USA 2017

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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.



Skydive AZ - oct.2017

Skydive AZ (Ruud Leeuw, 09Oct17)

Skydive AZ (Ruud Leeuw, 09Oct17)
DC-3 N86584 (c/n 4935, mfr 1942), reg'd 09Aug87 for Aero Specialist Inc (Eloy,AZ)
The door was closed by a plexiglass cover, which I assume is removed for operations.

Skydive AZ (Ruud Leeuw, 09Oct17)

Skydive AZ (Ruud Leeuw, 09Oct17)

History of DC-3 4935
History of DC-3 c/n 4935

Skydive AZ (Ruud Leeuw, 09Oct17)
Short SC.7 (Series 3) Skyvan N1846 (c/n SH.1846), was last reg'd 16Oct2001 for Aire Express LLC,
but registration was cancelled on 20Jun2017. I guess one can see why: it's flying days are over!

Skydive AZ (Ruud Leeuw, 09Oct17)
Emair MA-1, N90764 (c/n 008), reg'd 18Nov91 for Walton Enterprises II LP (Bentonville,AR), cancellation date 02Feb04.
It was used for Agriculture & Pest Control. On the right the cockpit of Skyvan N1846.

N90764 Murrayair (Emair) MA-1 (mfr 1973) made me look up the type in Wikipedia-
'The Emair MA-1 Paymaster was a 1960s American agricultural biplane aircraft built by Emair, which was part of the Hawaiian Murray company. The prototype was constructed and flown in New Zealand, with production aircraft built in the United States at Harlingen,TX.

The prototype Murrayair MA-1 was built by Air New Zealand on behalf of Murrayair Limited of Hawaii, United States. Based on the Stearman 75 Kaydet. It had an increased wing area and modification to the forward fuselage to accommodate a pilot (in a raised cockpit for better visibility), a jump seat (used to carry an assistant or mechanic between stations), and a chemical hopper.

It first flew in New Zealand on 27 July 1969, then it was dismantled and shipped to Hawaii to obtain United States certification. Type certificate was obtained on on 14 April 1970.
The production aircraft were named Agronemair MA-1 Paymaster at first, then designated the Emair MA-1 Paymaster. Production ended in 1976, after 25 had been built.
In 1975 Emair developed an improved version, the Emair MA-1B Diablo 1200. At the end of the 1980s the company halted production after a further 23 Diablos had been built.'


Skydive AZ (Ruud Leeuw, 09Oct17)
Unidentified SC.7 Skyvan; probably one of a batch imported from Asia or Australia.
Most suggestions point to VH-WGT, Skyvan c/n SH.1960. It was operated by Fugro Airborne Surveys in
Australia (, 2009). It was modifed in Perth in the mid-1990s, by World Geoscience Corporation, for
low level survey work. This aircraft has been around, in Australia and all over the world, one project after another.
VH-WGT was supposed to be reregisterd as N72LH (05Apr16) and last noted 02Dec16 dismantled @Perth for shipment.

The Short SC.7 Skyvan (nicknamed the 'Flying Shoebox') is a British 19-seat twin-turboprop aircraft manufactured by Short Brothers of Belfast in Northern Ireland. It is used mainly for short-haul freight and skydiving.
It is a high wing, twin-engined all-metal monoplane with a mid-mounted tailplane and twin rudders.
The first flight of the Skyvan (the 'Skyvan 1') was on 17Jan1963.
It is also called 'the Shed' by pilots and crew, I wonder why

It was popular with freight operators, compared to other small aircraft, because of its large rear door for loading and unloading freight.
Its fuselage resembles the shape of a railroad boxcar for simplicity and efficiency.
The Short 330 and Short 360 are stretched models of the original SC.7, designed as regional airliners.
Skyvans served widely in both military and civilian operations and the type remained in service in 2009 with a number of civilian operators, as well as in military service in Guyana and Oman.
They continue to be used for air-to-air photography and for skydiving operations.
In 1970, Questor Surveys of Toronto Canada converted the first of two Skyvan 3s for aerial geological survey work. [Source- Wikipedia]

Skydive AZ (Ruud Leeuw, 09Oct17)

Skydive AZ (Ruud Leeuw, 09Oct17)
Above & below: N204BD, deHavilland DHC-6-200 (c/n 204), Kavalair LLC (Marion,MT). Reg'd 14Jan08 .

Skydive AZ (Ruud Leeuw, 09Oct17)

Skydive AZ - Eloy (Ruud Leeuw 10Oct17)
deHavilland DHC-6 N194LH (c/n 194), reg'd 03Dec2013 for Airborne Support Group LLC (Marion,MT)


Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Lockheed L.18 N631LS (c/n 2402), reg'd 09May2014 for Lawrence E. Hill (Marion,MT)
It is the privat plane of the owner of SkyDive AZ, I was told.

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Note those curtains at the windows

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
This seems to be the active maintenance hangar. The Lockheed L.18 was due out for an engine testrun, but
that did not happen during my visit here (in spite of a waiting break at that nice 'skydive' café!)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Beech C-45H N2625 (AF-601, manufactured in 1952; reg'd 22Jan1987 to Aero Specialist Inc (Eloy,AZ)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
'Skydive Arizona'

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)

Short SC.7 (Series 3) Skyvan N39LH (c/n SH.1920, mfr 1973); reg'd 28Jan08 for KavalAir LLC (Marion,MT)

A lot of maintenance going on in here...

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Short SC.7 (Srs.3) Skyvan N52LH (c/n 1968); reg'd 29Oct2013 for Airborne Support Group LLC (Marion,MT)

Short Brothers plc, usually referred to as Shorts or Short, is an aerospace company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Shorts was founded in 1908 in London, and was the first company in the world to make production aircraft. It was particularly notable for its flying boat designs manufactured into the 1950s.

In 1943 Shorts was nationalised and later denationalised, and in 1948 moved from its main base at Rochester, Kent to Belfast.
In the 1960s, Shorts mainly produced turboprop airliners, major components for aerospace primary manufacturers, and missiles for the British Armed Forces.
In 1989 Shorts was bought by Bombardier, and is today the largest manufacturing concern in Northern Ireland. Prior to that merger, the authorized capital share by the owner was: HM Government, 69.5% (majority share;) Rolls-Royce Ltd, 15.25%; Harland & Wolff Ltd, 15.25%.
The company's products include aircraft components, engine nacelles and aircraft flight control systems for its parent company Bombardier Aerospace, and for Boeing, Rolls-Royce Deutschland, General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Skyvan N52LH again, seen from the other side.


Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Here we find the aircraft which are operational, I think.

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Short SC.7 (Series 3) Skyvan N41LH (c/n SH.1977); reg'd 23Jan2014 for Skyventure Arizona LLC (Reno,NV)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Short SC.7 (Series 3) Skyvan N46LH (c/n SH.1927); reg'd 21Jan2012 for Skyventure Arizona LLC (Reno,NV)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Short SC.7 (Series 3) Skyvan N14LH (c/n SH.1926): reg'd 19Nov2013 for Airborne Support Group LLC (Marion,MT)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Short SC.7 (Series 3) Skyvan N28LH (c/n SH.1851); reg'd 08Jan2008 for KavalAir LLC (Marion,MT)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
Short SC.7 (Series 3) Skyvan N26LH (c/n SH.1925); reg'd 08Jan2008 for KavalAir LLC (Marion,MT)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
deHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter N924MA (c/n 216); reg'd 14Apr1994 for Para Drop (Eloy,AZ)

Skydive AZ, Eloy (10Oct2017 Ruud Leeuw)
deHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter N128WJ (c/n 128, mfr 1968); reg'd 14Jan2008 for KavalAir LLC (Marion,MT)

The deHavilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, currently marketed as the Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter, is a Canadian 19-passenger STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) utility aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada and currently produced by Viking Air. The aircraft's fixed tricycle undercarriage, STOL capabilities, twin turboprop engines and high rate of climb have made it a successful commuter passenger airliner as well as a cargo and Medevac aircraft. In addition, the Twin Otter has been popular with commercial skydiving operations, and is used by the United States Army Parachute Team and the United States Air Force's 98th Flying Training Squadron.

Development of the aircraft began in 1964, with the first flight on May 20, 1965. A twin-engine replacement for the single-engine DHC-3 Otter retaining DHC's renowned STOL qualities.
To bush operators, the improved reliability of turboprop power and the improved performance of a twin-engine configuration made it an immediately popular alternative to the piston-powered Otter which had been flying since 1951.

The first six aircraft produced were designated Series 1, indicating that they were prototype aircraft. The initial production run consisted of Series 100 aircraft, serial numbers seven to 115 inclusive. In 1968, Series 200 production began with serial number 116.
In 1969, the Series 300 was introduced, beginning with serial number 231. Both aircraft performance and payload were improved by fitting more powerful PT6A-27 engines.

After Series 300 production ended, the remaining tooling was purchased by Viking Air of Victoria, British Columbia, which manufactures replacement parts for all of the out-of-production de Havilland Canada aircraft. On February 24, 2006, Viking purchased the type certificates from Bombardier Aerospace for all the out-of-production deHavilland Canada aircraft (DHC-1 through DHC-7).
The ownership of the certificates gives Viking the exclusive right to manufacture new aircraft.

Viking Air production, first delivered in July 2010, is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 engines and available on standard landing gear, straight floats, amphibious floats, skis, wheel skis, or intermediate flotation landing gear.



Arizona desert
Driving through the Arizona desert, I so enjoyed myself and was very pleased to be back!


Gosshawk - Casa Grande,AZ
I had not been here before and arrived unannounced at a not so opportune time.
Grateful they gave me a few minutes for a few photos.

Gosshawk - Casa Grande,AZ
Consolidated Vultee PB4Y-2 N2871G/'6302' (serial 66302); R10Jan08 to 4Y-2 LLC (Phoenix,AZ).

Gosshawk - Casa Grande,AZ
A vintage warbird, manufactured in 1945

Gosshawk - Casa Grande,AZ

Gosshawk - Casa Grande,AZ

Gosshawk - Casa Grande,AZ
N151X CY-H 'Ho Hun', when it was coded JT-J in the early 80s. While in maintenenance I can't see if any name is applied.
P-51D-30NT, serial 45-11628 (ex/ N5446V)
1961: N5446V, Michael Coutches, Hayward CA
1966: N151X, Walter Stewart, Monterey CA
1973: N151X, Jack Flaherty, Monterey CA, Race #8
1975: N151X, John Johnson, Rexburg ID
1981: N151X, William Hane, Mesa AZ, "Ho Hun"
1996: Oct 02, N151X, Ho Hun Inc, Mesa AZ
2004: Oct 27, N151X, B & M HUN LLC, Mesa AZ
2013: Jan 01, N151X, Dulcinea Enterprise LLC, Mesa AZ

Gosshawk - Casa Grande,AZ
Serial number 44-11628, coded CY H and it has a noteable black prop.
Reportedly on display at Champlin Fighter Museum (Mesa AZ), but evidently here with GossHawk for maintenance.

Gosshawk - Casa Grande,AZ
Perhaps an even more impressive warbird here: Focke-Wulf Fw190, N190DK (serial 1134, mfr 1943)

Gosshawk - Casa Grande,AZ
Impressive display of decals on '170346', N190DK
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (EN: Shrike) is a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by
Kurt Tank in the late 1930s and widely used during World War II. [Wikipedia]

Reg'd 04Jan2011 for Daniel L. Kirkland (Kingman,AZ)
Accident 2012 at Casa Grande, causing substantial damage:
List of surviving Focke-Wulf Fw 190s:

Also here on the ramp:
Casa Grande,AZ
Short SD3-60 N492AK (c/n SH.3415), reg'd 02Jan15 to Global Asset Technologies LLC (Anchorage,AK)




Coolidge AZ

Coolidge AZ

Coolidge AZ

Coolidge AZ
They made two attempts to fly the DC-7 to Gateway, in May 2014. The first time they had a fire in number three engine.
The 2nd time they aborted a takeoff attempt during which they locked up the brakes and skidded almost to the end of
the runway. The brakes were destroyed, as were several tires.
Since then things turned quiet around N4887C, but new initiatives to get it started were under way in 2018
and by march 2019 I read they still continued! N4887C went airborne on 16Jun19, but disappointingly, it had to land at
nearby Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa,AZ due to an engine oil pressure issue...
Upon its departure the new owner was also revealed: Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta!

