Winter is Coming, and I have started a period of new revisions on this TBM Avenger Archive. The Pilots page has been updated with new images and material with help from various Comments, the FPL files and the Forest Protection Limited Alumni Facebook site. More tweakings will occur over the next few days, so stay tuned. To come are a desperately needed rewriting of the US companies that provided aircraft and a second look at the individual Avenger histories, helped by the additions of some new images collected from the TBMs – Military and Civil Facebook site.
I’ve just updated Don Henry’s 2008 list of TBM pilots and the years they flew for aerial pest control and for firebombing, up to 2010. This is still a work on progress, so stay tuned. I’ve added some images as well.
Still to come are updates to U.S. companies.
I’ve just revised the Other Canadian air spray companies page. This includes Several New Brunswick companies (Miramichi, Maritime, JD Irving) and two from Ontario: Norfolk and Hicks and Lawrence. I’m going to tackle the U.S. companies next — wish me luck!
Besides Skyway and Conair, the other great pair of Canadian companies was Wheeler Airlines, which morphed into Wheeler-Northland and then Evergreen. I have separated this group from the Other Canadian Companies page and updated its content. Let me know what you think. Again, this is still a work in progress and represents what I know at the moment.
I have just updated the page describing the history of Skyway Air Services and its successor, Conair Aviation, two British Columbia companies that played a large part in the history of TBM Avengers that operated in New Brunswick. However, details are sketchy, and sometimes the only evidence — and some of it is conflicting — comes from a photocopied newspaper article and brief mentions in reports and published material. The information in this page needs some verification, and I need some feedback on this effort. So far, this is just my opinion based on what little I have gleaned from various sources.
I’ve just added a new page on the military origins of the Avengers that flew in New Brunswick. Edits and revisions continue on the remaining pages. Further news: I’ve recently joined the Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS), so I am looking forward to receiving their publications.
During the past couple of weeks I have been revising the individual aircraft entries, tightening up and consolidating the text, and adding a few more images, based on submissions from several contacts. The next few weeks will see some additional pages, such as beefed up company information and a page on the origins of our Avengers with the Royal Canadian Navy. Stay tuned!
C-FIMR TBM #23 left FPL for the last time around 1 PM on July 26, on her way to the museum at Shearwater AFB. Dave Wilson came out of retirement to fly her away. The media was there, so you will be able to find some news shots and clips. FIMR took off, circled and did a flyby before heading out.
FPL has just sold it’s second-to-last working TBM Avenger, C-GLEL, to the Museum of Mountain Flying in Missoula, Montana. Now our bird has come full circle, as this is where FPL purchased her, from Johnson’s Flying Service. Read about it in this article: http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_d0b607da-f3c0-11e0-8c43-001cc4c002e0.html. #13 arrived in Missoula on October 1o, 2011.
I’ve just learned that a major collaborator on this project, Don Henry, passed away at the Chalmers Hospital here in Fredericton yesterday afternoon, January 2oth. He was 83 or 84 years of age, and was a great source of information about aerial spray history in New Brunswick. He will be missed.