CF-BEF/CF-JJC/N68683 / Hillcrest Miramichi #A25 / Bu# 53078

Warbird Registry
Aerial Visuals

Early History

United States Navy. General Motors TBM-3. Construction #3140. Manufacturer’s Number 6125 (Griffin 1969).
Royal Canadian Navy. BOC: May 29, 1952. SOC: May 14, 1958. Flew as #420, later as #386.

A page from “The Grumman Avenger in the Royal Canadian Navy” by Leo Pettipas (1988) showing Avengers with RCN numbers 421 and 386. The Bureau # of 386 is clearly readable as 53078. Apparently there were three different RCN Avengers with the side number 386. The upper Avenger is CF-JJB. [Barrie MacLeod]

CF-JJC, Richel Air Ltd., St-Jean, Quebec, 1958-1966. According to Barrie Macleod’s research in the Civil Aviation Register for 1961, there were 2 Richel Air Avengers that were former RCN aircraft: CF-JJB (BuNo 86175) and this one, CF-JJC.

Ivan Gustin of Lewiston, ID, as N68683, 1966. Gear collapsed on landing, Grangeville, ID, August 23, 1967. See the NTSB Report.

N68683, Hillcrest Aircraft Co., Lewiston, ID
#110 #A25 N68683 1969-1970

Note: This aircraft, #A25 N68683 should not be confused with Sis-Q Avenger #E25 N68663, which became C-GLEG.

Aerial spray program – NB
1970 – Pilot Poteet. Barrie MacLeod tallied the orange and white N68683 #A25 on 21 May 1970 at the Fredericton airport. The team list for 1970 gives the project number as #110, which was the actual tail number at the time. 1971 – Flew as project number #A25. Pilot Poteet.

N68683 showing the tail number as #110 and the nose number as #A25. [D. Menard, Scalefirebombers]

Miramichi Air Service, Douglastown, NB
#A25 N68683 / CF-BEF 1972-1975

Aerial spray program – #A25, N68683 – Quebec, Maine
1972 – Flew in Quebec (pilot Retfalvy) and Maine (pilot Reid) as #A25.

Aerial spray program -#A25, CF-BEF – NB
1973, 1974 – Pilot Tomecek. Crashed 20 miles south of Sevogle on 15 June 1974. “A loud noise was heard and the propeller ran away during a spray run. The aircraft … landed wheels-up on a logging road.” The damage is noted as substantial.

CF-BEF 1974 1
Department of Transport accident card dated 15 June 1974.

1975 Pilot Biro. Crashed 20 May 1975 (A.M.). Fully loaded TBM #A25 CF-BEF, piloted by J. Biro and contracted from Miramichi Air Services, developed engine trouble and crashed on take-off 1/8 mile north of the take-off runway at Juniper Airstrip. This was the first morning of spraying from the Juniper Airstrip. Pilot Biro was unhurt, but the aircraft was destroyed and buried near the crash site. This occurred on the same day as the crash of FZYC. Parts from FBEF were used in the ACAM restoration of FZYC.

CF-BEF 1975
Department of Transport accident card dated 20 May 1975.
Miramichi Air Service TBM #A25 at Charlottetown, PEI, 18 September 1973. This Canadian Avenger has the same paint job as the American, but note the Canadian registration and the small red maple leaf. [Barrie MacLeod]
The first part of this article refers to the crash of FBEF. Lower portion of page 5 from The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum Newsletter, May/June 2002 (story continued in FZYC write-up). (ACAM newsletters)

Photo and caption of FBEF crash, from The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum Newsletter, May/June 2002, page 6. CF-BEM in the last sentence should read CF-BEF. Parts from FBEF were used in the ACAM restoration of FZYC. [ACAM newsletters]
FBEF accident report summary received by Fredericton Airport control tower. [Barrie MacLeod]

C-FBEF, a better image than the one posted above. Posted by James R. Greene to ‎Forest Protection Limited Alumni on 26 Oct 2016.

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