CF-KCM/C-FKCM / Skyway/Conair/FPL #616 #16 / Bu# 53420

Warbird Registry
Aerial Visuals

Early History

United States Navy. TBM-3S. Construction number 3482. Taken on Strength by the USN on 24 May 1945. Stricken off 10 August 1950 and transferred to the RCN.

CF-KCM USN ARC 53420 Jul 1950
Military record card from the USN. [Courtesy Noah Stegman Rechtin, Tri-State Warbird Museum]
Royal Canadian Navy. Avenger A/S 3 later an A/S 3M. Flew as #343. BOC: Oct. 19, 1950. SOC: July 5, 1960. Military Service in Canada: Squadrons VS 880, VX 10, VU 32, CFB Shearwater, NS.

Noah Stegman Rechtin of the Tri-State Warbird Museum kindly sent me these Royal Canadian Navy aircraft record cards for #53420 from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (pers. comm., 9 Feb 2018).

CF-KCM RCN ARC 53420 Oct 1950-Jan 1958
RCN military record card #1 for Avenger A/S 3 later A/S 3M #53420, 19 October 1950 to 7 January 1958. Another card, not reproduced here, gives some engine information for 1950, 1952 and 1953.
CF-KCM RCN ARC 53420 May 1959-Jun 1960
RCN military record card #2 for Avenger AS/3M #53420 for 6 May 1958 to 5 July 1960.
RCN ARC (Canadian) 53420 1854-1958 history
This RCN history card indicates that #53420 was converted to an A/S-3M on 8 October 1954. The other notation describes a minor accident.
RCN #343 became CF-KCM
“343 Bu # 53420 in this Canadian Navy photo went on to become CF-KCM. Now it is warbird N420GP.” Posted to TBMs – Mil & Civil by Barrie MacLeod, 6 Jan 2015. The BuNo is clearly visible on the tail at high magnification.

 Skyway Air Services, Langley, BC

#616 CF-KCM 1961-1969

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1966 – Pilot Hodson. 1968 – No information. 1968 or 1969 – Damaged in “Saskatchewan 1968 or 1969 with fuel problem – repaired.” [Robert M. Stitt, pers. comm.]

Skyway #616 FKCM at Abbotsford BC, 28 June 1969. [The National Archive of Transport Travel and Trade]

Conair Aviation Ltd., Abbotsford, BC
#616 CF-KCM 1969-1977

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1969, 1970 – Pilot Poole. 1971-1973 – Did not fly in NB. 1974 – Pilots Duch and Davis. 1975 – Pilot Hyland. 1976, 1977 – Pilot Tyerman. FKCM was one of 8 TBMs sold to FPL in August 1977.

Conair TBM #616 in pits, location and date unknown.

Conair TBM #16 spraying over forest, location and date unknown. [Source: Randall 1975]
Source: Randall, A.P. 1975. Application Technology. In: Aerial Control of Forest Insects in Canada. M.L. Prebble (ed.). Dept. of the Environment, Ottawa, Canada.

Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, NB
#616 / #16 CF-KCM / C-FKCM 1977-1994

1977 – FPL purchased FKCM in 1 January 1977 for $27,000.

Aerial Spray Program / Fire Suppression – NB
1978 – Pilot Jewers. Repainted and renumbered to fleet standard after 4 July, 1978. Fire bombing. 1979 – Pilot Wells. Fire bombing.

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1980 – Pilot Farrell.

1981 – Pilot Farrell. Crashed 8 June 1981. TBM FKCM owned by FPL and piloted by W. Farrell experienced a loss of engine power while taking off from Boston Brook Airstrip. The take-off was aborted and the aircraft came to a stop in the cleared but upgraded area beyond the south end of the runway. The pilot was not injured but the aircraft was extensively damaged; it was later repaired.

1982, 1983, 1984 – Pilot Harrington. 1985 – Pilot Popert.

Inactive/Sold – NB
1986-1994 – Inactive, stored at FPL. 1994 – Sold to Jeff Thomas/Vintage Wings, Seattle, WA.


TBM #16, water bombing practice run, Juniper, July 1978.
TBM #16 dropping fire retardant in front of a fire, 1979.
TBM #16 refueling at Brockway, 1985. The numeral “1” is just visible to the left of the “6”.
TBM #16 stored at Fredericton, 1991.

Post-spray History

Jeff Thomas/Vintage Wings, Seattle, WA, 1993-1994.
Vintage Wings, Seattle, WA, Feb. 11, 1994-2000. Registered as N420GP. Arrived by truck dismantled, July 1994.
Douglas J. Rued, Minot, ND, Aug. 22, 2000-2002.
Tri-State Warbird Museum, Batavia, OH, 2004-2018. Crashed Oshkosh, WI, in 2006, minor damage [NTSB Report]. Check out the restored Avenger by clicking on Aircraft > Restored on the main page (upper left). Noah Stegman Rechtin, Museum Attendant at the Museum, kindly provided some USN and RCN record cards, which I have presented above.

Part of the Brandy team, Brockway, 1983.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s