UPDATE NOV.2019: "N4887C was purchased by the Delta Flight Museum (website) and after a lengthy restoration at Coolidge,AZ (this DC-7 was often referred to as 'the Coolidge DC-7' for its extended stay here) it went airborne on 16Jun19 to ferry the vintage propliner home to Atlanta. Unfortunately, after take off serious technical gremlins appeared and N4887C diverted to nearby Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA; ICAO: KIWA).
When I checked FAA N-inquiry database I found it still reg'd to Int'l Air Response, since 03Jun80.
The engine troubles were adressed and 'Ship 717' made the last leg 'home' on 16Nov19.
Marc Hookerman wrote me (19Nov19): "Ownership exchanged after arrival in Atlanta. Registration transfer to follow eventually.
Airworthiness will not be maintained. Aircraft will be placed on display in front of Museum (pads and lights already installed)."

Coolidge AZ
Tanker 33 in splendid Delta colours; the storage over the past few years hasn't seem to have hurt this DC-7
See also my visit COOLIDGE 2008

Coolidge AZ
The ramp sees little activity here at Coolidge,AZ

Coolidge AZ
Short Bros. C-23B Sherpa N567WW (c/n SH.3211), reg'd to Win Win Aviation (Wake Forest,NC) on 07Mar2016
Not sure why it is present here: standby for Forest Services, for smokejumpers?

Coolidge AZ
Former H&P C-130 firebombers stored here for many years. N133HP is one of them.

Coolidge AZ
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by
Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin). Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. [Wikipedia]

Coolidge AZ
Lockheed C-130A Hercules (L-182) N131FF (c/n 182-3138)

Coolidge AZ

Coolidge AZ
Lockheed C-130A N131HP (c/n 3142).
On 25jun01 the crew noted a fire inside the aircraft while landing at Broomfield,CO - it was extinguished.
Not long before that, in july 2000, it was still reported stored at Davis-Monthan's AMARC (coded 'CF 060').
Not sure if it ever flew again after that fire. Bought by Int'l Air Response Inc on 20Dec06, reg'd 15Feb08.
And registration N126TG was reserved as per 28Dec09 for IAR, but its flying days are obviously over.

Coolidge AZ

Coolidge AZ

Coolidge AZ
Still impressive...

Coolidge AZ
The yard is worth exploring too

Coolidge AZ
Joe Baugher has this about 58-0729: 'msn 282-3524, converted to WC-130B and back to C-130B.
To AMARC as CF095 19Mar1991. Seen in scrapyard near AMARC 28Aug2000. Cockpit noted at Coolidge Mun'l
Airport in 2014. Previously at Williams Gateway, Arizona."

Coolidge AZ
Cockpit of C-130B 58-0729, as found out through research - see MY SEARCH FOR...

Coolidge AZ
Open mouthed, like a dead fish on dry land

Coolidge AZ

Coolidge AZ
The initial production model, the C-130A, was powered by Allison T56-A-9 turboprops with three-blade propellers.
Four-bladed Hamilton Standard propellers replaced the Aeroproducts three-blade propellers that distinguished the
earlier A-models. The extended-range C-130E model entered service in 1962 after it was developed as an interim long-
range transport for the Military Air Transport Service. Essentially a B-model, the new designation was the result of the installation of 1,360 US gal (5,150 L) Sargent Fletcher external fuel tanks under each wing's midsection and more
powerful Allison T56-A-7A turboprops. [Wikipedia]

Radial 3350s engines for spare (thanks Kyle!)

Coolidge AZ
Plenty of parts; but actual maintenance by I.A.R. is done at Mesa's Gateway airport where I.A.R. has a hangar.

Coolidge AZ
Goodbye Coolidge airport, nothing much changes here but it is always a good stop for pictures

Coolidge AZ




Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ - 'Fuck Dutch'- what is that all about..?

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
A weird place, but the graffiti does add a special touch. I enjoyed taking pictures here.

A word of WARNING, I know of someone who went there in August 2018 and got a $125 trespassing citation!

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
'Sorry Mom' - recording that expression on this graffiti blasted plane was worth coming here!

Four Douglas C-54's (military variant of the DC-4) remain here, operated a long time ago by Biegert Aviation. These 4 comprise N44904 (C-54D c/n 10862/593), N44906 (C-54B c/n 18388/162), N44908 (C-54B c/n 27246/192) and N44910 (C-54D c/n 10601/332).

All 4 were included in a tripreport dated 15Mar2020, still present at this location. Access was described as '... more difficult due to fencing and dirt tracks deeply rutted and unmaintained'.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Douglas C-54Q (military version of the DC-4) N44910 (c/n 10601). Ex US Navy BuNo. 56493.
Last flown for Biegert Aviation, but that was many, many years ago

Behind '910 we see Douglas C-54P N44908 (c/n 27246), the original tail tipper.
This C-54 was delivered to the USAF in 1945. It's been abandoned here at Chandler Memorial many years ago..
One of several (8) abandoned and vandalised planes at this disused field, this C-54 was delivered to USAF in 1944
and also served with the US Navy. It joined Farwest Airlines in 1976 and was acquired by Brooks Air Fuel in 1997.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ

When someone shared a photo (Feb.2020) on Facebook with the comments "Don't know what plane this is, but I camped under it", his motorcycle parked near a C-54, James Wulfkuhle wrote "You're very fortunate. That was my old jurisdiction and you camped in a very dangerous area. Tribal police take a poor view of people trespassing on a sovereign nation. Plus it's a hot area for drug and human smuggling. On a lighter note I worked for years trying to save many of those aircraft. That hanger near there was my old office.".

-Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ

You may want to see my 2008 visit here, when these vintage aeroplanes were still free of graffiti and there is
a little history on Biegert Aviation too.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Douglas C-54D/Q N44910 (c/n 10601/332)

C-54Q N44910 was once used by Biegert Aviation, as a sprayer (ex/ US Navy BuNo.56493).
Bought by Brooks Air Fuel in Dec.'97, for spare parts (Roger Brooks had plenty of aircraft for parts in his FAI yard). Since Roger Brooks had voluntarily gone out of business he probably did not react to the ultimatum the Indian Councel proclaimed: remove or the aircraft will be forfaited to the Indian Council (owners of the Gila River Memorial Airport).

