DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 258

Photo: Choice Aviation Fotos © Date unknown - Karl E. Hayes Collection
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c/n 258




Aircraft shipped to Australia Apr-15-1958. Delivered to de Havilland Australia at Bankstown May-1958.

• VH-EAZ. Qantas Empire Airways Ltd. Registered 21-Aug-1958. Based at Lae, PNG. Operated as a landplane.

• VH-SBT Trans Australia Airlines (TAA), from 01-Sep-1960. Continued in PNG.

• VH-SBT Registered to Australian National Airlines Commission, 08-Dec-1960.

• VH-SBT Sold to Hawker de Havilland, Bankstown, NSW. Date unknown.

• VH-SBT (or un regd) Bannock Aerospace Ltd of Toronto, Purchased Jun-1968. Regn canx 28-Aug-1968.

Note: Commenced ferry flight from Sydney (Bankstown) to Vancouver, BC on 17-Aug-1968.

• CF-XRI Air West Airlines of Vancouver, BC. Purchased 08-Aug-1968. Regd 27-Aug-1968.

Total time: 6.109hrs.

Accident. Campbell River, BC. 04-Feb-1981. The Otter struck a submerged rock during take-off and punctured the starboard float.

• C-FXRI Absorbed into Air BC Ltd., Richmond BC. Dec-1980. Canx 25-Nov-1982.

• C-FXRI Coval Air Ltd., Campbell River, BC. Canx 30-Apr-1986.

• C-FXRI Osprey Wings Ltd., La Ronge, SK. Based Missinipi, SK. Regd 22-Apr-1987 & 14-Sep-1987.

Power plant: Converted  to Vazar turbine by T C Aviation, Saskatoon, SK. Otter Lake.


Otter 258 was delivered to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd., on 16th April 1958, registered VH-EAZ. As explained in relation to Otter 241, this was one of four Otters delivered to the Australian national airline for services in the Territory of Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Otter was shipped to Australia where it was re-assembled at Bankstown and joined the Qantas fleet in August 1958 named “Kerowagi”. It was one of three Otter landplanes, based at Lae and operated services into the Highlands. With effect from 1st September 1960, the four Qantas Otters were taken over by Trans Australia Airlines (TAA), re-painted into TAA colours and re-registered. VH-EAZ became VH-SBT with TAA, and retained the name “Kerowagi”.

VH-SBT continued in service on TAA's 'Sunbird' services within PNG until 1st November 1966, when it was ferried from Lae to Bankstown airfield near Sydney, where it was soon joined by VH- SBR (247). Both Otters were put into storage awaiting sale. They were traded in to Hawker de Havilland against new DHC-6 Twin Otters. Hawker de Havilland in turn sold the two Otters to Bannock Aerospace Ltd., of Toronto, VH-SBT being sold in June 1968. Bannock Aerospace sold the Otter to Air West Airlines of Vancouver, BC on 13th August 19968. At that stage it had 6,109 hours on the airframe. Marks CF-XRI were allocated and it commenced the long ferry flight from Sydney to Vancouver, island-hopping across the Pacific, on 17th September 1968.

XRI entered service with Air West Airlines, flying from its Vancouver base, alongside its fleet of Beavers and Twin Otters. Air West became part of Air BC., to whom the Otter was registered in December 1980, by then carrying the marks C-FXRI. A minor incident was recorded on 4th February 1981 at Campbell River when the Otter struck a sub-merged rock during take-off and punctured the starboard float. When it became clear that Air BC's attempt to merge the many floatplane operators it had acquired into a unified airline was not going to work, the process was reversed and they were sold off. CoVal Air Ltd., acquired Air BC's Campbell River base on Vancouver Island and aircraft including Otter C-FXRI. The Otter continued flying for this company from Campbell River until 30th April 1986, when it arrived at Vancouver on conclusion of its service with CoVal Air.

The Otter remained parked at Vancouver for a time, until sold to Osprey Wings Ltd., of Missinipe, Saskatchewan, to whom it was registered in April 1987. The Otter has been converted to a Vazar turbine by T.C. Aviation at Saskatoon, a company associated with Osprey  Wings.

Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)