TBM-3 Avenger burns - pilot injured

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Njaco, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    This happened at one of my favorite airports. I used to volunteer there. I have pics of this plane and will try to post some. I hope the pilot is ok. Photos are from the article.

    Pilot of WWII Avenger that crashed in Millville in critical but stable condition - South Jersey - NJ.com

    Pilot of WWII Avenger that crashed in Millville in critical but stable conditionby Jean Jones, The News of Cumberland County
    Monday March 09, 2009, 5:01 PM

    MILLVILLE -- You may have personally seen and even touched the TBM-3 Avenger that burned at Millville Municipal Airport Saturday.

    Pilot Terry Rush, who suffered second and third degree burns as he jumped from the burning plane while it was still rolling to a stop on the runway, is still in critical but stable condition at Crozer-Chester Medical Center's burn center, in Upland, Pa.

    Crews discuss how to move the plane that burned on the Millville airport runway Saturday night.Rush, 63, of Cherry Hill, flew and maintained all the planes owned by Tom Duffy, a collector of World War II warbirds kept at Millville airport. Duffy had his planes on display for the airshows sponsored by the Millville Army Air Field Museum and for other special events and some also flew in the 2008 show, including the Avenger.

    He was at the field and witnessed the accident Saturday and was one of the first to reach Rush. Duffy described Rush as a friend as well as his pilot.

    You may have walked around this Avenger and admired it while on static display. Aircraft buffs say it was a beautifully restored plane. Although there were various models of the TBM Avenger, including the one former President George Bush crashed in World War II, Duffy's Avenger was painted to resemble one that served with Torpedo Squadron VT-84 aboard the USS Bunker Hill in the Pacific during WWII.

    According to information released by the Millville Army Air Field Museum before last year's airshow, the Avenger was the largest single-engine aircraft built in the U.S. until the end of the war and also the largest to take off from aircraft carriers. It was powered by a Wright Cyclone R-2600 14-cylinder two-row radial engine, turning a three-bladed standard prop.

    It was rated at 1920 HP at take-off. Duffy's Avenger had just taken off from Millville Airport when Rush noticed the left wing on fire and turned around and attempted to land on the runway from which he had departed. He was able to bring the plane in but by that time it was fully engulfed in flames, according to state police.

    The Avenger could carry 3,000 pounds of bombs or one 2,200-pound torpedo, either two 58- or 110-gallon drop tanks, eight 5-inch velocity rockets and bomb racks that could each carry a 500-pound bomb or gun packs, each with two 50-caliber guns.

    It also could lay mines and smoke screens, tow targets and some models had air-to-air radar. They also were equipped with three bomb bay fuel tank sizes: A half-size self-sealing tank which still allowed for the carriage of 1,000 pounds of internal bombs and two full-size tanks, one self-sealing and one not fully armed; it still could fly 300 miles away and back.

    During WWII, Avengers patrolled the seas for enemy vessels, fought naval battles helped prepare invasion zones and provided close air-to-ground support for Allied troops.

    The aircraft was called the Avenger in response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a formidable weapon, involved in the sinking of both Japanese battle ships in the Pacific and more than 30 German submarines in the Atlantic between 1943 and 1944.

    Few are left in the world today and even fewer still flying.
     

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  2. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Sure hope the pilot pulls through. Maybe they can salvage some of the
    airplane also.....

    Charles
     
  3. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    What a crying shame, I dont wish those kind of burns and rehab on anybody....
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Damn shame, hope the pilot pulls through
     
  5. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Njaco,

    That's bad news. I hope the pilot makes it!

    Flugzeug Classic in the February 2009 issue had an article on the Avenger, quoting modern-day TBM pilot Danny Summers with the words "In some aspects she is a pig, but she flies like a Super Cub" (re-translated).

    I was a bit disappointed that the flight characteristics of the TBM were not discussed in this article as I found the comment interesting, though hard to understand as the Super Cub seems to be famous for easy handling and good performance - as far as I can tell, the opposite of what "pig" stands for in English aviation slang.

    (Instead, the article devoted several paragraphs to a generic type history ... poor focus if you ask me.)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Good performance, yes - easy handling? Depends where and when...
     
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I have seen pics of the aftermath in our local papers and hate to say, but there is almost nothing left - just port wing and part of the tail. Everything else was burned.

    That pic under the '88' is whats left looking from the tail down the fuselage - or whats left.
     
  8. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Very sad news NJ. Please keep us posted on the pilot.
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Very sad. Guy in the Hospital and bird is gone. Hope he pulls through ok. Chester Crozier is a very good burn unit.
     
  10. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Yeah, one of the best in this area. Hope he does ok but 3d burns its gonna be bad. I didn't know him but have heard of him.
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Here are some pics Charles took at Reading last year.....
     

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  12. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Damn, I hate to see this kind of thing happen. Keep Terry Rush in your thoughts and prayers. He has a long road ahead.
     
  13. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Hang in there Terry!
     
  14. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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  15. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Cool film of New Garden. Used to fly out of there back about 5 years ago. Moved over the Brandywine because it was closer. Still, a fun place to hang around, always something odd going on.
     
  16. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Terrible to hear about both the plane and the pilot. I wish them the best in his recovery, burns recovery is never a pleasant time. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Shame about the aircraft, but the main thing is, the pilot survived. Let's hope he makes a good recovery, even though it won't be pleasant.
     
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