DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 157

CF-DAK of Green Aiways, kicking up some snow.
Photo: Unknown photographer © March 1978 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-FDAK being taken care of.
Photo: Karl E. Hayes © May 2001
C-FDAK awaiting spring season at Lac Sebastien base.
Photo: Kenneth I. Swartz © 01 May 2004 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-FDAK resting, this time at Geraldton - CYGQ, Ontario.
Photo: Rich Hulina © 03 November 2016
N88765 conversion is moving along, at Talkeetna.
Photo: Matt Biloff © 01 June 2017 - via Karl E. Hayes

c/n 157

55-3301 • N88765 • CF-DAK • C-FDAK

N88765

X

 55-3301 United States Army. Delivered 5th September 1956. Designated as U-1A.

 Initially attached to 3rd Aviation Company, Fort Riley, KS.

Jul-1957. 3rd Aviation Company deployed to Illesheim, Germany until disbanded in Nov-1959.

Nov-1959. Assigned to the 2nd Aviation Company, based at Verdun, France where it continued to serve until March 1964.

May-1964. New Cumberland Army Depot, Harrisburg, PA., where it underwent depot level maintenance and then storage.

Sept-1966. Into storage at Fort Sam Houston, TX.

Feb-1968. 54th Signal Brigade. Vietnam

Jul-1969. To the 520th Transportation Battalion, who prepared it for shipment to the USA.

Sep-1969 At the US Army's Forest Park, Atlanta, GA., depot.

May 1972. Deleted from US Army inventory and put up for disposal.

• N88765 Wayne H. Peterson, Minneapolis, MN. Regd 12-Mar-1973 Canx 15-May-1973 on export to Canada.

• CF-DAK Kyro's Albany River Airways Ltd., Thunder Bay, ON, Regd 06-Jun-1973. Canx circa 1974.

• CF-DAK & C-FDAK Green Airways Ltd.,  Red Lake, ON. Regd circa 1974. Canx 14-Jul-1986.

• C-FDAK Pickle Lake Air Services Ltd., Pickle Lake, ON.  Regd date unknown. Canx 09-Jan-1987

• C-FDAK V Kelner Airways Ltd., Pickle Lake, ON. Regd date unknown. Canx 08-Jun-1988.

• C-FDAK 239665 Alberta Ltd., Calgary,  AB. Regd 27-May-1988. Canx 15-Jun-1988 Possibly an early incarnation of Ashe Aircraft Enterprises, Calgary, AB.

• C-FDAK Parsons Airways Northern Ltd., Flin Flon, MB. Regd 15-Jun-1988. Canx 04-Jun-1990.

• C-FDAK Mid Canada Sky Services Ltd., Lynn Lake, MB. Regd 26-Jun-1990. Canx 03-Apr-1992.

• C-FDAK Pourvoierie de la Seigneurie du Lac La Croix Inc., St. Ann de Sorel, QC. Based Lac La Croix, QC. Regd 15-Jun-1992. Canx 15-Aug-1992. Re regd 21-Apr-1993. Canx 18-Aug-1994.

• C-FDAK Air Saguenay (1980) Inc., Chicoutimi, QC. Based  Lac Lacroix, QC. Regd 18-Aug-1994. Canx 18-Aug-1994. Regd 01-Jun-1995. Canx 23-Sep-1996. Re regd 23-Sep-1996 at Jonquière, QC Based at Schefferville, QC. Canx 23-Apr-1999. Re regd 23-Apr-1999. Canx 18-Aug-2000 & 26-Jan-2001.

Accident: 26 September 2001 at Riviere Chataugay, 170 miles north of Schefferville, QC. See notes below.

Re regd at Chicoutimi again 23-May-2003 & 02-Sep-2003. Canx 26-Apr-2017. Exported to USA.

Being converted to a Texas Turbine powered Otter by TAT.

• N88765 Talkeetna Air Taxi, Talkeetna, AK. Regd 30-Jan-2017. Regd 11-May-2017.

Current

Otter 157 was delivered to the United States Army on 5 September 1956 with serial 55-3301 (tail number 53301). It was assigned to the 3rd Aviation Company, Fort Riley, Kansas and moved with the Company when it deployed to Illesheim, Germany in July 1957. The Otters were flown to Mobile, Alabama and transported from there by ship to Bremerhaven, Germany and then re-assembled and flown to their new base at Illesheim. 53301 was noted visiting Croydon Airport, London on 13 March 1958. When the 3rd Aviation Company disbanded in November 1959, 53301 was assigned to the 2nd Aviation Company, based at Verdun, France where it continued to serve for some years. It was noted visiting Gatwick on 19 March 1962.  It continued to fly for the 2nd Aviation Company until March 1964 and was then transported back to the United States. In May 1964 it arrived at the New Cumberland Army Depot, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where it underwent depot level maintenance.

In September 1966 it was put into storage at Fort Sam Houston, Texas until February 1968, when it was transported to Vietnam and joined the 54th Signals Brigade. It served with that organisation until July 1969 and was then entrusted to the 520th Transportation Battalion who prepared it for shipment home. It arrived at the Army’s Atlanta, Georgia depot in September 1969, where it was put into storage until May 1972, when it was deleted from the inventory and put up for sale as military surplus. The Otter was purchased by a Wayne H. Peterson of Minneapolis, Minnesota and registered to him as N88765 on 12 March 1973. The Otter was flown from the Atlanta Depot to Minneapolis.

