Spectators captured dramatic video of the Valiant Air Command’s new Grumman TBM Avenger ditching (making an emergency water landing) on Saturday April 17, 2021, at the Cocoa Beach Air Show in Florida.
There were no injuries reported in the impressive display of airmanship by the TBM Avenger pilot.
The Grumman TBM/TBF Avenger is a single-engine, propeller driven, carrier-borne strike and torpedo bomber with a three-man crew. The aircraft was made famous in the Pacific during WWII in battles that include Midway and the sinking of the giant Japanese battleships Yamato and Mushashi.
The aircraft could carry either 2,000 pounds of bombs or a single Mk. 13 torpedo in the anti-shipping strike role. The Avenger was flown by former US President George H.W. Bush, who also survived an accident in his TBM Avenger during WWII when he bailed out of his aircraft before being rescued by a US Navy submarine.
The Grumman TBM Avenger involved in yesterday’s ditching was flying with several other types of historic planes during the airshow including a twin-engine C-47 Dakota transport in a loose trail formation just prior to the ditching. A small amount of smoke briefly appeared from the aircraft in some videos just prior to the emergency water landing.
The pilot did an impressive job of ditching the aircraft in the shallow water directly in front of a beach area where spectators were watching the flight demonstrations. The aircraft can be seen flying slowly at wave-top level before finally stalling with wings level, then gently entering the water with what appears to be little damage.
The aircraft involved in the accident, number 91188, was originally built by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors Corporation in 1945 and operated for the US Navy as Bureau Number 91188.
Read more: Business Insider