This is an interactive Google map that provides locations of all companies in North America that provided Avengers to Forest Protection Limited. These companies are listed and in some cases described below.
We don’t have much information on most of the US companies. If you can provide information, history and links, please contact me (Chris Adam).
Saint John, NB
JD Irving Ltd., under its Forest Patrol Ltd. name, conducts aerial herbicide application and forest protection work for its parent company in Canada. One of its aircraft was associated with the FPL spray program in the late 1960s.85833 FIMO #508
Maritime Air Service
Maritime operated three TBMs out of McEwen’s Field, near Moncton, NB, in 1969 and 1970. FXOM and FXON were sold to Hicks and Lawrence (see below) and FXOO crashed in Newfoundland in 1969.69325 FXOM #900 / #18 85829 FXON #911 / #17 53488 FXOO #922
Miramichi Air Services
Miramichi Air Services was operated by Andrew Retfalvy. In 1970, he purchased a property known as the Douglastown Airfield from James R. Seel, who operated a licensed air service with one TBM (CF-ZTA).
According to a letter to FPL dated 7 December, 1971, Paul Daigle, General Manager of Miramichi Air Services Ltd., asked FPL if it was possible to temporarily import #A25 under Miramichi Air Service Ltd., in order to work the coming season with FPL. This aircraft and one other (N4049A, later FBEG) were still registered in the United States, and he did not think that it would pass the inspection date of 15 February set by the CTC (Canadian Transport Commission). Only N68683 worked in NB that year.53078 FBEF #110 / #A25 85983 FBEG #01 / #1 53351 FZTA #716 53775a FZTR #A18 53775b FZTS #D7 / #A23
Norfolk Aerial Spraying
Fredericton, NB and Simcoe, ON
Norfolk supplied seven TBMs to the spray program from 1970 to 1981.53209 FAXS #2 / #B17 53829 FAYG #5 / #B20 86091 FAYL #– 53768 GLDX #B18 85632 GOBJ #B15 69531 GOBK #B19 69361 GOEG #B16
Air Spray Ltd.
Air Spray supplied only one TBM for the spray program, which crashed early in the season of 1960, its only year in NB.
85652 FKYA #701
The other Air Spray TBM was:
53334 / CF-KPJ / N68663 [to Sis-Q then Evergreen as GLEG]“1967 marked the year Air Spray was incorporated as a forest fire suppression company. Operating out of the Municipal Airport in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the company started its business with one air tanker, one bird dog aircraft and a contract for one season with the Alberta Provincial Government to fight forest fires from the air. Air Spray’s founder, Don Hamilton, had been an aviator since 1943. After leaving the the Royal Canadian Air Force, Don purchased his first aircraft and began flying as a bush pilot in Northern Alberta. Having experience flying numerous aircraft in various roles, he saw the opportunity to use an old A 26 aircraft to fight forest fires in Alberta. The aircraft was converted to the air tanker role after the installation of a tank to hold the fire retardant in the old bomb bay. Paired with a Cessna 310 as a Bird Dog aircraft, this marked the beginning of Air Spray and an exciting era of fire suppression in Western Canada.” (Airspray Web page)
Ruud Leeuw visited the Air Spray facilities recently and made a series of images here.
An article on the history of Air Spray can be found here (Position Report: Vintage planes dousing flames. Wings).
Skyway Air Services
These two companies are intimately related with each other and with FPL. The list of TBMs that participated in the NB spray program is presented for both companies together, as Conair acquired the surviving Skyway TBMs and FPL acquired the surviving Conair TBMs. Together with Wheeler airlines, Skyway supplied the first TBMs to the spray program (1958 to 1968). Conair supplied TBMs it acquired from Skyway to the spray program from 1969 to 1977; the remaining eight were sold to FPL.