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Douglas C-54D/Q N44910
N44910 was used by Biegert Aviation as a sprayer and was ex-US Navy BuNo.56493.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Couldn't resist a quick look in one of them.. This is C-54B/P N44908 (c/n 27246/192)
Sold to Brooks Air Fuel (still N44908) 08dec97.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Not much left to take, except I wouldn't mind to pay for that steering wheel !

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Douglas C-54Q N44904 (c/n 10862), ex/ Biegert Aviation
Ex/ US Navy BuNo.56530 (R5D-3) and at one timefor sale here for US$ 75.000,- Not sure if Airliners of
America (a project by the Whitesell family of California) paid as much for it in 1998, but that project was abandoned.
In july 2004 Roger Brooks wrote me the deal was done, after all paperwork was complete; a purchase for parts.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
'Chief' at least has some relation to this place. Identified as N44906 as under the 'Chief' graffiti the remains
of 'Coach' can be read - as I've seen it in 2008 (also in tail up position).

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Scrapping of N44906 was started but obviously interrupted. Cockpit sections have some value, but now..?

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Redevelopment is moving closer.
Gila River is no longer operational anymore as an airfield, but seems still accessible by car. I did not come across
any 'no tresspassing'-sign, but the the warnings by Robert Kropp further down this page!

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Lockheed PV-2D Harpoon N7251C, long serving as an Arizona desert relic..

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Lockheed PV-2D Harpoon N7251C (c/n 15-1516) has been stored here since (at least) 1981...
This 'Poon was included in a tripreport of a visit dated 15Mar2020. 'Fuck Jess' still going strong..

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Lockheed Harpoon N7251C; surely there is some better use for it than this..?

The following, written by Robert Kropp (an avid enthusiast and authoirty for preservation of aviation history), may explain the local situation.
"I wish I could deliver more of an upbeat Christmas (2017) message to you with regard to the fate of the Lockheed and Douglas air frames at Gila River Indian Community (GRIC), but alas I have none...
In direct answer to your question, ownership of all is GRIC and has been for many years now.
The airfield officially closed in 2008 and aircraft owners were notified at that time by the GRIC legal affairs department to move them by a specific date or they would be considered abandoned property.

Most thought this was a noise tactic on part of the tribal community over some great political unrest about future development of the airport facility. Many of the owners at that time thought they might have opportunity to make arrangements for further storage or to try to remove items at their leisure. Sadly, this was not the case.

GRIC thwarted several attempts at removal from some pretty important players in the game.
Tanker 112 (Lockheed PV-2) had been donated to Pacific Air Museum in Hawaii. They went so far as to retain professional aircraft movers to dismantle the airplane, pack it up for transport and had planned to move it off field.
The firm rolled to the field and was threatened with arrest and confiscation of equipment if they attempt any of this work!
The museum director went so far as to involve one of our state senators and his team. They tried working on behalf of the museum to seek permission to get in and do what they intended to do to no avail...
In the end event a powerful political powerhouse, lobbying on behalf of a national museum, was thwarted.
There were multiple phone calls, letters, visits and that sort of thing, from Washington, but the Indian position was still a simple one word response - "NO." 
I was told the Senator's office even got a hold of someone at Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington to try to move this along. The BIA said simply that it was a local jurisdiction matter with the GRIC and they would not get involved.

Over the years the other aircraft have been subjected to a variety of snake oil salesmen and vandals. I am not sure which entity has been worse. Several of the airplanes have been 'sold' and subsequently purchased by well meaning individuals, hoping to step in and preserve them before they are obliterated. Too often the purchaser thinks he or she has some magic words to console the tribal leaders or has offered financial incentive directly to them to attain this goal.
Again to no avail.
Sad, really, as I typically get drawn into the drama with a request to help dismantle or transport or move these aircraft when some excited chap parts with his funds to some 'owner' and then attempts to put a plan together to go-fetch.
It's happened enough times now that I suspect there's real money to be made in these airplanes, just as they sit, providing one doesn't have any morals or values and wants to propagate problems.

The Tribal community leaders have no interest in either preservation of these artifacts, nor do they see value in them.
Correspondingly they are in a dreaded state of limbo and will continue to deteriorate due to rampant vandalism.
The 'Catch-22' of the situation is they aren't for sale! You can't offer to remove them as rubbish or blight. You can't offer to restore one and give it to them for display. You can't go out and touch it or work on it or try to protect it as that's trespass and the Tribal officers are quite keen on making arrests and citing folks who wander about to take a look at them.
And yet, they never seem to catch the very folks who do the aircraft harm - the graffiti artists, the wanton vandals or the thieves who carve off parts for scrap metal sales...

Truly, a pity.
I have made numerous contacts over the years and have tried as well to assist in the preservation of these airframes but have had no success. Quite simply the topic is always met with utter indifference to help anyone outside of the Tribal community.

Even sadder is that I've endeavored to try to find an individual, or individuals, within the Tribal community who shows a sparkle of interest in them, as that would be the only catalyst for change. Yet, to date, I have found no one who will step forward with someone from outside of the community to carry this forward.
So, there they sit..."

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Lockheed PV-2D Harpoon N7251C, covered in senseless graffiti

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
'Poon N7251C

Gila River Mem'l Airfield (Closed) - Screen dump 2017 Google Maps
Gila River Mem'l Airfield (Closed) from the air - Screen dump 2017 Google Maps
If I remember correctly: from right to left N44910 (sans tail end), N44908 (the original tail tipper),
N44906 ('Chief', now also on its tail, its nose section on the ground) and N44904.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
N7086C sits behind the sadly burned Howard 500 N130P (ex/ Metal Refining)

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Delivered to the USN as BuNo 37444, in May 1945, it was stricken from US Navy rolls in Dec.1956 (with 808 hours TT).
Sold as N7086C in 1957 and was converted to a firebomber by 1961. Also fitted with sprayer bars.
N7086C was operated by a number of companies, with tanker identities ’s D20, F62, F43 and finally 112 in April 1979.
It was leased to T&G for the 1981 thru 83 seasons and stored at Chandler between seasons.
N7086C was last flown aorund 1986 and subsequently stored at Chandler around the same time.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Lockheed (Vega) PV-2D Harpoon (L-15) N7251C (c/n 15-1516) - senseless graffiti by adolescents, obviously.
N7251C was among the aircraft noted in a tripreport dated 15Mar2020 (4x DC-4, 1x PV-1 N130P, 2x PV-2, 1x DC-7B)

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ

PART 2 of my correspondence with Robert Kropp, about the frustrating situation (if one is an aviation history enthusiast) here:

"It has been a long time since our paths crossed. Goodness, Memorial Airfield really is that gift that keeps on giving in many ways. I say that only with a slight degree of sarcasm, as from the bad there always seems to come some good.

