DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 276

NlUW at Oshkosh - KOSH, Wisconsin.
Photo: Peter Kirkup © August 1977 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-GYYS in action.
Photo: Rich Hulina © August 1994
C-GYYS awaiting spring.
Photo: Rich Hulina © March 2000 - Karl E. Hayes Collection

c/n 276

57-6131 • N1UW



• 57-6131 United States Army. Delivered 17-Jul-1958. Designated U-1A.

Allocated to the 12th Aviation Company, Fort Sill, OK.

Aug-1961 Unit assigned to Yukon Command based at Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks, AK., with a platoon at Fort Richardson, Anchorage. The aircraft alternated between the two locations.

Jun-1971 Assigned to the Air National Guard at Bethel, AK., until Oct 1971.

Oct-1971 Davis- Monthan AFB., Tucson, AZ., where it was put into storage. Coded UA003.

• N1UW University of Wisconsin, and based at Oshkosh, WI. Regd Sep-1972. Canx early 1979.

• C-GYYS Art Gaffray. Silver Falls, MB. Canx 16-May-1979.

• C-GYYS Northwestern Flying Services Ltd., Nestor Falls, ON. Regd 16 May 1979. Canx Dec-1987.

• C-GYYS Change of title to Northwest Flying Inc., 18-Dec-1987. Canx 15-Aug-2015.

Accident: Sabaskong Bay, Nestor Falls, ON; 03-Jun-1998. Badly damaged when hit power lines on approach. Details shown in history below. Repaired at Recon, Geraldton, ON.

• C-GYYS Peter Hagedorn Investments Ltd., Operating as Chimo Air Service. Regd 15-Aug-2012.


Otter 276 was delivered to the United States Army on 17th July 1958 with serial 57-6131 (tail number 76131). It was and in August 1961 it flew north to Alaska when the Company was re-assigned there to join the Yukon Command. The Company was based at Fort Wainright, Fairbanks but maintained a platoon at Fort Richardson, Anchorage and 76131 alternated between the two bases while it flew for the 12th Aviation Company throughout the 1960s.

In June 1971 the Otter was re-assigned to the Alaska National Guard, based at Bethel, and served there until October '71 when its military career came to an end. It was ferried south to Davis- Monthan AFB., Tucson, Arizona where it was put into storage in the Sonora Desert 'boneyard', one of five US Army Otters to be stored there. It had flown south alongside Otter 81685 (291), also retired from the National Guard at Bethel at the same time and also put into storage in the  'boneyard'. Inventory code of 81685 was UA002 and for 76131 it was UA003

None of these five US Army Otters remained in storage for long. The following year, 76131 was allocated to the University of Wisconsin, registered N1UW in September 1972 and based at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It remained in use with the university until sold in 1979 to Art Gaffray of Silver Falls, Manitoba. He arranged for it to be flown to his base at Silver Falls, where it was overhauled and registered C-GYYS. He then sold it on in May 1979 to Northwestern Flying Services Ltd., based at Nestor Falls, Ontario. In December 1987 there was a change of title to Northwest Flying Inc. It flies alongside the company's Beaver C-GEBL and Beech 18 C-FNKL, operating during the summer months, flying fishermen and tourists.

The Otter was badly damaged in an accident while landing at Sabaskong Bay at Nestor Falls, Ontario on 3rd June 1998. As the accident report states: “The pilot did not see the hydro power lines that were strung between the mainland and a group of islands. The pilot knew the power lines were there, and had flown in and out of the same bay many times. He believed that he had flown past the wires, which did not have any markers. The Otter hit the power lines, which folded the aircraft's right wing back against the fuselage and tore off the rudder. The Otter struck the water upright and the pilot taxied the aircraft to the shore”. YYS was trucked to Recon Air at Geraldton, Ontario for repair, after which it re-entered service with Northwest Flying Inc.

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