C-GFPS N7032C / Richardson/Hillcrest/FPL #112 #E32 #3 / Bu# 85460

Warbird Registry
Aerial Visuals

Early History

United States Navy. TBM-3S AS Mk. 3. 1945. Construction number 2279. 1945-1950.

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.

First USN aircraft history card for BuNo 85460, 1945 to 1946.
Second USN aircraft history card for BuNo 85460, up to 1948.
Third USN aircraft history card (new format) for BuNo 85460, showing that aircraft was stricken from records in 1950.

Royal Canadian Navy. Delivered to RCN as #346. BOC: July 22, 1950. SOC: July 5, 1960 [1957?].

RCN #85460 AS3 target-tug copy
RCN AS3 target-tug BuNo86460. Source: “The Grumman Avenger in the Royal Canadian Navy,” Leo Pettipas, 1988, p. 136.

Richardson Aviation? Registered as N7032C, 1960? Crashed on take-off, Idaho City, ID, July 9, 1961.

“In 1957, three surplus TBM-3s were modified to TBM-3Ss by Ben Wiplinger at Fleming Field [St. Paul, MN]. They were converted to water bombers. … N7032C also served as a tanker in Idaho, went to Israel, then Greece as a sprayer and finally to New Brunswick, Canada …” Source: ‘TBMs at Fleming Field”, by Noel Allard, a short note in The Aero Historian, Vol. 45 (1), January 2011.

Notes: TBM spray plane, July 1962. John F. Wear (left) and C.R. Fink on wing. Western spruce budworm control. Yakima, Washington [Peter W. Orr]. Information of this aircraft can be found on a Flickr album posted by the USDA Forest Service HERE. Judging by the clear canopy, this aircraft has just been acquired from the RCN.
This is TBM N7032C, probably from the early 1960s, location unknown, but possibly Idaho. The canopy has been faired over. Source: “The Aerial War against Eastern Region Forest Insects, 1921 – 86.” Donna M. Paananen, Richard F. Fowler and Louis F. Wilson. 1987. Journal of Forest History 31 (4):173-186.
N7032C_StPaulMN_1960s_Bob Lemm_The Aero Historian Jan2011 p6
N7032C as acquired by [Richardson Aviation?], probably in the 1960s. The lower image shows the aircraft in the early stages of repainting, the upper as completed. The Aero Historian, Vol. 45 (1), January 2011.

Richardson Aviation, Yakima, WA
#112 N7032C 1963-1972

Aerial Spray Program – NB, Newfoundland
1969 – Flew in NB and Newfoundland. Pilot Richardson. 1970 – Pilot Richardson. 1971 – Pilot Watson. 1972 – Pilot Richardson.

Richardson #112, N7032C, location and date unknown, probably USA. Note the spray boom with nozzles. [R.W. Kamm photo – August Horvath Photography]
Richardson N7032C, middle, 1972. [Merrill McBride collection]

Hillcrest Aircraft, Lewiston ID
#112 N7032C 1976

1976 – Hillcrest Aircraft sold N7032C to Forest Protection Limited.

Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, NB
#E32 / #3 C-GFPS 1976-2004

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1976 – FPL purchased #112 in 1 Mar 1976 for $35,520 from Hillcrest Aircraft, Lewiston, Idaho. It was dry leased from Evergreen Air Services of Montreal and operated by FPL because FPL had not yet obtained its Operating Certificate. Pilot Crocker. 1977 – Pilot McIlwaine. 1978 – Repainted and renumbered (#E32 to #3) to fleet standard prior to 1978 spray season. Pilot Wells. 1979 – Pilot Guidon. 1980 – Pilot Foote. 1981 – Pilot Guindon. 1982 – Pilot Tall. 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 – Pilot Lavigne. 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 – Pilot McKinnon. 1991 – Pilot Haden.

Fire Suppression – NB
1992, 1993, 1994 – Pilot Wilkie. 1995 – Spare. 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 – Pilot Wilkie. 2000 – Pilot MacNeil. 2001 – Pilot Fournier.

Inactive/Sold – NB
2002-2003 – In storage at FPL. 2004 – Sold to company in USA.

FPL #E32 at Blissville, 1976. The TBM on the left is #68 (GFPQ).
TBMs #E21 GFPM, #E30 GFPT, #E32 GFPS and #E24 GLEJ in storage at FPL either Fall 1975 or Spring 1976.
First FPL paint job, Sep-Oct 1977.
TBM fleet parked at Fredericton NB, 25 June 1979.
TBMs #3 GFPS and #23 FIMR, part of Raccoon team, in the pits at Sevogle NB, June 1982.
TBMs #2 FIMK, #3 GFPS, #4 GFPR, #5 FIMN and #23 FIMR stored for winter at Fredericton NB, July 1984.
Firefly Team, #4 GFPR and #12 FMUD, and Brandy Team, #3 GFPS, #13 GLEL and #18 FMUE parked at Sevogle NB, 1985.
FPL #3, Dunphy NB, 1987.
Trailing edge boom and T-jet nozzles on #3, 1987.
TBM #3 undergoing winter maintenance, FPL hangar, Fredericton NB, 1987.
TBM #3 and others parked at Boston Brook NB, 1988.
TBM #3 parked at an airstrip in NB, 15 June 1991.

TBM #3 at the FPL hangar, Fredericton. [Ken Marshall]
TBM #3 parked at FPL’s facility at Miramichi, NB, August 2000. TBMs #10 (GFPT) and #23 (FIMR) can be seen in the background. [Pat Greene]
TBM #3 airborne, NB, August 2000. [Pat Greene]

Post-spray History

FEW TBMS LLC, Rio Grande, NJ, Jan. 18, 2005. Registered as N145WB.

“I own #85460 N145WB . The airplane is flying now. I have kept it as a water bomber even though it is not doing water work.” Edward Wuerker, from a comment posted to Post-War Commercial Use of TBMs.

N145WB Few TBMs #3_CapeMayNJ_Nov2005_0957386
N145WB , still in its FPL colours, at Wildwood – Cape May County (Wildwood NAS) (WWD / KWWD), New Jersey, November 2005. [Alex McMahon, Airliners.net]

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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