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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 177788
Last updated: 28 March 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic TBM model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Grumman TBM-3E Avenger
Owner/operator:Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)
Registration: 86001
C/n / msn: 2820
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:ca 15 mi from St. Thomas, ON -   Canada
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RCAF Station Downsview, ON
Destination airport:RCAF Station Downsview, ON
Two RCN VC 920 Reserve Squadron Avengers from RCAF Station Downsview, Ontario, were carrying out a low level flight above Lake Erie on 19 January, 1957. When south of Port Stanley, Ontario, Avenger 86001, Code 907, experienced an engine failure. The pilot turned the aircraft north and coaxed it far as he could towards land before they ditched on pan ice, 15 miles south of Port Stanley. The two crew members (32/20) pulled out the dingy and sat on it as they watched the aircraft sink through the ice.
The second Avenger circled and sent out a distress signal but had to leave due to fuel shortage. The nearest RCAF rescue helicopter was 275 miles away at RCAF Station Trenton and due to the approaching darkness could not make a rescue attempt until the next morning leaving the two crew members exposed to the winter conditions on the great lake.
Fortunately, a control tower operator at the US Navy Reserve Station Grosse Ile, Michigan, heard the Mayday and alerted the helicopter rescue crews. A HUP 2, BuNo 129979, was immediately fueled to capacity and took off for the 125 mile flight to search for the two stranded Canadian Navy flyers. After 50 minutes of searching and running low on fuel, the helicopter pilots spotted a flare from the downed airmen. They quickly picked them up and headed for London, Ontario. The HUP 2 was almost exhausted of fuel when they reached London. Of course, the two USNR pilots were billeted overnight and were treated like Royalty, as well deserved.

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix 21 January 1957, p13

Revision history:

15-Jul-2015 05:36 yukonjack Added
04-Jan-2018 16:18 TB Updated [Date, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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