[Asterisks denote duplicate nose/tail numbers, which came about because of Skyway’s habit of re-assigning the number after an aircraft had crashed.]53784 FAGL #603* Conair 86244 FAGN #607* Conair / FPL #607 / #7 53337 FIMI #601* Skyway / Conair / FPL #601 / #1 85870 FIMJ #600* Skyway 85597 FIMK #602 Skyway / Conair / FPL #602 / #2 53507 FIML #603* Skyway 53241 FIMM #604 Skyway / Conair 53139 FIMN #605 Skyway / Conair / FPL #605 / #5 53554 FKCF #614 Skyway / Conair 69327 FKCG #615 Skyway / Conair 53072 FKCH #606 Skyway / Conair 53559 FKCJ #607* Skyway / Conair 53638 FKCL #609 Skyway / Conair / FPL #609 / #9 53420 FKCM #616 Skyway / Conair / FPL #616 / #16 53732 FKCN #617 Skyway / Conair 53496 FMSX #610 Skyway 53670 FMSY #611 Skyway 86180 FMUD #612 Skyway / Conair / FPL #612 / #12 91426 FMUE #618 Skyway / Conair / FPL #618 / #18 53632 FMXN #619 Skyway / Conair
Skyway Air Services played a large part in the early history of Forest Protection Limited.
Arthur Seller, a pilot instructor in Vancouver, B.C., who had dreamed about having his own aircraft while a prisoner of war in Germany, bought a war-surplus de Havilland Tiger Moth two-seat trainer and founded the Royal City Flying Club at the Vancouver Airport in 1946. He later acquired a second Tiger Moth, one of which was used as a trainer while the other was modified for crop dusting. In 1947, Seller moved to Langley, which at that time had only a grass landing field – an emergency landing field for Trans Canada Airlines. Business was good and the company grew. In August of that yr, the name of the company was changed to Skyway Air Services Ltd. In 1949, Seller acquired a third Tiger Moth; this one for spraying rather than dusting. When it was realized that the tigers were not large enough for profitable crop dusting, Seller acquired several Stearman aircraft, and modified them for crop spraying …. [Source: Estey, R.H. 2004. Phytoprotection]
Late in the 1940s, the Province of New Brunswick was experiencing a severe attack of the spruce budworm … and was calling for help. Skyway sent a fleet of five Stearmans east each spring for several yr, on a budworm contract. They usually returned to British Columbia before the end of June to be ready for the forest fire season. While they were away one spring there was a budworm infestation on Vancouver Island and Seller called in three Grumman Avenger aircraft from south of the International border. Thus seeing what they could do, he bought 17 war surplus Avengers from the Canadian navy in 1957. At its peak, Skyway Air Services employed nearly 100 people for a fleet of 70 aircraft. The business was thriving, and the company was doing much more than spray or dust crops. They had a pilot training school and a charter service plus an aeroplane overhaul and maintenance service. In 1968, Art Seller suffered a stroke and decided to divest himself of the business. The following year, the spraying and fire-retardant bombing part of the business was sold to a consortium led by Les Kerr who named the new company Conair Aviation. That company eliminated the crop spraying part of its business and soon became famous for its water/retardant bombing services and techniques …. [Source: Estey, R.H. 2004. Phytoprotection]
The Skyway name stayed with Seller [as the Skyway Flying School]. [Source: an extensive history of Skyway founder Art Seller]
The Canadian Museum of Flight, located at the Langley Airport in British Columbia, has an extensive history of Art Seller, the founder of Skyway Air Services. Skyway was founded in 1947 as a general aviation company.
Conair Aviation was formed from Skyway.
