Tri-Motored All-Metal Transport Is Latest Addition to Cliff Maus Airport’s Planes

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November 26, 2010


Originally published March 12, 1939

The latest and largest addition to Cliff Maus Airport’s private planes, a Fort tri-motored all metal ship.  While these planes are the granddaddies of the ultra-modern air liners of today, they still carry the NC before the license number, which means the government inspector has found then to be airworthy.  Most of these Ford air liners are now operating in South America on air line service where speed doesn’t count.

Cliff Maus Airport has added another airplane to its growing list of permanent lanes.  The latest is a tri-motored, all-metal Ford transport plane.

The big 10-passenger ship is owned and operated by Buck Layton (sic), veteran pilot.  Layton (sic) now operates a flying school at Laredo, where he has also operated the tri-motor for passenger flights, until this past Tuesday, when he flew it to our airport. In addition to operating the big ship here, on passenger flights over the city and charter trips, Layton (sic) is considering the possibilities of establishing the “shortest air line I the world” from corpus Christi to port Aransas, making two round trips a day during the summer.  It also seems that he has his eye on the proposed air mail feeder service between here and Laredo should it be put into effect.

Layton (sic) received his first flight training at Kelly Field in 1920.  Since that time his experiences in flying have varied from teaching students to test flying, air line pilot and exhibition flying.  His log books show many thousands of hours spent at the controls of aircraft both large and small.

Ace Corben, airport manager, received his tri-motor instruction from Layton (sic), when he bought the familiar red and yellow tri-motored plane that many Corpus Christians enjoyed their first flight in.  Ace sold his big plane a year ago, but it looks like Cliff Maus airport is again one of the few airports that has a tri-motored plane available for private flying.

Pilots Meet
Tuesday evening a meeting of local licensed pilots was called at the airport to discuss the possibilities of forming a pilot’s acociation (sic)) to include all pilots in Corpus Christi and nearby towns.  To date there are 33 pilots holding active licenses I this vicinity.

At the meeting, which was attended by some 15 birdmen, plans were suggested for the proposed organization.  However, nothing definite was arrived at and the future meeting is to be held at an early date.

Two years ago a local chapter of the national Aeronautics Association was formed here.  Due to lack of activity, interest soon dwindled and the members dropped out one by one.  Some of the local fiers (sic) still feel that there is need for some kind of local pilot’s association, since the number of pilots here is increasing so rapidly.  The proposed association will admit only fliers holding pilot certificates issued by the Civil Aeronautics authority.  However, an honorary membership will be available to those interested in the development of aviation.  A good organization would no doubt be a fine thing and it should help to create interest in flying.  While I have seen several such organizations prove successful, I have seen 10 times as many turn out to be failures.  Here’s hoping this new one will be the best.

New Beacon Lights
Notice has just been received at the airport, from the Civil aeronautics Authority, regarding operation of the new beacon lights which are to be put into operation between Corpus Christi, Houston, and New Orleans March 15.  Since I understand that Eastern Air Lines has been awaiting the completion of these lights be fore starting their new runs between Houston, Corpus Christi and Brownsville, it would be my guess that the new service will begin at an early date.  The new beacon lights now give our fair city three lighted airways, one going north, one south and the new one east.  In addition to the beacon lights, which are located approximately every 15 miles apart, there will be 3 lighted emergency landing fields between here and Houston.  These fields are installed and maintained by the government.

The new additional schedule which Braniff Airways started through Corpus Christi a short time ago, has met with such an increasing number of passengers it has become necessary to replace the 10-passenger Lockheed Electras with Douglas 14-passenger transports.  Corpus Christi now has four of the big Douglas Airlines through here each day and two trips using the smaller 10-passenger ships, every day except Sunday.

No Mishaps at Air Meet
In looking over a report of the Miami air Races and all the trimmings which went with it, I noticed one smal (sic) article which, to my way of thinking in terms of aviation, is something outstanding.  A flight of 600 privately-owned flivver planes migrated to the Southern Air Races from all parts of the United States.  Out of this number of sportsmen and sportswomen pilots there was not the slightest mishap of any kind.  To me, this was one of the greatest boots for private flying you could ask for.  However, very little publicity was given the event.

“Safer Aircraft”
Speaking of private flying, according to a statement from the Civil Aeronautics Authority at Washington, they have agreed to make it easier to obtain licenses to fly private planes, if the aviation industry will develop safer airpanes (sic).  Just what they mean when they say “safer aircraft” I could not tell you.  If the 600 private fliers and their Flivver planes don’t prove the safety of aircraft, I don’t know what does.  Several years ago the Department of Commerce spent many thousands of dollar strying (sic) to develop a foolproof airplane, but everyone who knows about it is still waiting for the startling results that were promised.  As yet, nobody has even built a fool-proof automobile, let alone such an airplane.

If the new Civil Aeronautics Authority wants to help stimulate and promote private flying, I would suggest (along with several others, that they translate the present set of rules and regulations governing private flying into plain English where the average person could understand them without having to take a law course first.  Very few people who have the desire to fly would object to taking enough flying instruction to develop the art of flying.  But when it comes to spending twice as much time thumbing back and forth through a volume of technical written do’s and don’ts – well, it a little more than the ordinary person cares to do.  I don’t think anyone who has looked over the big book of rules and regulations can blame them.

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