CF-IMS / Wheeler #502 / Bu# 53759

Warbird Registry
Aerial Visuals

Early History

United States Navy. TBM-3S Avenger. Construction #: 3821.
Royal Canadian Navy. Avenger AS 3. Flew as #391. BOC: June 16 1952.  SOC Jan 30 1958. This aircraft had the distinction of being  the “last fixed-wing aircraft in the air on 10 October 1956, and hence the last of its kind to land operationally aboard the Magnificent, … an AS 3 Avenger, BuAer No. 53759, call number 308, piloted by Lieutenant Tom Pollard” [Pettipas, The Grumman Avenger in the Royal Canadian Navy, 1988, pg. 143]. The pilot and crew were met with a ceremony, including being hoisted out by a sling and being dumped in a pool of water by crew wearing garish costumes.

Wheeler Airlines, St. Jean, Quebec
#502 CF-IMS 1958-1960

Aerial spray program – NB
1958 – Converted to sprayer, painting, etc., by Fairey Aviation, Dartmouth, NS. Flew in New Brunswick as part of a fleet of 6 Wheeler and 6 Skyway TBMs (pilot Boyce). 1959 – No operations

1960 Crashed in Quebec 20 [not 21] June 1960. The aircraft was caught in bad weather while on the way from Dunphy airstrip to Quebec after finishing the FPL project for the season. It hit a hydro line while making an emergency landing on the same day and during the same weather that CF-IMT crashed.

The receipt of the official Department of Transport accident card has provided new information. The accident occurred on 20 June, not 21 June, which was the date stamped on the card when it was issued. The pilot was C.I. Mason, and he received serious injuries. The location was Tingwick, Quebec, located east of Drummondville in the southern part of the Province. Tingwick is on the direct flight line from St. Guadaloupe, where CF-IMT crashed, to Drummondville, Montreal and Cartierville Airport. The back of the card reads: Continued VFR into unfavourable weather. Collided with a power line.” The aircraft was destroyed. We don’t have any images of the crash site.

Wheeler TBM #502 FIMS spraying out of Boston Brook, 1958.
Wheeler TBM #502 FIMS airborne.
Wheeler TBM #502 spraying beside the spray cloud of the lead aircraft.

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