I still have this crazy thought and dream that I'll be able to pull the magical rabbit out of my hat to save some of that Lockheed stuff for our projects. I guess hope springs eternal (e.g. optimism abounds) with me on that as I can't envision as I type this trying anything I have already tried. But that will be fodder for 2018!

A rather funny story to share with you from several years ago, about Memorial, before the rampant destruction out there.
My contacts with the GRIC Airport Authority vanished into the night after the closure of the field. I couldn't get a return call as hard as I tried a year or two after that.
Anyone who had anything to do with the situation out there made a concerted effort to lay low. 

I was concerned about the D model on the slab.
At some point the mechanic who worked on it last (and I use the work 'mechanic' very loosely here) set the old girl on her axle shafts onto cinder blocks and discarded pieces of wood. A very haphazard arrangement, to say the least. 
During a monsoon she had jumped off of it and how she didn't crumple the bomb doors (now missing) is anyone's guess! 
Things started disappearing from her and I was worried she needed to come off of that slab. I had a crazy idea to move her into the compound where the Howard and T-112 were stored.
The hangar was still up at the time and a fence surrounded the property and it was almost safe from the mongrel cretins who damage sitting airplanes. 

My only contact out there was a Ranger employed by GRIC.
I told him I didn't want to harm the airplane, but simply move it. He told me to keep trying the contacts I had to see if I could get someone to authorize this. No dice.
Finally he told me he understood what I wanted to do and told me while he couldn't authorize permission he wasn't going to tell us not to carry on as well... 

That said, I went out there with our mutual friend Dan one day, to get her prepped for tires and wheels that I'd set aside for the project and had planned to donate to the cause.
This was going to be a major effort to lift her and ready her and put wheels back on!

I don't thing we'd been there a half hour before a very burly and intense police officer drove up and enquired (not so nicely) what we were doing.
I explained.
Showed him a string of e-mail messages that had gone unanswered about my intent to move the D to safety. Behind the fence. Dropped some names. Told him we were last airplane to leave field. That I'd worked with the firm that had done the spray work out there for years. All of that...
He wasn't too thrilled nor impressed. 

The situation became more tense and I suggested he call my Ranger and gave him the direct number. 
Half hour or so later the angry officer told us we had 5 minutes to mount up and scoot off the property or he'd be arresting us and confiscating our stuff!!!
All of it. Trucks, parts, tools - the whole kit and kaboodle.
Effectively he gave us a head start to run away.
We did. 

Called my Ranger later and he told me that he pulled every string he had to play there and we'd used our last professional courtesy there with our escape.
He did some fancy talking to put some water on a very explosive situation.
I was told not to test the patience of law enforcement out there again without a letter from Tribal Council authorizing permission to be there. 

Over the years I tried to work within the system, to advocate a little change. Tried to help the folks with the museum in Hawaii and fell flat.
I'd written about their political involvement from Washington that stalled as well. 

It appears much of this is over money and power. A lot of money changed hands during the proposed development phase of the airport. Nothing got done and a lot of that money went unaccounted for. There was some serious fraud perpetrated out there by many individuals, or so it appears. Promises made and then broken, resulting in diappointments and distrust.

The area is also a hotbed for illegal activity. At one time it was a major drug corridor and human smuggling passageway. Several murders and nasty things have happened out there. Law enforcement is REALLY on edge out there. Certainly for good reason.

Sadly, over the years I have seen everything fall into decay.
I knew it was bad when the hangar caught fire. And saw that poor D getting molested it by bit. First the prop blades went missing. And then the oil coolers were hacked out and scrapped.
And then the bomb doors went missing.
The latest was the damage to the Howard.
I see from the photo series a prop set is now missing from T-112 too.
So sad. 

A pity all of this happens. It doesn't need to be. But the GRIC is indifferent to our call for preservation. 
I've been advised, off the record, to work alternative methods, but I find fault with what I have been advised as I would be steering a course, lying, I'm not good prepared to do. The purpose of our initiave is to do good and in
only an open and transparent way.

So, with a million or so words exchanged in the last week or so, that's at least my perspective of the matter out there. The people who could make a decision or change out there either can't or won't, and the vandalism continues. And as a reaction to all of this their law enforcement team becomes angrier and nastier and more aggressive.
It is just bad all around.
Hope your visit out there was trouble-free.
Have heard some horror stories from well-meaning shutter bugs who wanted to go out there to document and they too get pulled into the drama. Cars impounded and cameras taken!! 

Perhaps 2018 will be a year of change out there. Again, I'm overly optimistic by nature, so I'll just hope for the best. 
Those who worked with me in the past, to get N7257C, were extremely cooperative and I am grateful for the courtesies they extended. Maybe I can pick up where we left off."

From Scramble magazine #494 (July 2020): 'T&G Aviation, has been at Marana, Chandler/Gila River (AZ) for years. The airfield is no longer operational, and now under control of local Indian tribe.
They hit enthusiasts looking around with a 125 USD trespassing fine.
Lately spotters take their drones out to get images of the Propliners on the field.
In images from November 2019, the airplane was still intact, but footage from December 2019, show the DC-7 completely burned out.
It is the third aircraft to burn down at this airfield in recent times.'

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
From the 8 remaining airframes here I would have thought the Howard would stand the best chance for preservation.
Not anymore..

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Lockheed (Howard) 500 (L-237) N130P (c/n 5958) - So sad, doom and gloom, so very sad..
Must have been burned after March 2015, because a photo on showed it untouched then except
somewhat tarnished by graffiti.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ

The Howard 500 was an American executive transport aircraft produced by Howard Aero Inc during the early 1960s. During the 1950s and '60s, Howard Aero Inc had been remanufacturing military surplus Lockheed Lodestars and Lockheed Venturas for the executive market.

