There were two different N2116 mustangs, 44-744850 and 44-73990. My guess is that this is the first one, 44-74850. It was N6726C, then N2116 #1, then became CF-USA. It crashed near Big Spring, TX in October 1975, killing its owner, Don Plumb.If it was the other N2116, it would now be N51TH.
Martin (Swiss Mustangs)
This is P-51D-30-NA 44-74850 that served with the 165th FS KY ANG, coded '50' and also was at times assigned to the 176th FS WI ANG; in 1963 it became N6726C (James Hodges; in 1966 N2116 of John Sliker, ownership changing to John Silberman in 1969 and Westernair in 1971; during October it was registered CF-USA 10.72 to Don Plumb, changing soon to C-FUSA; th a/c crashed on 16th October 1975 at Big Spring, TX, killing pilot/owner Don Plumb
Interestingly, Tom Goez refers to this P-51 as 44-73390, N51TH in his email when he sent in the pic. Tom's email: "I have a color photo of Leonard Tanner's N2116 that I took in 1966 at Love Field, Augusta, Georgia." Help: if this shot was taken in '66, wouldn't it have to be 44-74850?
After letting this one simmer for a few weeks, I guess I'll have to alter my first answer a bit. If the photographer is right, in that he shot the photo in 1966 and insists that Len Tanner was the owner, then we have a problem. Len Tanner bought 44-73990 on 19 Jan 65 and it was registered as N51LT until it was sold to John Silberman in April 1973, at which time he reregistered it as N2116 #2. Jack Sliker sold 44-74850, N2116 #1 to John Silberman in 1966 and sold it to Westernaire in Albuquerque in 1969. Westernaire sold N2116 #1 to Don Plumb in 1972, and it dropped the US reg of N2116 and took up CF-USA. This allowed Silberman to apply N2116 to 44-73990 when he bought it in 1973. So, if the photo was taken in 1966, it is 44-74850. If it was flown by Len Tanner in 1966, it was still 44-74850, but owned in that year by Silberman. Now, is everybody fully confused?
A brief history of the two "N2116"s: N2116 No.1 was a Mustangs Unlimited aircraft that I bought from Hallmark Holmes Co. Jack Sliker and I were good friends and he and his AP would work on and fly the plane from his airport in Wadley GA. He did not own this aircraft, he had a Mustang of his own. I sold N2116 to Westernair who painted it Orange and ran it at Reno. Don Plumb bought the plane and re-registered it in Canada as CF-USA. I reserved the N number for the future.
N2116 No2. Len Tanner of CT was selling his mustang N51LT (Pigeon Chaser). I bought it and flew it to Florida for annual inspection. During the annual, the reserved N No. was applied and the paperwork signed off and sent to the FAA. On the way home from Florida I had a coolant system failure, engine failure, and and a somewhat successful crash landing on a winding mountain road near Yancyville, NC. Len Tanner bought the damaged aircraft back, repaired it and sold it. The rest you have from other people.Sincerely, John Silberman