The Otter was sold on to Kyro’s Albany River Airways of Thunder Bay, Ontario to whom a provisional Certificate of Registration as CF-DAK was issued and also a Flight Permit for an importation flight as N88765 from Minneapolis to Thunder Bay was issued on 24 April 1973. It was formally registered to its new owners on 6 June 1973 as CF-DAK after it had been overhauled, the American registration having been cancelled on 15 May 1973. It replaced Otter CF-ITF (89) with the company. Kyro’s Albany River Airways were based in Thunder Bay but also flew out of Geraldton, Jellicoe and Nezah Lake in Northwestern Ontario. This was a typical bush carrier with Beavers, Beech 18 and Norsemen as well as the Otter. The Otter only flew for Kyro’s for the summer of 1973 and was then sold on to Green Airways Ltd of Red Lake, Ontario by May 1974, painted into the company colours of yellow overall with green cheatline. It was later re-registered C-FDAK and flew for Green Airways for twelve years without incident, providing bush services into the Ontario wilderness out of Red Lake.

The next operator of Otter DAK was Pickle Lake Air Services Ltd., of Pickle Lake, Ontario from October 1986. Pickle Lake A/S was at the time a subsidiary of V. Kelner Airways Ltd., also based at Pickle Lake. Pickle Lake A/S Otter C-FBER (86) had crashed in September 1986. This was a very busy time for floatplane operators in northern Ontario due to a gold exploration boom. Otter DAK was therefore acquired from Green Airways in October 1986 as a replacement for BER, flying for Pickle Lake A/S for the remainder of 1986, then being registered on 9 January 1987 to the parent company, V. Kelner Airways, for whom it continued to fly from Pickle Lake. Kelner Airways began to modernise its fleet, acquiring Twin Otters and Cessna Caravans and its single Otters were then sold. Otter C-FDAK was registered to its new owner, Parsons Airways Northern Ltd., of Flin Flon, Manitoba on 8 June 1988.

Parsons Airways Northern Ltd., had operated many Otters over the years, serving the bush country of northern Manitoba but by this stage its business was winding down and DAK was to be its last Otter. The company suspended operations in early 1990 and in June of that year Otter DAK was registered to Mid Canada Sky Services Ltd., of Lynn Lake, Manitoba. As well as the Otter, this company also flew a Cessna 185 and a Norseman out of Lynn Lake. Then in April 1992 DAK was registered to Pourvoierie de la Seigneurie du Lac La Croix Inc., of St.Ann de Sorel, Lac la Croix, Québec being registered to that organisation until August 1994, when it was acquired by Air Saguenay (1980) Inc., of Lac Sebastien, Chicoutimi, Québec with whom it was to serve for the next 22 years, part of its large Otter fleet, serving the bush country of Québec. It was painted into Air Saguenay’s red and white ‘goose’ colour scheme.  Most of its work involved flying tourists, hunters and fishermen around the Québec wilderness during the summer months.

On 26 September 2001 at Riviere Chataugay, 170 miles north of Schefferville, Québec while cruising at 400 feet under a low ceiling, the engine began to vibrate strongly. Application of power produced explosions of flame! The pilot made an immediate landing on a small lake but due to the low altitude from which the descent was made and the wind, this resulted in a heavy landing on the water. The engine was torn from its mounts, as were the floats, part of the float attachment entering the cabin and causing minor injuries to one of the occupants. Subsequent examination did not reveal any defects in the engine, but conditions at the time were favourable to carburettor icing.  Unfortunately history does not record how this was done, but the damaged Otter was retrieved from the very remote crash site and transported back to Montréal for rebuild.

It continued to fly for Air Saguenay in the years that followed, and there are a number of CADORS reports on Otter DAK which are interesting as they show where the Otter was operating from time to time:

27 July 2004.  The Otter made a precautionary landing on a no-name lake (53 37 North 61 23 West) in the Otter Lake area of Labrador

13 June 2013.  Local flight at Natashquan. Omitted to contact the FSS on its return.

15 June 2013.  The Otter made a final call to Natashquan at 14:03 hours but did not call back after landing on the water. Even after several phone calls were made, it was not possible to confirm the aircraft’s safe arrival and as a result 911 was alerted. At 14:38 Air Saguenay Beaver C-FJKI on final to the water aerodrome confirmed that Otter DAK had landed at Lac de l’Avion at Natashquan

19 June 2013.   DAK flying to Havre St.Pierre. Communicated on final approach but did not report once it was on the ground.

22 June 2013.   DAK at Natashquan. Did not signal that it had landed on the water at Lac de l’Avion. Same complaint on 26 June 2013.

In February 2015 Otter C-FDAK was advertised for sale by Air Saguenay through brokers Thabet Aeroplus. It was advertised as having a total time 18,533 hours on the airframe, on EDO 7170 floats and having the BARON STOL conversion.  By November 2016 the Otter was at Recon Air at Geraldton, Ontario and in January 2017 was sold to Talkeetna Air Taxi Inc., of Talkeetna, Alaska, who on 30 January 2017 reserved a US registration for the aircraft, being allocated N88765, which was the registration of the Otter back in 1973, before it was sold to Canada.  The Otter was put into a shipping container at Geraldton and shipped to Talkeetna, where the company commenced work on converting the aircraft to a Texas Turbine with the Garrett engine, and painting the Otter into the company’s attractive colour scheme. The Canadian registration was cancelled on 26 April 2017 and the Otter registered to Talkeetna Air Taxi Inc., as N88765 on 11 May 2017.

The Otter entered service with Talkeetna Air Taxi for summer 2017, flying alongside the company’s four existing turbine Otters, N565TA (46), N100BW (58), N2YV (207) and N510PR (250). The Otters are used for scenic flights from Talkeetna to the Denali National Park, glacier landings and supporting climbers in the National Park.

Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005), now with added and updated information which Karl has supplied for the benefit of the website.