While the Howard 500 bore a strong resemblance to these aircraft, it was a substantially new design, and all 500s had completely new fuselages. The only major components taken directly from its Lockheed forebears were the outer wing panels (from surplus Venturas) and undercarriage (from Harpoons).
Howard purchased wing and fuselage jigs from Lockheed to use as patterns for jigs for the new aircraft. The fuselage differed from the Ventura's in being designed from the outset for pressurisation, and the wings were designed wet.

The engine chosen was a new, higher-power and lighter-weight version of the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 that had been developed for the Douglas DC-6. The Howard 500 could accommodate 10 to 14 passengers with a large window for each.

The prototype flew in September 1959,[2] and certification was achieved on February 20, 1963.[2] By this time, however, the executive market was already dominated by turboprop aircraft, and although its performance was comparable to (or even better than) these new machines, and its price substantially lower, the Howard 500 could not effectively penetrate the market.[citation needed]

22 Howard 500s were produced initially, with a further eight being converted from earlier PV-2s to virtually the same standard.

Quite a unique plane has been lost here.


Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Note that flat spot on the tyre... It was stored among the weeds for a long time, then towed onto this ramp.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Douglas DC-7B N4889C (c/n 45353) a Delta Airways airliner, seen use as a water bomber in later life.
Update June 2020: 'In images from November 2019, the airplane was still intact, but footage from December 2019 show
the DC-7 completely burned out. It is the 3rd aircraft to burn down at this airfield in recent times.'

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
Douglas DC-7B N4889C (c/n 45353/917), alas now completely destroyed by fire.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
N4889C, is an ex/ T & G Aviation plane. In 1998 it was bought by Jeff Whitesell of Airliners of America (his dream to
establish an airline flying famous vintage American airliners) with hopes to restore its Delta Air Lines colourscheme...
Unfortunately that did not work out. Scroggins Aviation of Las Vegas,NV in June 2008 intended to move the aircraft
with "...plans to restore and fly the aircraft around the country (US) to airshows." That did not work out either.

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ
DC-7 N4889C

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ

Gila River Memorial Airfield, Chandler AZ




Bob Reid
Bob Reid and his 'RAF Ventura' - for sale.

Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon N86492, on display as a RAF Ventura
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon N86492, on display as RAF Ventura reg'd BJ-K/492
At least since 2006 in this colourscheme (including markings), judging by the photos I found online.
Maybe as early as 1998? (photo on Flickr). Bob Reid, the owner, is offering it for sale.

Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon N86492, on display as a RAF Ventura
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon N86492
'Delivered to US Navy as PV-2 BuNo. 37507 in May 1945. Sold as N6643D in August 1957.
Reg'd N86492 from 1962 and converted to agricultural sprayer. Later stored at Chandler AZ and Mesa for many years.'

Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon N86492, on display as a RAF Ventura

Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon N86492, on display as a RAF Ventura
RAF Ventura BJ-K/492 as could have been seen 'back in the days'

Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon N86492, on display as a RAF Ventura
The bomb doors of N86492

In 2008 I also visited Mesa-Falcon Field, more propliners were to be found then, SEE MY 2008 REPORT

Some very nice video footage can be found on YouTube: - by drone! - 2000, by Han de Ridder

Nearby I noticed a 'familiar face', The African Queen'- moved from Coolidge (and Chandler) at some point.
African Queen
This is Douglas DC-7C 'Seven Seas', N90804 (c/n 45116/750), once operated as G-AOIF by British BOAC.
In May 2013 it was seen lying on the ground at Mesa-Falcon Field; see also my report USA08: Coolidge

From Aviation Safety Ntwork (ASN) database - 08DEC88:
'Two T&G Aviation DC-7 planes were to be flown from Senegal to Morocco for a locust control mission there.
Both aircraft were following their flight plan on airway Red 975 at an altitude of 11.000 feet and were flying 1.5 miles apart.
Both aircraft were attacked and hit by SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles fired by the Polisario. The lead aircraft (N284) lost one of its engines and part of a wing and crashed. The second aircraft (N90804) lost an engine and suffered other damage, but it was able to land at Sidi Ifni, on the Moroccan coast.
Polisario soldiers thought the DC-7s were Moroccan military C-130 aircraft.'
Someone wrote me, on the above subject: "Sergio Thomasoni and Woody Grantham (the owners of T&G) were the pilots on this one (flight home, to the USA -Webmaster).
Both told me the story many years ago and it was somewhat more interesting than reading it on ASN.."

Updates on fate, movements & ownership are welcomed! EMAIL

Sean Keating updated me on 'The African Queen' in Jan.2020: "January 07th. At Mesa I spoke with a few 'colonels' at the CAF museum, as to the whereabouts of the DC-7 nose section of the 'African Queen' that was stored at their facility. Turns out they couldn't raise the funding to restore it so another group on the north side of the airfield took it away 1-2 years ago for restoration; no names or contacts were known to these guys. So I ventured over there, but nothing obvious other than a couple of stored Harpoons. Maybe you have heard what has happened to it?"

I contacted a trusty source and man-in-the-know at Mesa-Falcon Field, Robert A. Kropp replied:
"The CAF decided the DC-7 nose section of African Queen was surplus to their needs and they parted with it several months ago. It went to a private owner at Mesa's Falcon Field and got stuffed into a hangar.
I believe the new owner is Joe Dawkins, a long-time resident and contributor to the CAF.
I am glad he took it, as there was some talk of scrapping it if a home could not be found, and poor old African Queen escaped yet another date with a metal recycler! I am told new owner has plans to put some parts back into it and display it as found."
Saved in the nick of time!


Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
On the ramp of the Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum, I witnessed a departure!
This is Boeing Stearman PT-17 Kaydet, '964' - available for rides! This is Boeing Stearman N2S-3 Kaydet
N47964/964 (75-7540); as Terry Fletcher pointed out to me, they have 2 of those biplanes here:
I wouldn't mind a flight in one of those some day!

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Aeronca L-16, N7436B / '7474' (CAF AZ)

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
North American SNJ/T-6 Texan N4236G / '90725/25' of the CAF, AZ Wing - another one available for plane rides!

Seeing no one to adress, I wandered inside..

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
But I was soon intercepted and as it is in fact a working hangar and I was given an escorted tour by a very friendly gent.

