C-GLEL N9010C / Hillcrest/Johnson/FPL #D6 #A13 #13 / Bu# 53200

Warbird Registry
Aerial Visuals

Early History

United States Navy. 1945 Grumman TBM 3. Construction #: 3262. 1945-1952. Delivered to United States Navy as Bu. 53200, 1945.
Royal Canadian Navy 1952-1958. AS Mk. 3. Flew as #377 for Squadrons VC 920 and VS 881. BOC: May 29, 1952. SOC: Jan. 17, 1958.

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.

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First USN aircraft history card for BuNo 53200, 1945 to 1948.
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Second USN aircraft history card (new format) for BuNo 53200, showing that aircraft was stricken from records in August of 1953.

Hillcrest Aircraft, Lewiston, ID
#D6 N9010C 1963-1969

Aerial Spray Program – Newfoundland
1969 – Pilot not recorded.

TBM #A13_53200_MKyburz
Martin Kyburz posted this image on the Warbirdregistry of N9010C, with “862” on the tail as in the NA3T image below.

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This is N9010C, probably in its Hillcrest colours. Note the rooster on the nose and the Bureau number on the side. [The National Archive of Transport Travel and Trade]
TBM fleet (12 of 19) at Deer Lake NF, 1969
#D6 (the small #D6) as part of TBM fleet (12 of 19) at Deer Lake NF, 1969. [Steve Holmes]

Johnson Flying Service, Missoula MT
#A13 N9010C 1969-1972

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1971 – Pilot Page. 1972 – Pilot Porter. 1973 – Did not fly in NB. 1974 – Johnson Flying Service sold #A13 to FPL. Did not fly in NB.

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Johnson TBM with “862” on tail, location and date unknown. [The National Archive of Transport Travel and Trade]
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Johnson TBM #A13 N9010C, 1972. Note the Snoopy-on-the-doghouse logo on the tail and the US registration. [Merrill McBride collection]

Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, NB
#A13 / #13 C-GLEL 1974-2007

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1974 – FPL purchased #A13 in late 1974 for $26,820 from Johnson Flying Service, Missoula, Montana, then dry leased it from Evergreen Air Services of Montreal. Did not fly in NB in 1974. 1975 – Dry leased from Evergreen. Pilot Glass. 1976 – Dry leased from Evergreen. Pilot Deming. 1977 – Pilot Deming. 1978 – Pilot Deming. Repainted and renumbered (#A13 to #13) to fleet standard after 4 July, 1978. 1979 – Pilot Deming. Pilot Dan Hyland flew GLEL for herbiciding during August of 1979, for a total of 20.1 hours. 1980 – Pilot Roth. 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 – Pilot Wood. 1991 – Pilot Wilkie. 1992 – Pilot McIlwaine. 1993 – Pilot Popert.

Fire Suppression – NB
1993, 1994 – Spare. 1995 – Pilot Wilkie. 1996 – Spare. 1997, 1998 – Pilot Wood. 1999 – Spare, then fire suppression in NB in 1998. Pilot Joyall. GLEL Replaced #17 GFPN, which had crashed. GLEL #13 was forced to return to Miramichi on 27 June because of engine problems. The engine had to be replaced, and the aircraft was back on duty on 30 June. 2000, 2001, 2002 – Pilot Joyall. 2003-2010 – Firebombing. 2011 – Sold to the Museum of Mountain Flying, Missoula, Montana, arriving in Missoula on October 10, 2011.

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TBM #A13 GLEL, 11 August, 1975. [Barrie MacLeod]
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TBM #13 stored for winter, Fredericton, 1986, beside #14 GLEK and #22 GFPL.
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Tee-jet nozzles on TBM #13, 1987.
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TBM #13 at Boston Brook, 1988.
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TBM #13 conducting experimental spray trials at Dunphy, 29 August, 1991.
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TBM #13 at Fredericton, 1992.
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FPL TBM #13 in the pits at Sevogle, 1992.
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TBM #13 airborne over the Miramichi River, New Brunswick, August 2000. [Pat Greene, FPL]
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TBM #13 on display at official runway opening at Fredericton Airport, October 2002.
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TBM #13 maintenance, 29 July 2003.
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TBM #13 on run-up pad, 14 June 2004.
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TBM #13 undergoing maintenance, June 2004. Pictured are FPL’s Chief Engineer Pat Greene and Chief Pilot Eric Bradley.
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TBM #13 parked at FPL, 12 June 2007.
FPL's TBM #13, GLEL, just before she leaves for her new home in Missoula, Montana.
FPL’s TBM #13, GLEL, just before she leaves for her new home in Missoula, Montana.

Museum of Mountain Flying, Missoula, Montana

Ruud Leeuw has a writeup and several outdoor images of GLEL, results of a visit to the museum in 2014. The story of the arrival of GLEL at Missoula is told in an article in The Missoulian and also at Random Ramblings.

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TBM #13 at the Museum of Mountain Flying, Missoula, MT. Posted by DanDineen to TBM’s – Mil and Civil, 8 October 2014.

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