The following year , the Abbotsford operation [Skyway Air Services], the spraying and retardant bombing part of [Art Seller’s] business, was sold to a consortium led by Les Kerr, whom he had taught to fly and who had become a spray pilot with the company. The Skyway name stayed with Seller, Les Kerr’s new company was named Conair Aviation. To Art Seller’s delight it continued to grow and prosper at Abbotsford under its new management. Today, having in turn divested itself of the crop spraying business, Conair is world famous for its water/retardant bombing services and techniques and related aircraft and equipment development. Under current President, Barry Marsden, it continues as a leader in its important specialist field. [Source: an extensive history of Skyway founder Art Seller]
Hicks & Lawrence Limited
Saint Thomas and Tillsonburg, ON
Hicks & Lawrence supplied seven TBMs to the spray program from 1971 to 1984. This company had its TBMs painted in several colour schemes.53256 / CF-ZYB / 1971 / #D19 53607 / CF-ZYC / 1971-75 / #2053914 / CF-BQS / 1972 / #?69325 / CF-XOM / 1971-85 / #1885829 / CF-XON / 1972-75 / #1785983 / C-FBEG / 1978-85 / #191171 / CF-BQT / 1972-76 / #21
Hicks and Lawrence now operates out of northern Ontario.
Evergreen Air Services
Roxboro and Pierrefonds, Quebec; Upper Blackville, NB
George Lovett, Operations Manager of Wheeler Airlines, formed his own company, Evergreen Air Services, in Quebec, and bought the last four TBMs from Wheeler Northland in 1970. Two crashed and 2 were sold to FPL. Evergreen also had an office in Upper Blackville, NB, which is located southwest of Miramichi, halfway between Miramichi and Boiestown, in the neighbourhood of the Dunphy Airstrip.
Since FPL was not a licensed aircraft operator, an agreement was made with Evergreen Air Services Limited whereby Evergreen would “dry lease” the FPL TBMs and operate them under contract for the 1975 season. The formalities of FPL becoming a fully licensed operator were not completed prior to the 1976 season, thus dry leasing continued for another year. On 12 May, 1977, FPL was granted an Operating Certificate, which meant that dry leasing was no longer necessary. [FPL Annual Reports]53610 FIMR #501 85665 FIMV #505 85928 FIMW #506 86098 FIMX #507
Evergreen also owned a hangar at the Fredericton Airport, which was leased to Woodlands Aviation Limited, which conducted the maintenance of FPL’s aircraft under contract. FPL leased the hangar commencing 1 August 1985, and proceeded to carry out renovations for offices to accommodate headquarters personnel.
According to Barrie MacLeod’s research in the Civil Aviation Register for 1961, the two Richel Air Avengers were former USN then RCN aircraft: CF-JJB and CF-JJC. The latter is BuNo 53078, which became CF-BEF under Miramichi Air Services. These were apparently the only two “high top” Avengers built. FJJB flew in NB in 1960, but FJJC only flew in NB under Hillcrest Aircraft and later Miramichi Air Services ownership.86175 FJJB #– 53078 FJJC #–
St. Jovite, QC
Wheeler Northland Airlines
Wheeler Airlines played a large part in the early history of Forest Protection Limited. Together with Skyway Air Services, Wheeler supplied the first TBMs to the spray program (1958 to 1967). All of the Wheeler’s TBM registrations follow a strict alphabetical and numerical order.53558 FIMQ #500 1958 – yellow 53610 FIMR #501 1958 to present – yellow / FPL #23 53759 FIMS #502 1958-1960 – grey/red 69347 FIMT #503 1958-1963 – possibly grey/red 69354 FIMU #504 1958 – grey – junked, scavenged for parts, then sold for scrap. 85665 FIMV #506 1958-1977 – yellow / FPL #26 85928 FIMW #507 1958-1975 – yellow 86098 FIMX #508 1958-1974 – yellow
The last three were sold to Evergreen Air Services.
A biography of founder F.H. “Tom” Wheeler can be found at The Québec Air and Space Hall of Fame site. The same biography and two other articles are reproduced here.
Wheeler Northland was formed after Tom Wheeler sold his interest to Power Corporation. Based in St. Jean, Quebec and at the Montréal International (Dorval) – Montréal-Trudeau Airport (formerly called Dorval Airport). Wheeler Northland supplied TBMs to the spray program from 1968 to 1970. All were eventually sold to Evergreen Air Services in 1970.53610 FIMR #501 85665 FIMV #505 85928 FIMW #506 86098 FIMX #507
Hillcrest supplied four Avengers (various colour schemes) to the spray program from 1969 to 1971, three of which were eventually sold to Miramichi Air Services.
