DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX   click on arrows to navigate page by page

c/n 353

C-GVNX at Baie Comeau - CYBC, Québec.
Photo: Anthony J. Hickey © April 1993 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
Photo: Karl E. Hayes © May 2001
C-GVNX after turbine conversion.
Photo: Flightaware ©
C-GVNX at Yellowknife Town dock.
Photo: Daniel Acton © 14 July 2018
C-GVNX with AIR TINDI in action.
Photo: Daniel Acton © 06 August 2018
C-GVNX early snow.
Photo: Mark Etheridge © 11 September 2018

c/n 353

59-2215 • N5335G

C-GVNX

x

 59-2215 United States Army. Delivered 11-Feb-1960. Designated U-1A.

Initially assigned to the 1063rd Aviation Company, an Army National Guard unit based at Waterloo, IA.

Oct-1961. 1063rd Aviation Company, Fort Riley, KS.

Jul-1962. 1063rd Aviation Company, Waterloo, IA.

Jan-1964. Transferred to unidentified unit or units.

Dec-1966. Unidentified Army National Guard Unit.

Dec-1971 Florida National Guard.

1973. Mississippi National Guard.

• N5335G Civil Air Patrol (CAP)., Southwest Region. Maxwell AFB., AL. Regd 17-Mar-1976. Canx 28-Apr-1978.

• C-GVNX St. Louis Aviation Inc., St. Jean Airport, QC. Regd 18-May-1978.

• C-GVNX Labrador Air Safari Inc., Baie Comeau, QC.  Regd 19-May-1976.

Accident Wabush Lake, NL. 05-Sep-1978. While carrying out an approach for a water landing, the Otter struck power lines and sustained some slight damage. The lines were not marked, although one of the two towers was lighted. The pilot was unfamiliar with the area and the information in the Canada Air Pilot water supplement was incomplete. The damage was repaired.

• C-GVNX Labrador Air Safari (1984) Inc., Baie Comeau, QC. Re regd 21-Aug-1987. Canx & re regd 06-Jun-1994 at Jonquière, QC. Re regd 23-Apr-1999 & 02-Sep-2003. Based at Baie Comeau, QC. Canx 09-Sep-2010.

• C-GVNX Air Saguenay (1980) Inc., Jonquière, QC. Regd 09-Mar-2010. Based at Baie Comeau, QC. Canx 30-Jul-2018.

Power plant. Now turbine powered. Vazar PT6A-34 engine since 19-Jun-2012.

• C-GVNX Air Tindi Ltd., Yellowknife, NT. Regd 30-Jul-2018.

Current

Otter 353 was delivered to the United States Army on 11 February 1960 with serial 59-2215 (tail number 92215). It was assigned to the 1063rd Aviation Company, an Army National Guard unit based at Boone, later Waterloo, Iowa and carried Iowa National Guard titles.  In December 1966 it joined another Army National Guard unit (code WPZUAA) where it served until December 1971, when it joined the Florida National Guard. In 1973 it moved to the Mississippi National Guard where it served until February 1976, when it was delivered to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama on assignment to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). It was formally transferred to the CAP on 24 February 1976 and registered to the CAP on 17 March 1976 as N5335G.  After overhaul and converted to a civil aircraft, the CAP’s Director of Maintenance at Maxwell AFB., applied for its Certificate of Airworthiness, which was issued, showing a total time at that stage of 3,888 hours on the airframe.

After flying for the CAP for two years, the Otter was sold in Canada. Registration N5335G was cancelled on 28 April 1978 and on 18 May 1978 a Temporary Flight Permit was issued to St.Louis Aviation Inc., Hangar 2, St.Jean Airport, Québec and registration C-GVNX was allocated. St.Louis Aviation was a company which specialised in refurbishing, rebuilding and repairing Otters. The aircraft was formally registered the following day to Labrador Air Safari Inc., of Baie Comeau, Québec and after overhaul joined their fleet in time for the summer 1978 season. It joined the company’s Otter C-GLJI (150), some Beavers and Cessnas. From its base at Baie Comeau, Labrador Air Safari flew fishermen and hunters into the Québec bush country. The company operated a number of fishing lodges within a 300 mile radius of Baie Comeau. Colour scheme for the Otter was a tasteful white fuselage with an orange cheatline and tail band and company titles.

Otter VNX was involved in an incident on 5 September 1978 at Wabush Lake, Newfoundland. While carrying out an approach for a water landing, the Otter struck power lines and sustained some slight damage. The lines were not marked, although one of the two towers was lighted. The pilot was unfamiliar with the area and the information in Canada Air Pilot water supplement was incomplete. The damage was repaired and VNX returned to service. The company continued to expand its Otter fleet until it had six aircraft. The company was re-constituted as Labrador Air Safari (1984) Inc, to which all the Otters were registered.

VNX continued to serve with Labrador Air Safari for many years. It is mentioned in a CADORS report for 29 July 1993. Twenty minutes north of its base at Baie Comeau, on a VFR flight, the Otter found itself in cloud at 2,800 feet. It was given a radar service and came out of the cloud five miles north of the base and was guided in for landing at the water aerodrome. On 9 March 2010 the Otter was registered to Air Saguenay (1980) Inc when Labrador Air Safari (1984) Inc., became a subsidiary of Air Saguenay. The Otter however continued to fly from Baie Comeau with Labrador Air Safari colour scheme and titles.

On 1 March 2012 VNX was noted at the Aeroflite Industries hangar at the Vancouver International Airport, having flown across the country for turbine conversion. It remained parked there for a time, noted again on 18 April still with its piston engine. After that it entered the hangar and had emerged by 19 June 2012 converted to a Vazar DHC-3T with a PT6A-34 engine. It was still in full Labrador Air Safari scheme and shortly after that flew back to its base at Baie Comeau where it was in service for summer 2012 as a turbine. It was mentioned again in a CADORS report on 18 December 2012, its ELT having accidently gone off at Baie Comeau.

Another incident was recorded on CADORS for 6 June 2014. An Aviation Flycie Beech 100 callsign FC342 from Rouyn-Noranda to Baie Comeau was on final for runway 10. Otter VNX, on amphibious floats, had taken off from Lac Gibier and had received information on the Beech 100.  FC342 reported that VNX flew in front of the runway centreline.  VNX reported that he had forgotten about the other aircraft.

As at summer 2017 C-GVNX was still in service with Labrador Air Safari, nearly forty years after it first joined the company. It was, as usual, in winter storage over the winter of 2017 / 2018, awaiting he summer 2018 season.

Noted with Air Tindi operating from Yellowknife, summer 2018.

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.