Welcome to the TBM Avengers Archive

Welcome to the TBM Avengers Archive supported by the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (located near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada). You will find detailed information about Grumman Avenger Aircraft used by Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, as well as information regarding Avengers which have been used in New Brunswick in aerial application programs from other parts of Canada and the USA.

This is a history of Forest Protection Limited’s association with some 88 TBM Avenger aircraft used in the spruce budworm aerial spray program, primarily in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. This text is based on my own Web site of the same name and has been compiled from many sources. From the late 1950s to the early 1980s, Avengers were contracted by FPL from all over the United States and Canada. FPL purchased many of those same Avengers in the establishment of its own fleet, which at one time had the most working Avengers flying at any one time in the World. Although FPL’s Avengers were gradually replaced by the AT803, they continued to be used as fire bombers well into the 2000s. The last Avenger left FPL in 2012.

Visit TBM’s – Military and Civil, a great Facebook site on the active years of TBMs.

Visit the FPL Alumni Site

Check out the new Stearman archive/blog FOREST SPRAYING STEARMANS IN NEW BRUNSWICK.

Revisions to more Canadian and American Avenger crashes

I’ve finished going through the Department of Transport accident cards (Canada) that were issued from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s. The C-GLEI crash reveals a different pilot, an exact date and a more precise location than the one I listed. N4171A has a new date and N7016C has a revised crash location. The NTSB report lists it as Gibbonsville, Idaho, but other sources say it was at near Lost Trail Pass, Beaverhead County, Montana, or just “near Beaverhead”. For an interesting exercise, look up those two locations online, and you will find that they are not too far apart, and that Beaverhead is right on the boundary between Idaho and Montana. Concerning C-GFPS (BuNo 85460), which started out commercially as N7032C, we still don’t know the first owner, but I suspect it might be Richardson Aviation or one of the Idaho companies. There are also many minor corrections, and I will be proceeding with this for the next little while.

New facts gleaned from accident cards

Some time a a reader posted a question about why were there two aircraft that crashed near Harrison Lake, BC, 7 July 1961. Eventually I managed to track down a series of Department of Transport (Canada) accident cards that were archived at Library and Archives Canada HERE. These cards cover all types of aircraft, from commercial passenger jets to ultra-lights. There is one pdf per year, and researchers can find cards for Beavers, Otters, TBMs, Stearmans, and many more.

The cards for the first two series of TBMs, FA/FB and FIMx, have been examined, revealing a couple of mistakes erroneously reported elsewhere, including my site, namely that both CF-IML and CF-MSX crashed 7 July 1961 near Harrison Lake, BC. In fact, the correct crash evidence places CF-MSX at that location and date, and not CF-IML. Here is the correct info for CF-IML:

1) CF-IML crashed near Salmon Creek (near Chipman), 4 miles northwest of Minto, NB, on 13 June 1960. Pilot Richard Owen was killed.

Also, 2) CF-IMQ crashed 10 June, 1958, not 1 June, and 3) CF-IMS crashed 20 June, 1960, not 21 June.

Another interesting fact revealed by the cards concerned a ferry on 20 June 1960 to Quebec from Dunphy, NB, at the end of the spray season, which involved the crashes in two different locations in Quebec of two Wheeler TBMs as a result of encountering the same weather disturbance. These are CF-IMS (see date change at 3) above, and 4) CF-IMT, a crash that was not known to me before this.

More to come!

A major tidying of the Avenger archive

I’ve just completed a major overhaul of the site, with every page visited. Many minor edits were completed, and a few images added (and a couple deleted). All links were checked and confirmed (or updated) and links to Aerial Visuals were added to each Avenger history page. I am waiting for Library and Archives Canada to send me accident reports from prior to 1991. There are several other tasks on my list, but that’s going to be it for quite a while! Next task in the New Year: the Stearman sister site.

NEW IMAGES (that I can think of)
1) USA – N3215G, N4168A, N7075C and N9590Z
2) F Series – FBQS (images, update on museum), FBQT (update on museum), FKCJ, FKCK, FKCL and FZYC.
3) G Series – GFPP, GFPS, GLEG (FKPJ) and GLEQ.

Many minor changes

I’ve made numerous minor changes to the history pages of this TBM site, including correcting typos and checking links. Next to tackle will be the individual aircraft pages, which I hope to do in the next week or two. Cheers from New Brunswick, and I hope all of you continue to enjoy this history archive.

New articles

I have added two articles at the end of the Spruce Budworm and Spray Aircraft in the New Brunswick Context: 1950’s to 1980’s page, both of which that came from the Forest Protection Limited files:

1) Progression towards smaller spray blocks in New Brunswick (H.J. Irving 1985), and

2) Early TBM use in N.B. by Forest Protection Limited (Don Henry 2008).

Stay tune for many more updates coming soon and in the new year.

New Avenger Images

I’ve just added some new images and updates to several U.S. and Canadian Avengers. Most  come from images posted to the Facebook sites TBM’s – Mil & Civ and Forest Protection Alumni.

FBEF  A new and better crash image.
FBQT / N7858C Early images of N7858C as #85.
FIMI #601  An image of FIMI dropping retardant in B.C. in the early 1960s.
GLEN / N3249G  An image and a story of Johnson #A14 N3249G in Spearfish, ND, in 1959, while at the Deadwood fire.
GLEP #A11 / N7014C  The same story and image as for N3249G plus a very nice image of Ray Greene flying N7014C, posted by his son James.
GLEQ #A7  An image of the wreck sitting upright in the river, from James Greene.

I hope you all are enjoying this TBM Avenger Archive. It’s a lot of work, but I still plan to make minor tweaks here and there.