A rare sight will greet the warbird world this April in Peru, Illinois. At least nine Grumman TBM Avengers are expected to gather at Illinois Valley Regional Airport for a mixture of public displays and an owner/operators conference. There is every possibility that additional TBMs will attend as well, making it potentially the largest gathering of airworthy Avengers of the warbird era.
Organized by Brad Deckert, and his company TBM Avenger LLC, the Avengers will begin arriving in Peru, Illinois during the third week of April. The TBM forum for owner/operators will take place on Friday, April 15th. The forum will include a presentation on maintaining the Avenger’s Curtiss-Wright R-2600-20 engine, as well as an open session for TBM owner/operators to discuss mutual concerns. For obvious reasons, these sessions will not be open to the public, however, the everyone is welcome to attend all of the weekend events. The public will be able to get a close-up look at the TBMs, and witness some flying as well. Formation flights are in the works too of course. There is also a plan to invite former Avenger veterans as well, though the final details are not complete on that just yet. The local EAA Chapter will be selling lunches, which will be available to all-comers.
So far the organizers expect the following TBM Avengers to attend:
1: TBM-3E – Bu.85632 – N81865 – Brad Deckert – based locally at KVYS, Illinois Valley Regional Airport in Peru, Illinois.
2: TBM-3E – Bu.53829 -N293E – Mark and Allen Yeagie – coming from KFAR, Hector International Airport in Fargo, ND.
3: TBM-3U – Bu.53768 – N683G – Tom Buck – coming from KJOT, Joliet Regional Airport in Joliet, IL.
4: TBM-3 – Bu.91436 – N436GM – Charlie Cartledge – coming from KPCW, Erie-Ottawa International Airport in Port Clinton, OH.
5: TBM-3E – Bu85882 – N9584Z – Michael Kopp – coming from Seattle region, WA.
6: TBM-3U – Bu.69325 – N325GT – Darrell Berry – coming from OM8, Benton County Regional Airport, Camden, TN.
7: TBM-3S – Bu.53420 – N420GP – Tri-state Warbird Museum coming from I69, Clermont County Airport, Batavia, OH.
8: TBM-3 – Bu53835 – N3967A – Charles Lynch – coming from KHPN, Westchester County Airport, White Plains, NY.
9: TBM-3 – Bu.53353 – N5264 – Missouri Wing, CAF – coming from KSET, St. Charles County Smartt Airport, Portages des Sioux, MO.
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WarbirdsNews will keep you up to date on any changes as/when they happen, and we also plan to have a representative on the ground, and probably in the air too, so Watch This Space!