Hillcrest TBMs:53775a N4173A #A18 Hillcrest / Miramichi 53078 N68683 #110 / #A25 Hillcrest / Miramichi 53775b N7028C #D7 / #A23 Hillcrest / Miramichi 85886 N9586Z #A9 Hillcrest
Five Hemet Valley Avengers and one each from Richardson Aviation and Johnson Flying Service flew in NB with the spray program under those companies; these were eventually sold to Hillcrest and then in 1976 to FPL.
The following are communications (21 and 25 August and 18 November 2010) from Phil Schmidt, Valle Vista, CA, describing his experience working with Hillcrest back in 1971.
I was hired by owner Jerry Wilson of Hillcrest Aircraft for a summer job back in 1971 while a student at Eastern Washington U. I worked for Master Mechanic “Gunner” Anderson at their Clarkston, WA, overhaul facility about seven miles away [north] on the Snake River across from Lewiston, ID.
My job as “roust-about” included parts chaser, doughnut and coffee runner, plane gas and washer, tank cleaner/painter, gravel landing strip tractor dragger, truck driver, and anything else the mechanics and pilots needed. Never had so much fun, especially hearing all the stories at break time from the “old-timers”. I learned a lot that helped me in later career years. A favourite was watching “gallon can” sized TBM pistons being prepped and critical parts such as crankshafts being magniflux inspected in the booth during the R-2600 engine overhauling. Even more exciting was to later observe the engine run-ups and test flights for the first time.
I witnessed several TBM flights that summer when they were flown back and forth between the Hillcrest Lewiston facility and the Snake River facility. I loved the sound of those engines starting, powering up and could hear them all the way over on that short flight!
I have submitted two annotated images: one of #A9 was when it was ready for delivery I believe to NB, and the other of #A18.
I recall “Gunner” leaving to take a trip to Canada for a few days then. To my recent surprise I think that is him standing in the center with the green jacket/pants in your site photo in front of #A9, then in Dunphy, NB. Can’t see his face, but for sure that was his stance and haircut!
53078 FBEF N68683 #110 / #A25
#A25 may have been delivered by summer 1971. I don’t recall seeing it.
53775a CF-ZTR N4173A #A18
As you can see in my #A18 photo this TBM was furthest from being finished. The wing flap appears to even be missing. I speculate that #A23 was held for delivery to Miramichi until #A18 was also completed. I am referring to the McBride photo of #A18 in flight while he was flying #A23. I doubt that it was as late as Feb 1972. A clip from the Pilot/Team list below shows them all flying in 1971 with the Raccoon and Reindeer teams. You know how busy those pilots were, could Feb just be the film development date?
The photo of #A18 is quite interesting. That is “Gunner” standing in the center with the other two men, backs turned. We had visits from some of the TBM pilots and I seem to recall the names McBride and Reid.
Also unique to #A18 was the straight or squared cutoff exhaust pipe on the port side of the engine. I remember them painting the #A18 numbers, and in this shot just “8″ had been sprayed waiting to dry before continuing with “A1_”. A close look shows the tape and masking paper. Your photo on the site taken after the crash [with Merrill McBride and family] clearly shows the squared off exhaust pipe. The other side had the usual tapered cut.
Yes, still “racking my brain” as to whom the man on the left with the mechanics was. It wasn’t McBride, but maybe he was the purveyor/buyer of fine TBM parts from the Lewiston office. Seems he was in and out a lot to solve part problems (Avenger typical).
I have a question concerning the tank retrofitting you might know the answer to. Hillcrest installed water fire bombing tanks (I painted a few of them prior to installation) into the TBMs along with the overhaul work. Did those tanks have to be changed out for the Budworm spraying program or were they somehow retrofitted by Miramichi?
53775b CF-ZTS N7028C #D7 / #A23
I wrote this footnote for the printed copy of #A23 in my file:
“I was standing next to the Lewiston Tribune photographer they sent out to take this photo in 1971. Art [Robinson] was the guy I worked with on installing a new short block engine in a company water truck used for crop spraying. We did a valve job together on the cylinder head. Art jumped into the shot and afterward said to me, “This photo will be famous someday.” I thought he was joking at the time. The tall gentleman on the right [possibly Andrew Retfalvy - CA ] was from New Brunswick, Miramichi Co. He was there to accept delivery of the aircraft. Merrill McBride then flew #A23 CF-ZTS to New Brunswick. Photo was taken at the Clarkston facility with the Lewiston Hills in the background across the Snake River looking north.”
About the delivery timing on #A23, hard to say exactly. The photo including McBride and possibly Andrew Retfalvy may have been an inspection visit only. I seem to recall Gunner Anderson getting back from his #A9 delivery NB trip and saying McBride and a customer were coming soon. “Andrew” sounds right and at the time the last name was “one I’d never heard of before”.
That August ’71 was a cool one in the mornings. I looked up the weather history and it shows down into the cool ’50s at night. On the days I had to drag the gravel airstrip I’d come in at 3:30 am to finish early before it would get hot by 11am. I remember freezing my butt while manually cranking the flywheel on that old John Deere. Tough to cold start it, but I digress.
Also note the picture of McBride standing with #A23 was taken there at Clarkston (the Lewiston-Clarkston hills are across the Snake River in the background looking north). It must have been taken early in the morning because facing north the glint of sunshine off the Avenger nose cowling was from the east. Also shows in the men’s shadows. As for Art Robinson, he always wore that coat in the morning. Haha.
85886 N9586Z #A9
I witnessed #A9 leaving Clarkson/Lewiston for the trip to probably Dunphy, NB. I believe Reid was the pilot as shown in the Team/Pilot list. I think he was the ex-Vietnam pilot that “buzzed the tower” (hanger) while performing test flights in the days before. While we were out back one morning he performed an Avenger style stealth dive and full power pull out just as he cleared the roof right over our heads. I think we did more than “spill our coffee”. E’nuf said.
In my #A9 photo there does not appear to be any spray bars yet installed. So Conair saw the need and further developed the dual purpose tanking system. Great! I looked up Dunphy in your NB airport section and noted “The TBMs (total 44) were calibrated at Dunphy Airstrip then dispatched …”. Possibly that is where the spray equipment was added. In that beautiful #A9 uncropped photo you just sent me it looks like the spray bar pipe/plumbing just came straight out above the tank area. There’s certainly plenty of room in there for the added equipment. I was inside a TBM a few times and it seemed pretty wide open in the back behind the pilot seat.
This is Phil Schmidt’s depiction from Google earth of the location and layout of the Clarkston, WA, location (see the small yellow square in the top left of the right-hand image). For a history of the airstrip, see here. The Lewiston airport is at lower left.
Hillcrest appears to have owned 9 Avengers (details from the Warbird Registry):
53078 / N68683 / #110 + #A25 / 1969-1970 [to Miramichi; became FBEF]
53200 / N9010C / #D6 / 1963-1966 [to Johnson, Evergreen, FPL: became GLEL]
53775a / N4173A / #A18 / 1963-1972 [to Miramichi; became FZTR]
53775b / N7028C / #D7 + A23 / 1963-1972 [to Miramichi; became FZTS]
69459 / N8397H / #? / 1977
85733 / N6824C / #? / 1963-1964 [to Johnson, Evergreen, FPL: became GLEK]
85787 / N7000C / #? / 1963-1970
85886 / N9586Z / #A9 / 1969-1970
91110 / N6827C / #E58 / 1977-1978
As a courtesy I copied Hillcrest Aircraft on the photos. The founder’s son, Mr. Gale Wilson (whom I met in ’71), is now President of the company. The company now has a state of the art facility for helicopter maintenance and overhaul in Lewiston (see here for location).
