focus on all aerospace assets.


Scenic flight over the AMARG and Pinal Air Park
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.


Pinal Air Park
I'll compile a seperate page for the photos I took here.

Grumman HU-16s at Pinal Air Park
Grumman HU-16's stored at Pinal Airpark. One will find mostly jetliners here.

Scenic flight over the AMARG and Pinal Air Park

Avra Valley, Marana Reg'l airport - from the air
Avra Valley, Marana Reg'l airport - from the air

Scenic flight over the AMARG and Pinal Air Park
On approach for Tucson Int'l again, after being airborne for an hour.

Scenic flight over the AMARG and Pinal Air Park
Taxiïng back to the hangar, my eyes on that Trojan...

Scenic flight over the AMARG and Pinal Air Park
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)
North American T-28A Trojan (former military serial 49-1567) N192G is not assigned anymore, it was dereg'd (as expired) on 28Aug2013)

When consulting Joe Baugher's USAF Serials I found this batch 49-1491/1756 North American T-28A Trojan included specifics on 49-1567 (c/n 159-79):
Assigned to 3575th Pilot Training Group, Vance AFB, OK
Accident 16Jul51 landing at Vance AFB, OK.  Assigned to 3300th Pilot Training Group, Graham AFB, FL [Dec55]
To the Arizona Aircraft Storage Branch [AASB], Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. Reclaimed 02Apr58.
BoS from USAF 31Jul59
Registered N1920G; cancelled 5Oct72
Registered N192G 19May08; expired 31Mar13, cancelled 28Aug13
./end quote

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.
Besides its use as a trainer, the T-28 was successfully employed as a counter-insurgency aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War.
It has continued in civilian use as an aerobatics and Warbird performer.


A nice closing shot of a framed photo in the office:



John Gasho's yard, more or less across from the Pima Air Museum

Salvage Tucson AZ
ARM, former Dross Metals Inc (DMI). I wasn't allowed to wonder here as people were working with torches, etc.
I couldn't bring myself to abuse the hospitality, but I was tempted!

Salvage Tucson AZ
This was from outside the fence, some very nice Convairs waiting for a new owner here.

Salvage Tucson AZ

Salvage Tucson AZ


















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