LOCKHEED VEGA Model 5 NC891E
PURE AND SIMPLE TRANSPORT
This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5 (S/N 73; ATC #93)
manufactured during May 1929 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation,
CA. It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney
Wasp B engine (S/N 1449) of 450 HP. It was a five-place
It sold on an unspecified date in 1929 to the Schlee-Brock Aircraft Company, Detroit, MI. Schlee-Brock was a
Lockheed Distributor. NC891E landed at Tucson once
on June 5, 1929 flown by R.O.D. Sullivan. He carried two
passengers: his wife and son. They were westbound from
El Paso, TX to Santa Monica, CA. There is no indication
in the NASM record why Sullivan was flying the airplane at
this time. The airplane was about a month old.
Schlee-Brock transferred it to Middle States Airlines, Akron,
OH later in 1929. Middle States sold it to Midland
Air Express, Kansas City, MO in 1930. The airplane shows up in this role in the pilot log of R.W. Henderson (see his Logbook #1, PDF page 17).
Midland Air Express sold NC891E to Air Express Corporation,
New York, NY in 1932. Air Express flew it on their
trans-continental cargo routes between 1932 and 1933 as their
aircraft #102. It had been modified to a cargo carrier,
with a “high-speed”, braced landing gear. It
was painted silver with green trim.
NC891E was sold during October 1933 to Capitol Airlines,
Inc., Sacramento & San Bruno, CA who converted the airplane to a Vega
5C under ATC #384.
On February 21, 1934 the airplane was sold to Capitol Speed
Lines, Inc., San
Francisco, CA. It was flown briefly
on their Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, Marysville, Chico,
Red Bluff and Redding routes.
On March 28, 1934 NC891E sold to Varney Speed Lanes, Burbank,
CA. It was operated by Varney’s Southwest Division
out of El Paso, TX. It suffered an accident near Rattlesnake
Butte, CO on May 1, 1935. Pilot John J. Montijo (he was one of Amelia Earhart’s flight
instructors) struck the ground in a low turn. Montijo
was killed. The Department of Commerce accident report is downloadable from Montijo's biography page at the link.
Besides its visit at Tucson, NC891E landed twice at Parks Airport. Please direct your browser to the link for further information.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 06/01/06 REVISED: 03/01/11, 10/18/11, 03/28/13, 01/17/14