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.
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– Pilot LeBlanc.
1998 – 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 (C-GFPM) in five days. The Transportation Safety Board report cited the cause of the crash as “unprecedented mechanical failure.”
Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, Goffs, NS
#14 C-GLEK 1998-2001
The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (ACAM, Goffs, 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
Fuselage of TBM #14 in storage at FPL, August 1998
Fuselage of TBM #14 in storage at FPL and at Mossman’s woodlot, 1999
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
Storage at FPL, May 2002
Restoration at the Woodmen’s Museum, 2002 to 2004.
TBM #14 dedication ceremony, 12 June 2004, Boiestown, NB
Fundraiser dinner, 12 June 2004
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