GLEK N6824C / Johnson/FPL #A12 #14 / Bu# 85733

Warbird Registry Info.

Early History

United States Navy. Eastern TBM-3E Avenger. Construction #2673. [2552?]
Wilson Aviation Industries, Lewiston, ID, 1963. Registered as N6824C.
Hillcrest Aircraft Co, Lewiston, ID, 1963-1964.

Johnson Flying Service, Missoula MT
#A12 N6824C 1966-1974

Aerial Spray Program
1971 – Pilot Lawrence. 1972 – Pilot Gossett. 1973-1974 – No US TBMs 73 and 1974. 1974 – #A12 was one of 7 TBMs Johnson Flying Service sold to FPL in 1974.

Johnson TBM #A12, possibly in NB in 1974, courtesy Don Enlow.

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Johnson TBM #A12 on runway, 1972. [Merrill McBride]

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Johnson TBM N6824C at KPQI Northern Maine Regional Airport, Presque Isle, 1974.

Forest Protection Limited, Fredericton, NB
 #A12 / #14 C-GLEK 1974-1999

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1974 – FPL purchased #A12 in late 1974 for $26,820 from Johnson Flying Service of Missoula, Montana, then dry leased it from Evergreen Air Services of Montreal. 1975 – Pilots Davis and Foote. In late June of 1975, FPL provided GLEK and two other TBMs to the NB Department of Natural Resources for fire bombing. 1976 – Dry leased from Evergreen but operated by FPL. Pilot Kirschke. 1977 – Pilot Kirschke.

Aerial Spray Program / Fire Suppression – NB
1978 – Pilot Kirschke. Repainted and renumbered (#A12 to #14) to fleet standard after 4 July, 1978. GLEK #14 was part of a team of 8 used for fire bombing in 1978.

Aerial Spray Program – NB
1979 – Pilot Verreault. 1980 – Pilot Kirschke. 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 – Pilot Hyland. 1986, 1987 – Pilot Popert. 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 – Pilot McIlwaine. 1992 – Pilot Fotheringham.

Fire Suppression – NB
1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 – Pilot LeBlanc.

Crashed 16 August 1998 en route to a demonstration in Woodstock and was completely destroyed. The pilot, B. LeBlanc, walked away from the accident with only minor injuries and was back flying in a spare aircraft (GFPM) in five days. The Transportation Safety Board report cited the cause of the crash as “unprecedented mechanical failure.”

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TBM #14 inhibiting, Fredericton, 1986.

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TBM #14 ferrying, 1986.

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TBM #14 parked, 1986.

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TBM #14 water calibration, 1986.

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TBM #14 on runway at Sevogle (?), 15 June 1991.

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TBM #14 airborne.

Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, Bedford, NS
#14 C-GLEK 1998-2001

The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (ACAM, Bedford, NS) acquired #14 in 1998. In August of 1998 a road was built into the crash site and the wreck hauled out. It was briefly stored at FPL before being hauled to John Mossman’s woodlot for storage. These images come from the FPL files and Don Henry’s collection.

TBM #14 at the crash site, and constructing an access road, August 1998

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Fuselage of TBM #14 in storage at FPL, August 1998

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Fuselage of TBM #14 in storage at FPL and at Mossman’s woodlot, 1999

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The fuselage in storage at Mossman’s woodlot, 20 June, 1999. L to R: Doug Ordinal, Ian Oliver, ?, “Beaver” Coughlan, Don Henry, John Mossman Sr. and Jr.

central New Brunswick Woodmen’s Museum, Boiestown, N.B.
#14 C-GLEK 1999-Present

1999-2004 The fuselage was donated to the Woodmen’s Museum in 2001 through FPL via the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (Halifax, NS), which had acquired it in 1998. Volunteers transported the fuselage from Mossman’s woodlot on 17 May, 2002. The Woodmen’s Museum took delivery of the fuselage on that day, with the help of RS Coughlan Ltd. transport business and volunteers. Restoration took place over the next two years. The dedication ceremony and banquet took place at Boiestown on 12 June, 2004. The avenger is on display at the side of Highway 8 during the summer, and is one of the most photographed Avengers in eastern Canada.

Transporting the fuselage from Mossman’s woodlot to FPL, 17 May 2002

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The fuselage being towed from the woodlot. Francis Smith and Don Henry, 17 May 2002.

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The fuselage being towed from the woodlot. Francis Smith and his truck, 17 May 2002.

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The fuselage loaded onto RS Coughlan’s flatbed truck, 17 May, 2002, for shipping to FPL.

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TBM wings acquired for use on the TBM #14 project, on a flatbed truck at RS Coughlan’s, Fredericton, NB, 2 December, 2001. These were transported to the Woodmen’s Museum for restoration over the winter.

Storage at FPL, May 2002

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Restoration at the Woodmen’s Museum, 2002 to 2004.

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Bill Griffin and Vern Dunphy with engine and mount. Restored TBM #14 engine at Woodmen’s Museum, mid February 2004.

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Right equipment bay panels and dishpan, etc. Restored TBM #14 engine at Woodmen’s Museum, mid February 2004.

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Restored TBM #14 in hangar, Boiestown NB, April 2004.

TBM #14 dedication ceremony, 12 June 2004, Boiestown, NB

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L to R: Frank MacLoon (ACAM), Tim Scott (FPL), Jim Ross (FPL), Don Henry (ACAM), Robbie Arbeau (Project Manager, Woodmen’s Museum), Vernon Dunphy (Woodmen’s Museum), Bill Griffin (Woodmen’s Museum).

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L to R: JJ Lavigne, Ralph Annis, Ken Atkins (former FPL Chief Pilots), Clem Crocker (maintenance).

Fundraiser dinner, 12 June 2004

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Cards for fundraiser dinner (current FPL Chief Pilot Eric Bradley) and Robbie Arbeau, project manager for the restoration project.

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Front of dinner ticket, signed by three retired FPL Chief Pilots: Ralph Annis, Ken Atkins and JJ Lavigne.

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TBM #14 dedication sign, Woodmen’s Museum, Boiestown, NB, unveiled 12 June 2004.

ACAM Newsletters

See HERE for all the ACAM newsletters.

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Article from The Miramichi Leader, 1 June 2004.

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A restored TBM #14 in its regular spot beside Highway #8 at the Woodmen’s Museum, Boiestown, NB, 1 August 2006. It is the most photographer Avenger in New Brunswick. View a 12-minute video of this aircraft being positioned on its display pad at YouTube.

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