Page 6 of this business profile has a great article about Kelly Bean, the Director of Maintenance, and of the Hillcrest facility. I had a nice chat on the phone with him. He took over from Gunner Anderson when he retired around 1994. It’s all about Bell Helicopters with them now, but he remembers and enjoyed hearing about the TBMs. If you check the current Hillcrest site you can see the new 28K sq ft overhaul and maintenance facility that is next to the Lewiston airport.
Reeder Flying Service
Twin Falls, ID
Reeder supplied five Avengers (various colour schemes) to the spray program from 1969 to 1972. Two of these, N7075C and N7076C, were equipped with a large distinctive tank. The five TBMs were painted in various colour schemes.53726 N7076C 1966-84 #56 53785 N7075C 1966-1977 #55 91521 N4171A 1963-1972 #D11, #11 91565 N4168A 1963-1972 #D8, #8 91714 N9429Z 1962-1984, 1988-1991 #E51, #D12, #57 In 1957 a lot of people thought Mr. Reeder had lost his mind because he bought four old WWII Torpedo Bombers. People couldn¹t imagine what he would do with them, but Mr. Reeder had an idea. He brought them home, mounted tanks in the bottom of them, and started large-scale spray operations for the BLM and Department of Agriculture. Those first 4 aircraft soon grew to a fleet of 10, the largest fleet in the United States. The aircraft were used all over the United States and eastern Canada spraying rangeland and forests. A few years later Mr. Reeder started using the fleet to fight fires, replacing the spray tanks with interchangeable fire retardant tanks. The fleet fought fires all over the western US. Eventually Mr. Reeder found an even larger airplane suitable for fire fighting, the B-26 Bomber, and incorporated four of those aircraft into the fleet. [From the Reeder Flying Service home page] John Reeder, president of Reeder Flying Service and an active member of the business community, died [March 2010] of a sudden illness … in Houston. He was 65. The husband and father of four children helped continue the aviation legacy his father, Charles Reeder, started in 1941. John Reeder and his brother, Charles Reeder, bought Reeder Flying Service from their father in 1976, adapting the fixed-base operation as the industry changed. [http://www.magicvalley.com/news]
Reeder’s other six Avengers were (Warbirdregistry):47887 N4169A 1963-1981 #63, #58, #9 53454 N7030C 1966-1984 #D13, #13 69329 N73642 1963-1984 #D23, #2 85957 N9547Z 1966-84 #E80 91453 N4170A 1963-1977 #D10, #10 91598 N9548Z 1971 [was HVFS #E76]
Reeder is located at Joslin Field – Magic Valley Regional Airport.Arizona
Aircraft Specialties Inc.
One Avenger flew in NB in 1971:
91733 / N9590Z / 1966-77 / #C25
Aircraft Specialties owned 5 other Avengers:
69355 / N7850C / 1966 / #?
85869 / N9927Z / 1963-77 / #C3 later #E39 and #C39
91388 / N9564Z / 1963 / #C34
91436 / N9569Z / 1981 / hulk
91474 / N9926Z / 1963-70 / #E38
Aircraft Specialties was located at Falcon Field Airport, Mesa, Arizona. See Ruud Leeuw’s description and images here. He refers to the founder Gene Packard below.“As Bob Reid already mentioned, the aircraft at Falcon Field belong to Gene Packard. Gene (full name Richard Eugene Packard) is somewhat of an icon in the airtanker/sprayer world. He started off in the 1950s/1960s, when he co-founded Aircraft Specialties Inc., together with Abe Sellards. They flew DC-4s, B-17s, Harpoons and Connies out of Falcon Field, mainly on spraying contracts. In 1981 Gene reorganised that company into the well-known Globe Air, also based at Falcon Field. Globe Air went into voluntary liquidation in 1985, and their fleet was sold at the famous Globe Air auction in October 1985. But Gene didn’t stop there, because a year later he established his third company… This was Air Response Inc. …, which was formed as a family business by Gene and his son Ed. They took over some of the former Globe Air DC-4s and Harpoons, and continued to operate them out of Falcon Field.”
Hemet Valley Flying Service
Hemet Valley supplied seven Avengers to the spray program in 1971 and 1972. Five of these were eventually sold to Hillcrest and then in 1976 to FPL.
