• 58-1682 United States Army on 17th October 1958 with serial 58-1682.
Allocated to US Army Military Academy, 2nd Aviation Detachment, Westpoint, NY.
10-Jun-1973 MASDC. Davis-Monthan AFB., Tucson, AZ. on 10th June 1973. Inventory code UA005.
• N22UT University of Tennessee Space Institute, Tullahoma, TN. Regd 11-Apr-1974.
Accident: Franklin County Airport, Winchester, TN. 17-Mar-1975. In the course of a short field take off, during the initial climb in a left turn, the left wing dropped, the aircraft stalled and crashed back to the ground. The pilot, the only occupant, was seriously injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged.
Note: Purchased by Ontario Central Airlines, Winnipeg, MB., and rebuilt.
• C-GYKO 24-Jan-1977. Temporary Certificate of Registration issued and a permit to test fly.
• C-GYKO Ontario Central Airlines, Gimli, MB. Regd 28-Jun-1977.
• C-GYKO Central Air Transport Limited, Sioux Lookout, ON. Regd 26-Oct-1985. Canx 13-Dec-1988.
• C-GYKO Gold Belt Air Transport Ltd., Sioux Lookout, ON. Regd April 1987. (Perhaps leased, as not shown on CCAR).
• C-GYKO Ashuanipi Aviation Ltd., Labrador City, NL. Based Little Wabush Lake. Regd 19-Dec-1988. Canx 08-Aug-1991.
• C-GYKO Alexandair Inc., Sept Îles, QC. Regd August 1990. (Perhaps leased, as not shown on CCAR).
Accident: One mile west of Lac Sale, QC, 05-Oct-1990. While flown by Alexandair, during climb out, at an altitude of two hundred feet, a loss of engine power was experienced. A forced landing was made in an alder grove. The damage was repaired.
• C-GYKO Ashuanipi Aviation Ltd., Labrador City, NL. Based Little Wabush Lake. Regd 05-Feb-1993. Canx 13-Sep-1994.
• C-GYKO Walsten Aircraft Parts & Leasing Inc., (dba Mandair), Kenora, ON. Regd Sep-1994. Not shown on CCAR.
• C-GYKO River Air Ltd., Kenora, ON. Based Pistol Lake, Minaki, ON. Regd 14 & 18-Jun-1996.
Power plant: Flew to Salina, TX during 2002, where it was converted to turbine power with a Garrett TPE-331 engine. A Texas Turbine.
• Current •
Regd 14 & 18-Jun-1996. Otter 287 was delivered to the United States Army on 17th October 1958 with serial 58-1682 (tail number 81682). The Otter was allocated to the US Army Military Academy at Westpoint, New York, where it was to spend the entire of its military career. It was delivered from Downsview directly to Westpoint. The Otter was operated by the 2nd Aviation Detachment, which also had a UH-1A Huey helicopter, Cessna 0-1 and a Beech U-8D and a U-8F Seminole on strength. All these aircraft were based at Stewart AFB in upstate New York, but operated for the nearby Academy. At Stewart, the Detachment had taken over an old Air Force alert hangar, where they housed the Otter and other aircraft. The mission of the Detachment was the support of training of the Westpoint cadets, and for this purpose the Otter flew demonstration flights and parachute drops and flew freight. 81682 was in standard Army olive drab scheme, but sported the Academy crest on the tail.
The Otter continued in service until April 1973, before commencing the long cross-country flight to Tucson, Arizona where it entered the storage compounds of the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Centre (MASDC) at Davis-Monthan AFB., on 10th June 1973, being allocated inventory code UA005. It was the fifth and last Army Otter to be stored there and its period of retirement in the Sonora Desert was less than a year. It left on 11th April 1974, having been allocated to the University of Tennessee Space Institute at Tullahoma, Tennessee to whom it was registered N22UT in April 1974. The Otter was substantially damaged in a crash at the Franklin County Airport, Winchester, Tennessee on 17th March 1975. In the course of a short field take off, during the initial climb in a left turn, the left wing dropped, the aircraft stalled and crashed back to the ground. The pilot, the only occupant, was seriously injured. That ended the Otter's career with the University of Tennessee, although they did obtain a replacement Otter, N2750 (261).
The Otter was purchased by Ontario Central Airlines of Winnipeg, Manitoba who brought the wreck to Winnipeg and rebuilt it. On 24th January 1977 a temporary Certificate of Registration as C- GYKO was issued, and a permit to test fly. Formal registration to Ontario Central Airlines was on 28th June 1977 and C-GYKO entered service, based at Gimli, Manitoba. Over the years that followed, YKO has been operated by quite a number of Canadian bush carriers. It was registered to Central Air Transport Ltd., of Sioux Lookout, Ontario in 1980; Gold Belt Air Transport Ltd., of Sioux Lookout in April 1987; Ashuanipi Aviation Ltd., of Labrador City - Little Wabush Lake in December 1988 and Alexandair Inc., of Sept Îles, Québec in August 1990. On 5th October 1990, while flown by Alexandair, during climb out, at an altitude of two hundred feet, a loss of engine power was experienced. A forced landing was made in an alder grove one mile west of Lac Sale, Québec. The damage was repaired. It was again registered to Ashuanipi Aviation Ltd., in February 1993 and to Walsten Aircraft Parts & Leasing Inc., trading as Mandair, of Kenora, Ontario in September 1994. In June 1996 it was sold to River Air Ltd., of Pistol Lake, Minaki, Ontario.
As its website proclaims: “Based in Minaki, just fifteen air miles south of the English River, is River Air, the charter service owned and operated by George and Gene Halley. Their red and white planes provide a scenic transport to whichever fly-in camp you are going to. Once there you may wish to arrange a daily fly-out fishing trip for Lake Trout, Muskie or Smallmouth Bass or to one of the more than thirty outlying lakes where we have cached boats and motors”. During 2002, the Otter flew down to Salina, Texas where it was converted to turbine power with a Garrett TPE-331 engine, becoming the fourth Texas Turbine conversion. Flown by George Halley, the return routing from Salina was via Sioux Falls, South Dakota-Mount Video, Minnesota-International Falls, Minnesota- Minaki, where it re-entered service with River Air.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)