BuNo 124486

Current Civil Registration Number N494M

After being stricken from military service, Chance Vought F4U-5NL Corsair BuNo 124486 became one of ten -5N/-5NL types sold by the US Government to Honduras in 1956.  Serving with that country as “FAH-606”, it became a frontline participant in the 1969 war between Honduras and El Salvador.  It remained on as an airworthy fighter at the Toncontin Air Base until 1979 when it was purchased by Bob Ferguson and Howard Pardue.  It was assigned the new civil registration N49068, ferried back to the United States, and promptly offered for resale.

Phil Dear of Jackson, MS bought BuNo 124486 in 1980, repainted her as "Annie Mo" NP 21 from VC-3 squadron, and flew the fighter until he passed away in 1987.  His wife sold the plane to aircraft broker Dennis Sherman of West Palm Beach, FL later that year, and by 1988 it had found a new home with Dick Bertea of Irvine, CA. 

Bertea repainted the plane once more, this time in a VMF-451 scheme as number “14” with his initials “RB” on the tail.  He operated the plane at air shows up and down the west coast for the next four years and participated in an historic departure from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson where F4U-5N 123386 took part in an aerial demonstration over Hawaii.

In 1998, current owner Mike George purchased BuNo124486, keeping the Number “14” but changing the tail code to "WF", the squadron insignia to that of VMF(N)-513, and adding ‘Flying Nightmares” nose art on each side of the engine cowling.  In 2000, the plane’s engine caught fire after landing at its home base in Springfield, IL with Mike narrowly escaping injury.  The fighter was repaired in time to attend the 2002 Gathering of Corsairs and Legends and continues to operate today on a semi-regular basis as an exquisite stock example of the type.


 

BuNo 124486 - 1980 - Jim Sullivan Collection BuNo 124486 - Jim Sullivan Collection
BuNo 124486 - Oskosh August 2, 1992 - Jim Sullivan Collection BuNo 124486 - Doug Fisher BuNo 124486 2002 Gathering Corsairs and Legends - Rob Mears
BuNo 124486 2002 Gathering Corsairs and Legends - Rob Mears BuNo 124486 - BuNo 124486 2002 Gathering Corsairs and Legends - Mike Schneider BuNo 124486 2002 Gathering Corsairs and Legends - Rob Mears


BuNo 124486