59-2222 • N5072F
• 59-2222 United States Army. Delivered 25-Mar-1960. Designated U-1A.
Initially allocated to Fort Riley, KS., as an operational support aircraft.
Apr-1962 Attached to the 17th Aviation Company, Fort Ord, CA.
Jun-1964. Crissy AAF., Presidio of San Francisco, CA again in an operational support role, possibly with the Sixth Army Flight Detachment.
Feb-1966. Otter Transition School at Fort Ord, CA.
May-1971. To Fort Lewis, Seattle, WA., as an operational support aircraft.
Jul-1972. Operated in a non military role by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on amphibious floats, on a nationwide aerial survey to identify lakes with water ageing problems. Further information below.
Feb-1976, It joined the Army Electronics Command, Lakehurst NAS., NJ as a test aircraft.
Incident: Unknown location over Virginia. 08-Jun-1976, An incident was recorded when smoke entered the cockpit from under the dash, followed by an extremely rough running engine developing only partial power. A landing was made without further mishap.
Aug-1976 Operated at the Electronic Proving Ground Fort Huachuca, AZ., where it served as a test aircraft.
Incident: Over Arizona 06-Jan-1978. Twenty minutes into a flight, the engine began running rough and at times quit for a second or two. The Otter landed at a civil airport, where the engine was changed.
• N5072F Civil Air Patrol (CAP) assigned to the CAP's Southwest Region, TX. Regd 24-Apr-1979.
Total time 6,116 hrs.
• N5072F Waggoner Aircraft Inc., Bethany, OK. Regd 17-Jun 1980. Canx 09-Jul-1980 on export to Canada.
• C-GGSC Air Ranger Ltd., