2016 TBM Avenger Gathering

The 2016 TBM Avenger Gathering was held on April 16 at the Illinois Valley Regional Airport in Peru, Illinois. The event was organized by Brad Deckert, a local Avenger owner.

The gathering was developed to bring the various Avenger owners/operators together to discuss maintenance, safety and other matters involved with owning an Avenger. Practice flying was also planned, including flight demonstrations and formation flying.

The gathering of Avengers also brings together a significant group of historical warbirds in one spot. Fighters and bombers have had numerous events, but no event has really featured or celebrated the TBM Avenger quite like this.

The Featured Aircraft: TBM Avengers

Brad Deckert TBM-3 – N81865

Tri-State Warbird Museum TBM-3 S – N420GP

Commemorative Air Force Missouri Wing TBM-3 – N5264

Mark and Allen Yeagie (TBM, LLC) TBM-3E – N293E

Tom Buck’s TBM-3 – N683G

Charlie Cartledge TBM-3 – N436GM

Michael Kopp – TBM-3 “Ida Red” – N9584Z

Charlie Lynch TBM-3 “She’s the Boss” – N3967A

Simmons Aviation Services TBM-3 – N85650

Avenger Formation Flying

Several of the TBMs formed up and made several nice formation passes to open the event. Several TBMs were airborne and made solo passes. What a sound to hear all of those Curtiss-Wright R-2600-20 radial engines!

Other Warbirds in Attendance

P-51 Mustangs

Two P-51D Mustangs were in attendance. Each Mustang did several solo passes and the two aircraft formed up for a formation break to landing.

Anthony Buechler P-51D Mustang “Petie 2nd” – N5427V

Wings of the North P-51D Mustang “Sierra Sue II” – N1751D

A-1 Skyraider “Naked Fanny” – NX959AD

East Iowa Airshows brought their A-1 Skyraider to display and participate in the flying portion of the show. The Skyraider was designed to replace the Avenger on the American aircraft carriers. However, the aircraft was too late to see service in World War II. However, the type did see significant service in both Korea and Vietnam.

Naked Fanny is painted to represent the USAF version of the “Spad”.

T-6/SNJ Texans

Several Texans were on hand and flew solo and formation demonstrations. Several operators also offered rides. The Texan is widely known as “the pilot maker” and an argument can be made that it is the most important trainer aircraft developed to date. It has been said that the Texan is difficult to fly, it requires the pilot’s attention at all times. Once mastered, a pilot was able to handle any of the “heavy iron” in the piston fighter community.

Other Trainers

Many other trainers were on hand as well such as a T-28 Trojan, T-34 Mentor, a PT-19 and several Stearmans (PT-17)

The Acrobats!

Several different types of acrobatic aircraft were also on hand including several Sukhoi SU-26s, a Christian Eagle, several YAK-52s and highly modified Stearman formerly of the Red Baron Pizza Squadron.

Jet Trainers

T-33 Shooting Stars

Two beautifully restored T-33 Shooting Stars were on hand. Mig-Alley Airshows brought their Canadair CT-133 Shooting Star. The aircraft has an authentic RCAF camo scheme. The second T-33 is operated by Whirpool Inc and is also a CT-133. The aircraft is painted in the livery of the Texas Air National Guard. Both are beautiful aircraft.

L-39 Albatross

Also on hand was a L-39 Albatross

General Aviation

Fly-in events are always special because you never really know what will show up. This event was no different, with several surprise arrivals.

Around the field…

Final thoughts…

This event was nothing short of spectacular. The atmosphere and excitement surrounding the display were amazing. If I had to sum up why the event was special in one image, it would be this one:

The intimacy was what was special to me. The ability to see history up close and to be able to hear the machines tingle and pop while running or cooling down is just something you do not get at a museum…or most normal airshows. The diverse blend of people and aircraft was also such a fresh feeling. I am thankful that I decided to get up early and head over to Peru. I’ll definitely be back to support this event if it continues.

I’ll say it again…Fantastic EVENT!

One thought on “2016 TBM Avenger Gathering”

  1. Awesome photos as always! Wished I could have been there with you. Truly looks to have been an AMAZING event!!

    Like

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