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Beech C-45 N145AZ (A-235)
R30Dec08 American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum (Dallas,TX)

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis (NATO code 'Fagot')
The MiG-15 had been at some point been repainted, but since these Russian fighters have their aluminum mixed
or varnished by an unknown variant, the paintwork did not last. So it has been stripped and is being polished
by volunteers, a tedious but rewarding job. This is about the only thing I remember from the guided tour... sorry.

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
As it once may have looked like..

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, named 'Sentimental Journey'

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress N9323Z (c/n 32155) '483514/F/U' "Sentimental Journey"
STATUS: FLYING. And again: plane rides available!

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Display of 'Maid in the Shade'.

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
B-25J Mitchell '33597/18', later converted to TB-25J and TB-25N.
Ex/ USAAF 43-35972, to N9552Z and N125AZ (current).
Reg'd 06Sep1991 to American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum (Dallas,TX). manufactured in 1944.

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Support team for 'Maid in the Shade'

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Douglas C-47 N147AZ

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Douglas C-47A Skytrain N147AZ (c/n 9380; mfr 1943).
Reg'd 28May15 to American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum (Dallas,TX).

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
'Old Number 30' - plane rides available
Former identities: 42-23518 (USAAF), C-75 (SAM Colombia), HK-505 same), N5V (Hoover Company), N541X (Rio Airways), N514X (Radcliffe Investment Co), N53ST (ADA Industrial Bldg; Wiesner Inc; CB Air; Air Care Int'l; Prescott Precision / Prescott DC3 Inc; American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum - 28May15 - at some point with add'l m/s 531323/T/53,
based Prescott AZ), N147AZ (American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum of Dallas,TX -current).

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
C-47 N147AZ, '223518/F'

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Beautiful VIP interior of N147AZ

Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Exquisite, don't you agree!


Arizona Commemorative Air Force (CAF AZ) Museum
Cockpit of C-47 N147AZ / 42-23518


Coulson at Mesa-Gateway Airport
Coulson shows its presence at Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport (KIWA).
I could not contact anyone with Coulson, standing outside. Two people related my wish for communication with the guard
office inside the closed fence, to gain entry to the Int'l Air Response hangar, but no one did me the courtesy to step outside.
I think I.A.R. are now working mainly as a maintenance and airtanker conversion company for Coulson.
IAR at mesa-gateway
This is as far as I got, on the front end.
It may be C-130Q BuNo. 161496 (c/n 4904) hiding in there, Coulson had it transported from a salvage yard
at Davis-Monthan AFB by road to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway on 26May17. This is to become Tanker 134.

At the airside of I.A.R.:
Mesa-Gateway Airport, Phoenix AZ
Lockheed C-130A N120TG (c/n 3095) of Int'l Air Response. Former USAF 56-0487.
This early model Herc (mfr 1950) also flew/reg'd for Roy D. Reagan (N6585H), AeroPostal de México (XA-RYZ),
N487UN was not used (Pacific Harbor Capitol), so next was Chani Enterprises / Raphael Soriano (9J-AFV)
while based at Tokoph-built Mwansabombwe airstrip, Zambia. And Chani Enterprises (9J-BTM) closed that line.
It was reported stored at Lisbon-Alverca (Portugal), but that may be before I noticed it at Mesa-Gateway.
When I checked N-inquiry -01Jan18- I found N120TG reg'd 15Feb13 to IAR ('Agriculture and Pest Control,
Forest, Aerial Surveying, Patrolling' -categories)

For good measure a warbird, hiding around the corner, elsewhere @KIWA...
A-4 Skyhawk, N251WL
A-4 Skyhawk, N251WL - in some sort of 'agressor'-colourscheme
On N-inquiry I noted the registration N251WL had expired (31Jul2017), but still offered following details:
McDonnel-Douglas TA-4J (serial 153500) - Reg'd 24Jul2014 to Top Aces Corp., Mesa AZ



Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Day of visit 13Oct17
This is Douglas C-47A N243DC (c/n 9247) , reg'd to Hans O. Lauridsen of Phoenix,AZ on 20May2013. listed the following identities: 42-23385 (USAAF), N48990 (Reynolds Metal Co), N990 (same), N34116 (Sears Roebuck; Singer Co), N66HL (RWH Avn; Amjet A/c Corp), N23AJ (Limey Dak Co), then to H. Lauridson (2004, I think)
who is (was?) hoping to get an aviation museum established.

Propliners at Buckeye AZ

Buckeye was Luke AF Auxilliary No.5 - IATA code: BXK

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
C-47A N243DC. The passenger door and large window make me suspect there is a nice passenger cabin in this one!

Propliners at Buckeye AZ

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
The pidgeons were the only sign of life here.

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Consolidated (Canadian Vickers) PBV-1A Canso A N413PB (CV-343; mfr 1953), reg'd to Hans O. Lauridsen 17May2013.
Former Buffalo Airways PBY C-FOFI (Airtanker 703), it was added to the Hans Lauridsen collection in 2005.

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Grumman C-1A Trader N71456 (c/n 5); ex/ USN BuNo.136752 (mfr 1955)
Reg'd 24Feb16 to Hans O. Lauridsen
Midday is no good taking photos at Buckeye; I had to resort to hefty measures using Photoshop to deal with the contrast

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
I don't know much about classic cars, but this one looked like an Opel Rekord (1960s), the only automobile my father
bought new: never again! Ed Stewart identified it as a 1955 Buick Century. Jonathan Mark Banks added: "My older sister's University graduation gift was a new 1960 Opel Rekord coupé. The GM German brand was sold through US Buick dealers
all through the Sixties."

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Ryan Navion B NC5340K (c/n NAV-2240B; mfr 1950). R24Feb16 to Hans O. Lauridsen
In 2015 I had a scenic flight in one of these, in Texas.

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Douglas TB-26C Invader N4819E (c/n 27888); ex/ USAF 44-34609, this Invader was built as an A-26C and
'TOC' by the USAAF as 44-35371. Subsequently converted to a TB-26C by Douglas, she eventually became a tanker with
Lynch Air Tankers )based at Billings MT), but suffered a nose leg collapse in 1975. She has passed through various owners
since but now sits here in the desert awaiting further preservation. Has received this blue camo somewhere since 2015.

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
That sure is one sleek bomber!

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Douglas A-26C Invader

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
North American TB-25J Mitchell NL3438G (c/n 108-47551).
ex/ USAAF 44-86797, manufactured in 1944. R24Feb16 to Hans O. Lauridsen.

