FIMS / Wheeler #502 / Bu# 53759

Warbird Registry Info.

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 – No information.

Crashed in Quebec 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. [Don Henry]

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Wheeler TBM #502 FIMS spraying out of Boston Brook, 1958.

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Wheeler TBM #502 FIMS airborne.

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Wheeler TBM #502 spraying beside the spray cloud of the lead aircraft.

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