53592 / N5168V / 1963-1972 / #E68 #68 / Hemet Valley / Hillcrest / FPL #68 #1553858 / N3357G / 1963-1972 / #E72 / Hemet Valley / Hillcrest / FPL #72 #4 GFPR85883 / N6825C / 1969-1972 / #E3786064 / N7161C / 1966-1972 / #E97 / Hemet Valley / Hillcrest / FPL #97 #19 GFPO86090 / N9434Z / 1968-1973 / #E52 #52 / Hemet Valley / Hillcrest / FPL GFPP86195 / N7229C / 1959-1971 / #E71 [did not fly in NB]91289 / N7833C / 1960-1972 / #E56, later #E74 Hemet Valley / Hillcrest / FPL #74 #17 GFPN
Ruud Leeuw describes the Hemet-Ryan Airport and some of its aircraft here.
Hemet Valley had four other Avengers:
53727 / N9082Z / 1963-1972 / #E73 [did not fly in NB]
69344 / N66475 / 1971 / #? [did not fly in NB]
85844 / N3356G / 1963-1970 / #E75 [did not fly in NB]
91598 / N9548Z / 1966-1972 / #E76 [to Reeder; did not fly in NB]
Sis-Q Flying Service
Santa Rosa, CA
Sis-Q supplied five Avengers to the spray program in 1971 and 1972. Five were eventually sold to FPL in 1974; these, together with six from Johnson, were FPL’s first eleven TBMs.85715 N1369N #E27 / #27 Sis-Q / FPL #E27 / #8 53334 N68663 #E28 / #E25 Sis-Q / FPL #E25 [GLEG] 69323 N7961C #E24 Sis-Q / FPL #E24 / #24 53307 N9078Z #E26 Sis-Q / FPL #E26 53697 N9711Z #E33 Sis-Q / FPL #E33 / #20
Johnson Flying Service
Johnson supplied seven Avengers to the spray program from 1964 to 1966 and 1969 to 1972. Six were eventually sold to FPL in 1974; these, together with five from Sis-Q, were FPL’s first eleven TBMs.91159 N3249G #A14 Johnson / FPL #A14 91398 N3251G #A15 Johnson 85733 N6824C #A12 Johnson / FPL #A12 / 14 85836 N7014C #A11 Johnson / FPL #A11 / #11 85854 N7015C #A7 Johnson / FPL #A7 53200 N9010C #D6* / #A13 Johnson / FPL #A13 / #13 85499 N9597C #D6* / #A16 Johnson / FPL #A6 / #6
One Avenger flew in NB from 1968 to 1970. The sister aircraft, N7032C, was owned by Richardson Aviation, also of Yakima, WA.
Were these in fact the same company?
53484 / N7031C /1963-70 / #111
One Avenger, with a grey colour scheme, flew in NB from 1969 to 1972. It was eventually sold to Hillcrest then to FPL in 1976. The sister aircraft, N7031C, was owned by Airway inc., also of Yakima, WA. Were these in fact the same company?85460 N7032C #112 Richardson / Hillcrest / FPL #E32 #3
Moses Lake, WA
A lack of available Canadian Avengers in the early 1980s meant that FPL had to bring some in from the United States. Stewart Aviation supplied four Avengers in 1981 and the same four plus one more in 1982 (various colour schemes). This was the last time that US Avengers were used by FPL.53835 N3967A #– 53575 N6447C #– 91110 N6827C #– 69459 N8397H #– 91586 N9433Z #–
If you know the identity of this Avenger, please let me know. (Chris A)
Air Tankers Inc.
Only one Air Tankers TBM operated in NB (in 1971); it was eventually sold to Norfolk Aerial Spraying as GOBJ. This company also sold two other TBMs to Norfolk.
85632 / N7002C / 1966-72 / #–
Air Tankers owned two other Avengers:
69361 / N9596C / 1966-72 [to Norfolk as GOEG]
Bu#? / N9599C / 1966-71