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Rose Parrakeet A-1  S/N 103  NC14843

N-number                  : N14843
Aircraft Serial Number    : 103
Aircraft Manufacturer     : ROSE
     Model                :
Engine Manufacturer       : CONT MOTOR
     Model                :
A40 SERIES (STC'd for C-90)
Aircraft Year             : 1936
Owner Name                : Sale Reported
                            NICHOLS GERALD R
Owner Address             : 2420 CLAYTON AVE
                            MT PLEASANT, IA, 52641
Type of Owner             : Individual
Registration Date         : 14-Oct-2004
Airworthiness Certificate : Standard
Approved Operations       : Normal

According to an article published by Barry Taylor, logbook entries indicate that Jack Rose first flew Rose Parrakeet S/N 103, NC14843 on May 15, 1936.  He personally trailered it to California behind his 1929 Ford Model A. He logged a 40 minute flight in NC14843 in San Francisco on June 13th.  CAA registration documents show that he sold it to Conwalt Flying Service (Jack S. Conley & Fred E. Walts) on June 30th.  It was subsequently sold by Conwalt to to Theo Brown and R. B. Stephansen who were listed as flying school operators at the Los Angeles Municipal Airport, Inglewood, California.  Notes on a photo of NC14843 by Ralph Johnston dates them 1935, but does not indicate where it was taken (Click here to go to photo).  However, Ralph's notes may have been reconstructed from memory, because the CAA registration application signed by Jack Rose states the date of Manufacture as "April 1936".   Either way, the current FAA registry entry which shows a 1937 "Aircraft Year" is clearly wrong.

On January 21, 1938, Stephansen and Brown applied for a temporary experimental registration to test NX14843 with a Menasco M-50 engine.  In October of 1939, a new owner Arthur W. Stevens of San Dimas, CA applied for commercial registration with a Continental A-40-4 as originally certified.  Stevens then sold it to Falcon Aircraft Corporation on 1 December, 1939.  It was sold to Joe Flesia of Wilmington, CA on 4 March, 1940.  NC14843 was then transferred to Bruce Little of Glendale, CA on 5 December, 1942.  Through all of these title transfers NC14843 continued to be based at the Los Angeles Municipal Airport, Inglewood, CA.

Walt Grigg remembers hearing that actor Ray Milland "flew the heck out of a Parrakeet".  This is what I have found out so far.  Welsh born Reginald Alfred Truscott-Jones (stage name Raymond Milland) learned to fly in 1927 in a DeHavilland Gypsy Moth during his spare time as a Royal Household Cavalry Guard.  In 1929, he traded the British film industry for Hollywood.  In the early 30's he obtained his "Private" flying license in a Kinner Fleet based at Mines Field (now Los Angeles International Airport).  He starred in several early flying movies such as: Wings Over Honolulu (1937), Men with Wings (1938) and I Wanted Wings (1941).  During W.W.II Milland served as a civilian contract primary flight instructor between movies.  In his 1974, autobiography Wide Eyed in Babylon, Milland relates how flying the Kinner Fleet often relaxed him, but he does not mention flying a Rose Parrakeet. 

In a letter to Barry Taylor, which appears in "The Parrakeet Pilot", Sixth Ed, February 2000,  John Underwood states "Another film celebrity involved with Parrakeets was Ray Milland, who I believe was taught to fly by Ted Brown.  Milland claimed to own a Parrakeet and Stinson, neither of which were registered in his name, which leads me to think he probably had an interest in, if not outright ownership, of the Brown operation."  R. B. Stephanson and Theo "Ted" Brown were flying school operators and owned NC14843 from 1936 to 1939.

Walt Grigg has a copy of an article "The Parakeet Story" by Jack W. Rose, as told to John Underwood (Bib. #5), in which John states that Ray Milland flew NC14881.

Did Ray Milland fly more than one Rose Parrakeet?  NC14843, NC14844 and NC14881 were all based in the Los Angeles area during this time.  Take a look at the pictures below and let me know what you think.

Update 7/4/09 - NC14843 arrives at Antique Airfield, Blakesburg, IA for repair & restoration work under new ownership! See photos posted 7/15/09

Above - Jack Rose Rose personally delivering two Parrakeets (NC14843 & NC14844) to California circa 1936.
Below - NC14843 as delivered to Conwalts Flying Service, San Francisco, CA.  Photos reprinted from "The Parrakeet Story: As told to John Underwood by Jack Rose", Sport Flying, June 1969.

Right - Menasco M-50, as installed in Rose Parrakeet A-1 S/N 103 NX14843 circa 1938. Note covered gear legs.  From "The Parrakeet Pilot", Fourth Issue, March 1998.

Rose Parrakeet NC14843 Burbank Airport

Above—Rose Parrakeet S/N 103, NC14843.  Circa 1937? Photo taken at Burbank, CA Airport.  Person unknown - could this be actor Ray Milland? Date unknown.   Photo from June 1967, Sport Flying, vol. I, no. 2, accredited to WAMA?

See more photos of NC14843 in the late 30's & early 40's

See photos of NC14843 as modified in the 50's

Right - Please compare the enlagement of the late 30's photo with the inset of a Ray Milland studio photo taken in 1931.  Although the lighting is different, the overall facial structure looks very similar to me.  The nattily dressed gentleman at the left could also be one of NC14843's early owners, but I have no photos for comparison.    Let me know what you think!

Ray Milland
Rose Parrakeet A-1 NC14843

Left - Doug Rhinehart at the controls of NC14843 sometime in the 60s. Back of Photo stamped "Photo by Joe Durham Box22 Okeene, Okla." Date unknown, but probably 1966   Photo courtesy of Don Pellegreno.

Right - Doug Rhinehart at the controls of NC14843 on ramp at Aztec aiport.. Photo by Nyle Leatham. From Air Progress, May 1969, "Doug Rhinehart's spectacular aerobatic performer", pg. 38.

See more photos of NC14843 as flown by Doug Rhinehart in the 60's

Rose Parrakeet A-1 NC14843

Left - NC14843 at Arizona AAA Chapter - Cactus Fly-In 2004, Casa Grande, AZ.  Owner Don Pellegreno.  Photo courtesy of Harly Wadsworth.

( Don Pellegrino - 4/15/06)
I got a one time STC to place a Cont C-90 on the bird. That took a couple of years and was easy after I got to the right Fed. My STC used the ones previously done by Doug Rhinehart. Once you get the papers I'm sending you, you'll understand what is needed to get the engine change. I got to fly the Rose for 128 tach hours. Cruise was 115-120. CHEERS don

See photos of NC14843 as restored by John Anderson (1981-19990 & owned by Don Pellegreno (1999-2004)

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Last updated on:                     07/14/09

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