C-GOBJ N7002C / Air Tankers/Norfolk #B15 / Bu# 85632

Warbird Registry
Aerial Visuals

Early History

United States Navy. TBM-3. Construction #: 2451. From the current owner’s site: “Our TBM Avenger was built by GM in 1945. It was used by the Marine Torpedo Bombing Squardron 234. It worked off of the USS Vella Gulf during the Okinawa campaign. Bullet holes still remain in the fuselage from this mission.”
Plains Aero Service, Dalhart, TX, 1963-1964. Registered as N7002C.

Air Tankers Inc, Newcastle, Wyoming, #B15 N7002C 1966-1974

Aerial spray program – NB
1971 – Pilot Otis.  1972-1973 – Did not fly in NB.

Norfolk TBM #5 FAYG, with three TBMs probably from Air Tankers Inc., still with their US registration: B15, B19, and B16. Simcoe, Ontario, 1973. [Paul Schaaremann]

Norfolk Aerial Spraying, Fredericton, NB
#B15 C-GOBJ 1974-1984

Aerial spray program – NB
1974 – Pilot Falkowsky. Forced landing, 4 June 1974. Pilot made successful wheels up landing in a swampy area south of Chatham (Northumberland Co.) during a forest spray run. No injuries occurred. Cause: failed exhaust valve. The aircraft was salvaged. [Barrie MacLeod] According to the Department of Transport accident card, “The engine started to backfire and power was lost while on a spray run. A forced landing was made into a clearing.”g

1975 – Did not fly in NB. 1976, 1977 – Pilot Vermeulen. 1978, 1979 – Pilot Harrison. 1980 – Pilots Dunn and Harrison. 1981, 1982, 1983 – Pilot Leblanc. 1984, 1985 – Did not fly in NB for FPL, although Barrie MacLeod tallied GOBJ in Fredericton on 23 August 1985. 1989 – Aircraft Removed from the Register on1989-06-12 and exported to USA 1989-06-12 [Canadian Civil Aircraft Register].

Norfolk TBM #B15, old paint job, taking off at dawn, Dunphy airstrip, 1978.
Norfolk #B15, new paint job, in the pits at Sevogle, 1982.
Norfolk #B15 parked at Fredericton, 23 August, 1985. [Barrie MacLeod]

Post-spray History

Northwest Warbirds Inc, Kimberly, ID, 1989.
Wayne G. Rudd, Carbondale, CO, June 15, 1989-2005. Registered as N81865.
Fargo Air Museum, Fargo, ND, 2005-2008. Flew as USN/T-83.
TBM Avenger Inc/Brad Deckert, Peru, IL, re-registered as NL81865. Major restoration work completed in 2010. Flown in the colors of its original WWII Unit, VMTB-234 (USMC).

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