DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 280

CF-MPX at Ottawa / Uplands - CYOW, Ontario.
Photo: Ben J. Ullings © June 1981 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
CF-MPX still winterized, at Edmonton, Alberta.
Photo: John Kimberley © April 1982 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
CF-MPX serving with COVAL AIR, at Campbell River's Tyee Spit.
Photo: John Kimberley © June 1984 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
CF-MPX high and dry, at Vancouver - CYVR.
Photo: John Kimberley © June 1985 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
CF-MPX on the Fraser at Vancouver South seaplane dock, British Columbia.
Photo: Kenneth I. Swartz © July 1986
C-FMPX at Air Saguenay base.
Photo: Kenneth I. Swartz © 01 May 2001 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N93PC - The tragic end at Soldotna - SXQ, Alaska.
Photo: NTSB © July 2013

c/n 280




• CF-MPX Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Air Division. Delivered 25-Feb-1959.

Incident: Norman Wells, NT. 12-May-1961. Incident on landing with wheel/ski configuration. The aircraft had taken off and was landing on wheels. The parking brake had remained locked on. This caused the tail to tip up on landing with the propeller striking runway.

Note Quoted as written off Ile La Crosse, SK. 18-Aug-1976. Canx circa 1979.

• C-FMPX Laurentian Air Services Ltd., Ottawa. ON. Regd circa 1979.

• C-FMPX Hyack Air Ltd., New Westminster, BC. Canx 07-Jun-1983.

• C-FMPX Commercial Credit, Burnaby, BC. Regd date unknown. Canx 16-May-1984.

• C-FMPX Coval Air Ltd., Campbell River, BC. Regd date unknown. Canx 20-Jun-1985.

• C-FMPX Harbour Air Ltd., Richmond, BC. Regd date unknown. Canx 04-Jun-1986.

• C-FMPX Nahanni Air Services Ltd., Norman Wells, NT. Regd 16-Mar-1987. Canx 05-Sep-1989

• C-FMPX North-Wright Air Ltd., Norman Wells, NT. Regd 05-Sep-1989. Canx 27-Apr-1990.

Note: The previous entries are all shown as CF-MPX on the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register.

• C-FMPX Air Inuit (1985) Ltd., Dorval, QC. Regd 26-Aug-1993. Canx 18-Feb-1994

• C-FMPX Johnny May’s Air Charter Ltd., Dorval, QC. Based Kuujjuaq QC. Regd 18-Feb-1994 & 12-Aug-1998. Canx 16-Jan-2001.

Accident: Diana Lake in northern Quebec, 23-Sep-2000. Just after take off from the lake, severe turbulence was encountered. The pilot was unable to control the aircraft, which lost altitude. One of the floats struck an obstacle and the Otter crashed to the ground. No injuries to pilot and two passengers.

• C-FMPX Air Saguenay (1980) Inc., Jonquière, QC. Regd 16-Jan-2001. Canx 23-May-2003. Re regd 02-Sep-2003. Canx 09-Jul-2010.

• N93PC JB Leasing, Bethel, AK. Regd 09-Jul-2010.

Airworthiness date: 09-Jul-2010.

Power plant: Garrett TPE-33-10R.  powered. Date unknown.

• N93PC Rediske Air, Rediske Family Ltd., Partnership, Nikiski, AK. Regd 01-Dec-2010.

Stalled and crashed shortly after take off near Soldotna Airport, at 11:20 ADT 07-Jul-2013. Pilot and nine passengers killed.


Otter 280 was delivered to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Air Division on 25th February 1959 with registration CF-MPX. It was to faithfully serve the RCMP for twenty years. One incident occurred during its police career, while landing at Norman Wells, Northwest Territories on 12th May 1961. The Otter was on wheel-skis. The take-off prior to the accident was made on skis. On arrival at Norman Wells, the skis were selected up for the landing on a runway. After touch-down, the pilot felt a dragging sensation. As the speed decreased, the tail wheel left the ground and the propeller came into contact with the airstrip. The tail section then fell heavily backwards, causing substantial damage. After the accident, the pilot stated that the parking brake had been in the locked 'on' position throughout the landing.

The following is taken from an article in the Canadian Aviation Historical Society journal: “Ski- wheel undercarriages can have their peculiarities, particularly when on snow. The wheel, being jacked up above the ski, will rotate freely, so when jumping down from the cockpit onto the tire, it will turn and throw one off. Leaving the parking brake on solves the problem, until a runway with no snow occurs. Otter CF-MPX, whose pilot forgot to take the parking brake off when selecting 'ski-up, wheels down', landed on the snowless gravel runway at Norman Wells with locked wheels. The aircraft promptly turned over and broke its back. Two RCMP engineers arrived before too long and dismantled the aeroplane, packing it inside an RCAF C-119 Flying Boxcar for transport to Ottawa and subsequent repair”.

The Otter continued in RCMP service until 1979, when it was sold to Laurentian Air Services Ltd., of Ottawa. By this stage the registration was C-FMPX. In 1982 it was sold to Hyack Air Ltd., of New Westminster, BC and crossed the country to be based on the Pacific Coast. In May 1982 it was registered to CoVal Air at Campbell River on Vancouver Island and joined their fleet of Otters. After service with them, it arrived in Vancouver on 8th June 1985 on delivery to Harbour Air Ltd, who flew the Otter until 4th June 1986. It was still in basic RCMP colour scheme but with Harbour Air titles. Its next operator was Nahanni Air Services Ltd., of Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, to whom it was registered in April 1988. It returned to be based at Norman Wells, the scene of its accident while in RCMP service back in 1961. In April 1989 it was registered to North-Wright Air Ltd., also based at Norman Wells, Northwest Territories.

For its next operator, it headed back east, being registered to Johnny May's Air Charter Ltée., of Kuujjuaq (Fort Chimo) Québec in April 1990. It flew for this operator throughout the 1990s, serving the remote northern parts of Québec. During 1999 it went to Montréal for a major overhaul, which took the best part of a year, before it returned to service in May 2000. Alas, after only a hundred hours flying, it was badly damaged in an accident on 23rd September 2000 at Diana Lake in northern Québec. Just after take off from the lake, severe turbulence was encountered. The pilot was unable to control the aircraft, which lost altitude. One of the floats struck an obstacle and the Otter crashed to the ground. None of the three souls on board were injured, but MPX had sustained serious structural damage, which ended its career with Johnny May's Air Charter.

The Otter was taken by ship to Montréal and then by truck to a shed at Iberville, beside the Richelieu River, where Jean Pierre Latour rebuilt and repaired the aircraft. The Otter was then trucked to its new owners Air Saguenay (1980) Inc., at Lac St. Sebastien who fitted the wings and engine, and repainted MPX in their most attractive red and white colour scheme. It was registered to Air Saguenay on 16th January 2001 and joined their large fleet of Otters.

To be updated. Aircaft was destroyed in accident 07 July 2013. 10K.

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