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  TBM-3U Avenger Bureau Number 91188  
USN

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USDA circa 1956–1964

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J. Whitehead c1966–1969

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Justin Taylan 2012

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Justin Taylan April 17, 2021

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Mitch Varnes April 18, 2021

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Justin Taylan April 17, 2021

Aircraft History
Built by General Motors, Eastern Aircraft Division. Constructors Number 4093. Delivered to the U.S. Navy (USN) as TBM-3U Avenger bureau number (BuNo) 91188.

Between 1956 until 1964 operated by the U.S. Forestry Service and registered as N108Z in Davis, CA. The Avenger had a large "08" on each side of the nose indicating aerial tanker 08. The canopy was painted white with "USDA Forestry Service" stenciled on the rear fuselage and registration N108Z.

In 1966 operated by the Georgia Forestry Commission in Macon, GA. Registered as N108Q with nose number 2 and flown as an aerial tanker until 1969.

On November 14, 1971 suffered a landing gear collapse at Elsa, TX and sustained damage. Afterwards, repaired.

On June 16, 1975 after take off, force landed wheels up into a swamp off Massena, NY. Afterwards, repaired.

In 1984 purchased by George W. Clapp, Allegany, NY. During 1986 until 1988 owned by Lance Aircraft Supply Inc, Dallas, TX. During 1989-2001 displayed the Georgia Historical Aviation Museum painted in a U.S. Navy scheme. In 2002 purchased by Environmental Aviation Services in Fernandina Beach, FL.

In June 2002 acquired by Valiant Air Command Museum and underwent extensive restoration over an 18 year period. By 2012, painted to represent TBM-3D Avenger 23307 code FT-28 piloted Lt. Charles C. Taylor of "Flight 19" missing December 5, 1945. On January 11, 2020 first flight after the restoration.

On April 17, 2021 during the Cocoa Beach Airshow, warbird parade suffered a mechanical issue and ditched around 1:50pm into shallow water off O Club Beach (Officer Club Beach) east of A-1A and Patrick Air Force Base. No one was injured in the incident and the pilot was unhurt. After the ditching, the Avenger submerged with the upper fuselage and tail above the surface. Late in the afternoon, efforts were made using air bags to raise the aircraft, but efforts did not proceed without permission from U.S. Space Force. Overnight at high tide, the aircraft was nearly submerged with the engine facing eastward with the lower two propeller blades dug into the sand and tail facing westward towards shore.

On April 18, 2021 in the early morning efforts resumed to place an air bag under the tail and engine but were not successful. Later in the afternoon, the Avenger was recovered and using a crane loaded onto a flatbed truck after sunset.

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - TBM-3E Avenger 91188
FAA Registry N-Number Inquiry N108Q - TBM-3 Avenger 91188
WarbirdRegistry - Avenger 91188
Valiant Air Command - Grumman / General Motors TBM-3U Avenger 91188
Facebook - Cocoa Beach Air Show April 17, 2021 1:54pm
"The TBM Avenger performing in the warbird parade had a mechanical issue and the pilot was able to bring the plane down close to the shore. Rescue personnel were immediately on scene and the pilot is okay."
Facebook "Plane crashes right in front of us!!! Happy nobody was hurt" Nickolas Tree Hawley April 17, 2021
YouTube "Plane crash lands during Cocoa Beach Air Show" April 17, 2021
YouTube "Cocoa Beach air show crash . Pilot managed a great landing in the ocean" April 17, 2021
Twitter @johnkrausphotos April 18, 2021 video of salvage being pulled onshore by a crane across the beach
Twitter @gpallone13 April 18, 2021 photos by Mitch Varnes of salvage by crane to parking lot
Thanks to Valiant Air Command Museum for additional information

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Last Updated
April 19, 2021

 

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