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
I hope the pidgeons don't nest in there!

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Built for water and waves, now staring at the desert.

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Grumman HU-16C Albatross N216HU / 7238 (c/n 333)
ex/ BuNo.131904 (mfr 1952) & R05Nov2008 to Hans O. Lauridsen
Plenty of HU-16's in storage for more restorations (or parts supply), see Tucson's Salvage Yards (2017)

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Grumman HU-16C 7238 (N216HU) and Fairchild C-119 N15501, both preserved for fine displays.

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Fairchild C-119G 'Flying Boxcar' N15501 (c/n 10955) - Rereg'd 02Dec2015 for Hans O. Lauridsen.
This C-119 featured in the 2004 remake of the film 'Flight of the Phoenix.'
Details on C-119s used for the film HERE.. N15501 before the makeover for the film HERE..
C-119F N3267U was also used for 'Flight of the Phoenix'
Last Flight of the Phoenix
Scene from 'Flight of the Phoenix' (remake starring Dennis Quaid)


Propliners at Buckeye AZ
Grumman HU-16C, US Coast Guard 7238 (N216HU)

Propliners at Buckeye AZ
I just love this scenery!

Many years ago I found little info on the C-119 and so I started my own C-119 Dossier



Kingman,AZ - 2017 Ruud Leeuw
Pzl-mielec An-2 N50670 (c/n 1G21318), was reg'd to Vertol Systems Company Inc (Tigard,OR) but since 02Jun2017 reg'd
to American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum (Dallas,TX).

Kingman,AZ - 2017 Ruud Leeuw
AT-6 493266/N51KT (source) 49-3266 USAF 'Strip Teeze' (c/n 168-370)
Next to it North American T-28B Trojan N238V/28 (52-1238; mfr 1952) - reg'd to Daniel Kirland of Kingman 28Dec12

On I found this quote:
"Robin Foote commented (08Jun16): I bought this AT-6G from Elmer Ward in December of 1976 and flew her from Chino, CA to Windham, CT to add to our Warbirds International Airshows collection that would ultimately also include a Tora Tora Kate, Zero and my dad's FM-2 Wildcat.
It was registered as N9604C at that time.
I owned and flew her for 10 years, mostly flying formation and mild aerobatics at airshows. She had no rollover structure and was extremely light and fast as Jim Nunn had restored her for racing - yet she somehow was registered under Standard category.
I was always at least 10 Knots faster than other T-6s at the same power settings!
In 1982 I had an offer to buy her by Ralph Twombly, renowned Reno T-6 race pilot. We never made a deal and I sold her a couple of years later to Bruce McCauley."

Kingman,AZ - 2017 Ruud Leeuw
North American T-6 Texan (Harvard) N51KT
The number '73' stems from a Reno Air Race

Kingman,AZ - 2017 Ruud Leeuw
Beech T-34A Mentor, 56-798/SH '56' (N56ZZ, G-798)

The T-34 was the brainchild of Walter Beech, who developed it as the Beechcraft Model 45 private venture, at a time when there was no defense budget for a new trainer model.
Beech hoped to sell it as an economical alternative to the North American T-6/SNJ Texan, then in use by all services of the U.S. military.

Kingman,AZ - 2017 Ruud Leeuw
Nanchang CJ-6A N4182C (71882/82; msn 2032011)
Reg'd to Pickle Aviation LLC (Scottsdale,AZ) on 22Aug2013

Kingman,AZ - 2017 Ruud Leeuw
Nanchang CJ-6A N23YK (81703/28; msn 1432028) - reg'd to Donald A. Andrews (Trustee) since 07May98.

Kingman,AZ - 2017 Ruud Leeuw
N546S is Fairchild C-123K Provider, ex/ USAF 54-0615 (c/n 20064). Note the piston engines plus jet pods.
Reg'd to James R. Blumenthal of 'Skymaster Aviation' (Kingman,AZ) on 06Feb91. N546S has been here since the 1990s.
Its one claim to fame is that it may have featured in a Vin Diesel film, 'Triple X'. Not sure.

Kingman Airport (IGM) in Arizona.
The Kingman Airport & Industrial Park is located five miles north of Interstate 40 in Kingman,AZ. It is home to more than 70 businesses, including the storage of airliners.
When we last visited in May of 2013, dozens of airliners were parked, including those from American Eagle, Continental, DHL, SAS and other airlines.





PROPLINERS ,AZ - 2017 Ruud Leeuw
In May 2008 I visited this same area including Goodyear airfield, where I photographed this Douglas DC-7C
N777EA (c/n 45549). It has been stored here for a long time. This is former KLM Royal Dutch Airlines PH-DSR!
Peter ten Duis sent me photos in 2006 and I have included its history with it on: Guestphotos page 2.
Ivo Niënhaus sent a photo dated 24Jan2010, see my Photos by Friends & Guests, Page 22.

PROPLINERS ,AZ - 2017 Ruud Leeuw
DC-7C N777EA (c/n 45549), moved since 2008, but its appearance show little detoration since then.

Litchfield Park / Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR).
This facility in Phoenix, AZ was originally constructed during World War II as a naval air facility known as NAF Litchfield Park, and later renamed Naval Air Station Litchfield Park.
Its primary role following the end of World War II was that of storage and preservation of obsolete or excess U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard aircraft.
In 1965, the Defense Department decided to consolidate military aircraft storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.
Following the closure of NAS Litchfield Park in 1967, the city of Phoenix purchased the airport for a general aviation facility.
Today, the airport is home to several private companies offering aircraft maintenance, airliner storage, and commercial pilot training, and serves as a reliever airfield for Phoenix Sky Harbor.




Moab, Utah
WACO YMF-F5C N97YM (msn F5C097, mfr 2001), reg'd 29Jan16 to Redtail Partners LLC (Moab,UT)

WACO NC97YM, a biplane I would love to have a flight in one day!

USA 2017
PAGE 1 - drive down from Eckert,CO to Tucson (included)
PAGE 2 - Phoenix area, Kingman and Muab (UT)
PAGE 3 - Tucson's Salvage Yards
PAGE 4 - Pima Air & Space Museum revisited
PAGE 5 - Flight over AMARG & Pinal Air Park


Reactions / comments welcomed.

Created: 11-Jan-2018