Warbird Registry – not present
United States Navy. TBM-3E.
Civil registration N7016C (TBM-3E, 85862) reserved on 27 March 1957.
Johnson Flying Service, Missoula, MT
#A- N7016C 19xx-1964
Not much is known about this aircraft. It is included in this Archive as it was likely a part of the Johnson fleet in the 1960s.
1964 – May have been part of a fleet of nine Johnson TBMs that sprayed in New Brunswick. It crashed at Gibbonsville, Idaho, July 20 1964 (after the New Brunswick spray season had finished). The reason given was “stalled due to limited turnaround maneuvering area whilst engaged in … water bombing operations” (NTSB Report). The pilot was killed and the aircraft written off.
However, another site gives the location as “near Lost Trail Pass, Beaverhead County, MT” and the pilot as 43-year-old Hardy Sandvig: “On July 20, 1964 Hardy Sandvig in a WWII-era bomber was dropping retardant on a Montana fire near Lost Trail Pass, Beaverhead, Montana. His aircraft hit trees at crest of mountain ridge along flight path. He did not survive.”
In fact, Gibbonsville ID is about 15 km south of Lost Trail Pass, which is on the border between Idaho and Montana, and both are located in the mountains due south of Missoula, the base of Johnson Flying Service.