United States Navy. 1945 Grumman TBM-3S. Construction number 2839.
In 2003, Forest Protection Limited requested copies of Aircraft History Cards on seven former U.S. Navy Avenger aircraft currently in the FPL fleet from the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Some of the cards were poorly microfilmed, and are presented below as received.
Royal Canadian Navy. Avenger AS 3. BOC: Oct. 5, 1950. SOC: April 22, 1958. Flew as #327 for Squadron VU 33.
Donald A. Goodman, Missoula, MT – #63 N7157C 1963–1976. On 14 August 1967, was involved in an incident, summarized in the NTSB Report. There were no fatalities. Incident occurred at 16:34 hours. The damage was substantial. Incident occurred at the Coeur D Alene Airport, Coeur D’Alene, ID. The gear retracted during the landing rollout.
The story of Don Goodman is told on the U.S. Mountain States page, under Montana. Rick Leavell of Seattle, Washington, writes on Martin Simpson’s Douglas A/B-26 Invader page (HERE): He apparently flew a “TBM A22 (ACE DOUBLE DUCE).”
Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, NB
#E22 / #22 C-GFPL 1976–2010
Aerial spray program – NB
1976 – FPL purchased GFPL in 1 Jan 1976 for $18,866 from D.A. Goodman, Missoula, Montana, then dry leased it from Evergreen Air Services of Montreal [FPL Annual Report]. Pilots Stuart and Bisson. 1977 – Pilot Gomany. 1978 – Pilot Harrington. Repainted and renumbered (#E22 to #22) to fleet standard after 4 July, 1978. 1979 – Pilot Harrington.. 1980 – Pilot Gossett. 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 – Pilot Annis. 1986 – Pilot Wilkie. 1987, 1988, 1989 – Pilot Provenzano. 1990 – Spare.
Fire Suppression – NB
1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 – Pilot McKinnon. Accident: GFPL #22 sustained damage during a training flight on 14 June 2000 when a new pilot, R. Clowes, forgot to select gear down when landing. It did not sustain any major damage. Rather than changing the engine on GFPL, it was decided to activate the spare, #21 GFPM.
Inactive – NB
2001 to 2006 – Inactive; stored at FPL.
Fire Suppression – NB
2007 – Used as a spare fire bomber. 2008-2009 – Active as a fire bomber.
2010 – Crashed 23 April 2010 at the Miramichi Airbase; pilot Ron Clowes was killed and the aircraft was completely destroyed.
From the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s accident report A10A0041.
The flight departed the Miramichi Airport in conditions suitable for visual flight. After turning toward the practice area to drop a water load, the aircraft levelled off at about 500 feet above ground level. Once levelled off, there was no change in engine speed. The aircraft entered a shallow descent, banked to the right and struck several trees before impacting the ground at approximately 1340. 1 The aircraft broke apart on impact and came to rest in a wooded area just south of the airport, adjacent to an industrial site. The load of water was expelled on impact. The pilot made no radio transmissions after the aircraft had taken off.
The aircraft impacted the ground in a 45° nose-down and 45° right wing-low attitude. The aircraft created a 1 metre deep crater before breaking up. The main wreckage trail was oriented at about 300° magnetic and was approximately 110 metres in length. The ELT switch was found in the ON position and the ELT was transmitting. However, the ELT had been ejected from the aircraft during the accident sequence and was no longer connected to its antenna; as a result, no ELT signal was received.
There was no indication of pre-impact structural failure or failure of the flight control system. The landing gear and flaps were in the up position at the time of impact. The damage noted on the propeller blades was consistent with the engine running at the time of impact.
The pilot was ejected from the aircraft. The safety harness and lap belt were not fastened and there was no impact damage noted on the buckle, indicating the harness and belt were not fastened at the time of impact.
On the morning of the occurrence flight, the pilot had a grey complexion and was sweating, which can indicate heart problems. 5 Autopsy results concluded the pilot suffered from ischemic heart disease.
N.B. water bomber crash kills pilot
[reprinted from CBC News (online), Friday April 23, 2010.]
The pilot of a water bomber died in a crash near Miramichi, N.B., on Friday. The water bomber, operated by Forest Protection Ltd., crashed shortly after taking off from Miramichi Airport just before 2 p.m. AT, according to a company spokesman. Miramichi police deputy chief Paul Fiander confirmed the pilot, Ron Clowes, died in the crash. He was a 62-year-old experienced pilot from Grand Falls, N.B., with more than 13,000 hours of flying time, said police Sgt. Brian Cumming. He had worked for Forest Protection for 10 years. A witness told a CBC reporter the plane took off and did a small tour around the area before it seemed to stall and start to go down. The witness said it looked as if he pointed the plane to ensure it would miss workers at a nearby peat moss plant when it went down. Company managing director David Davies told The Canadian Press only the pilot was on board the TBM Avenger aircraft. It was conducting a practice flight at the time of the crash. Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigators were on their way from Halifax and will begin their investigation Saturday morning. Forest Protection is owned by the province and several companies involved in the forestry industry, including J.D. Irving, Fraser Papers, Weyerhaeuser, Acadian Timber and others, according to the company website. Since 1952, the company has provided forest protection services ranging from fire and pest management to aerial surveys.
Images of GFPL #22 Through the Years
The Last Two Images
These two images are among the last of GFPL, taken at Miramichi Airport by Jeff Wilson on 21 April 2010, two days before the crash.