As we have reported earlier that TBM Avenger Crashes During Cocoa Beach Air Show. A Valiant Air Command pilot made a perfect emergency water landing at the Cocoa Beach Air Show in Florida.
TBM-3E Avenger was performing in the warbird parade and the plane had a mechanical issue, the pilot was able to bring the plane down close to the shore.
Now the Valiant Air Command has pulled the World War II-era TBM Avenger out of the water. The stricken aircraft was craned out of the ocean.
“Most of you know that our TBM Avenger was forced to land due to engine failure. The good news is that the pilot is fine. The not-so-good news is that it may take several years to rebuild the Avenger.
This morning (Sunday), we have help from U.S. Coast Guard, the Brevard County Sherriff’s Office, Patrick Space Force Base Operations, Sea Tow Inc., Rice Towing, and various members from the museum, including Tom Reilly, Joe Cross, Leigh Lewis, Tracey Bohrmann, Tom Etter, Richard Jones, and many other members of the Valiant Air Command’s volunteer team.
We have had several questions regarding the museum’s TBM Avenger and her mishap during Cocoa Beach Airshow.
“The pilot performed the safest ditch maneuver possible, and landed the plane just offshore from Patrick Space Force Base. He was taken to the hospital after walking away from the incident, and he has been released with no injuries.”
“The Valiant Air Command, Inc. thanks you all for your kind thoughts and prayers.
“We are thankful that our pilot walked away unscathed from the incident. We are also thankful for all of your comments of support you have sent us this day.
If you would like to contribute to a restoration fund, although at this time we are unable to provide a status on whether this will be a static or a flying restoration, you can contribute HERE.
The Grumman TBM Avenger involved in the incident was restored to flying status just over a year ago on January 11, 2020 following an extensive 18-year restoration to airworthiness.
Prior to her restoration, she had last flown from 1956 until 1964 while operating as a water bomber in the forest fire suppression role for the U.S. Forestry Service in Davis, California.
In 1964, the aircraft was transferred to the Georgia Forestry Commission in Macon, Georgia where she continued the firefighting mission until 1969 when she was transferred between a series of private owners until purchased by the Valiant Air Command in 2002.
The Valiant Air Command was flying four aircraft at the Cocoa Beach Airshow including their flagship C-47 Dakota “Tico Bell”, a North American SNJ-4 trainer, an N2S Steerman biplane trainer and the TBM Avenger involved in the incident.