FMUE / Skyway/Conair/FPL #618 #18 / Bu# 91426

Warbird Registry Info.

Early History

United States Navy. TBM-3S. Construction number 4331
Royal Canadian Navy. AS 3M. BOC: Sept. 19, 1952. SOC: July 5, 1960. Flew as #908 for Squadron 920.

Skyway Air Services, Langley, BC
#618 CF-MUE 1960-1970

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1961 – Tallied by Larry Milberry while en route to NB, at Cartierville, Quebec, May 22, 1961. 1960-1965 – No details, but probably flew in NB in those years. 1966 – Pilot McGarrigle. 1967 – Pilot Lumsden. 1968 – Did not fly in NB. 1969 – Pilot Truran.

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Skyway TBM #618, Dunphy, 1967.

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Skyway TBM #618 parked.

Conair Aviation Ltd., Abbotsford, BC
#618 CF-MUE 1970-1977

Aerial Spray Program – NB, Quebec (1972 only)
1970 – Pilot Syme. 1971, 1972 – Pilot Fewell (NB – both years, Quebec – 1972). 1973 – Pilot Westwood. 1974 – Pilot Holmes. 1975, 1976 – Pilot McMaster. 1977 – Pilot Marcoux. FMUE was one of 8 TBMs sold to FPL in August 1977.

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Conair #618 at Fredericton, beside TBM #609 FKCL, August 1977, at about the time they were purchased by FPL.

Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, NB
#618 / #18 CF-MUE 1977-2001

1977 – FPL purchased FMUE from Conair Aviation Limited in 1 August 1977 for $27,000.

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1978 – Flew in 1978, FPL #18 pilot Guindon. Repainted and renumbered to fleet standard after 4 July, 1978. Fire bombing. 1979 – Pilot Willett. 1980, 1981 – Pilot Gamble. 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 – Pilot Fair. 1986 – Pilot Furey. 1987, 1988, 1989 – Pilot Wilkie. 1990, 1991, 1992 – Pilot Archer. 1993 – Pilot McIlwaine.

Inactive/Sold – NB
1994-2000 – In storage at FPL. 2001 – Sold to the Commemorative Air Force, Midland, TX. Flew out from FPL in 2001.

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The Firefly team loading: TBM #616 (middle) and #618 FMUE (foreground) and likely #607 FAGN (lead), Boston Brook, June 1978.

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TBM #18 at Fredericton, with tail number still #618.

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TBM #18 at Boston Brook, 1984.

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TBM #18 at Dunphy airstrip, 1987.

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TBM #18 at Fredericton, 1993.

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TBM #18 cockpit, Fredericton, 2000.

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TBM #18 for sale at Fredericton, 2000.

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TBM #18 on run-up pad at FPL, 21 September 2001, possibly ready to fly out to the US after purchase by new owner.

Post-spray History

CAF/Commemorative Air Force, Midland, TX, 1998-2002. Registered as N40402. Under restoration to airworthy, Baltimore, MD, 2002.

One response to “FMUE / Skyway/Conair/FPL #618 #18 / Bu# 91426

  1. This was originally being restored by the CAF’s Stars & Stripes Wing in Frederick, MD. When the wing folder, the plane was taken to Hagerstown where it languished for several years. It was taken to Jack Kosko’s facility in Fawn Grove, PA for restoration. After restoration work was done, the plane was taken back to Hagerstown for final details and test flights. The plane had its first post-restoration flight April 18, 2014, and was subsequently delivered to the Commemorative Air Force’s National Capital Squadron in Culpeper, Virginia. It is in the markings of VMTB-143, which flew off the USS Gilbert Islands in the summer of 1945.

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