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STEARMAN C-3B NC6483

ACCIDENTS R US

This airplane landed once at Clover Field, Friday, August 28, 1931 at 6:10PM. It was inbound from Dallas, TX and its destination was recorded as back to Dallas. It was flown by Robert P. Deuel. Deuel flew with pilot certificate 1898. He carried one unidentified passenger. Their airplane belonged to A.J. Reinhart.

Interestingly, from the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register, we find Deuel passing through Tucson eastbound on September 4, 1931 returning to Dallas from Los Angeles. He flew a different Stearman, NC6118.

NC6483, S/N 183, was manufactured on November 11, 1928 by the Stearman Aircraft Company, Wichita, KS. It left the factory with a Wright J-5A engine of 220HP, S/N B-9201. It was a 3-place airplane that weighed 2,650 pounds. It sold initially and quickly to Skyways, Incorporated of Michigan on November 12, 1928. Skyways was based in Flint, MI.

Over the next four years NC6483 was run hard, changed owners four times and moved to Texas. When it moved to Texas in 1931 it had its "floor cut open for photo work." On September 20, 1932 it sold to Long & Harmon at Love Field, Dallas, TX. They offered flight training, pleasure flights and aircraft services. They operated the Dallas Aviation School and Air College based at Love Field. Register pilot Jean LaRene used one of Long & Harmon's airplanes, the Rearwin Ken-Royce NC592H, during her participation in the 1931 and 1932 National Air Races. Please direct your browser to the link for more information about Long & Harmon and Jean LaRene.

Long & Harmon installed a tail wheel on NC6483 in July, 1933, replaced the engine with a Wright J-5 in December, 1933, added a 1-way radio with wiring in January 1935 and reported the total time on the airframe as 1,924 flight hours for an average of over 200 flight hours per year since new.

Over the next two years with Long & Harmon it had repairs performed to its left lower wing and center section, and went through a "major overhaul" of the airframe. A new Wright engine was installed and the total time was reported as 2,859 flight hours as of February 12, 1937. It suffered its first accident at Wichita Falls, TX on July 29, 1937.

There was damage to the ribs of the upper wings, the fuselage, lower left wing, wing struts, left landing gear and engine rocker boxes. The damage was so extensive its license was suspended on August 9, 1937. Repairs were made and a Wright engine (S/N R9787) installed as of October 22, 1927. In what was probably a major embarrassment for the pilot, and an equal annoyance to Long & Harmon, its second accident occurred on October 22nd when it "nosed up on test flight after repairs." There was no report of damage, but it was "re-built, o-hauled complete, re-covered" as of January 21, 1938 by Dallas Aviation School, Dallas, TX. With a new Wright J-5 engine installed and a total time of 3,206 flight hours, it was signed off as airworthy again on February, 23, 1938.

Near Dallas on April 18, 1938 it suffered another accident in the hands of pilot W.T. Newkirk (Transport certificate T38905; not a Register pilot). He and his passenger were not injured. It seems the engine quit on takeoff and Newkirk first tried to turn back to the airport, "then changed his mind and tried to turn again into a wheat field. Ship fell off [stalled] and started to spin but hit flat." They were lucky to survive. The airplane went through "major overhaul and repair, re-covering." The same Wright J-5 engine (S/N 9787) was installed and the airplane was signed off as airworthy again on March 23, 1940 with 3,294 flight hours. Note that it took almost two years to get back in the air.

Three months later, it had another accident at Waco, TX. On June 23, 1940, pilot R.T. Dixon (student certificate 95542; not a Register pilot) "nosed over on landing due to shearing of right axle and loss of wheel. Ship nosed over, front spar cracked, upper left wing damage, also rudder, struts and propeller." It was repaired as of October 30, 1940.

On October 31, 1940 (yes, just a day later), at 2PM, pilot James Peterson (Private pilot certificate 92722; not a Register pilot) "started to ground loop after landing, too much brake and went over on its back. Damange to rudder, fin, prop, upper wing, strut, fuselage wrinkled." It was repaired and returned to service on November 15, 1940.

Six weeks later, guess what, at Waco again pilot Maurice James Armitage (Private pilot certificate 93862; not a Register pilot) ground looped after landing. The left wheel collapsed with damage to the landing gear and left lower wing. It was repaired, landing lights were installed, Wright engine S/N 7668 was installed and it was returned to service March 10, 1941 with 3,624 flight hours.

Five months later, guess what. At Dallas, TX on August 5, 1941 pilot Charles L. Paxton (Private pilot certificate 38969; not a Register pilot) ground looped NC6438 once again, "after landing when one brake did not release." There were no injuries, but there was damage to the right wing tip and axle.

Finally, on January 26, 1942 at 2:30AM at Love Field, NC6483 was destroyed in a fire which burned the hangar, stock room, shops and twelve other aircraft. It is not clear if the fire started with NC6483 or it originated elsewhere. Its registration and airworthiness certificates were cancelled January 26, 1942.

NC6483 also landed once at Albuquerque, NM, June 2, 1929, and is recorded in the Oxnard Field Register there. No further information.

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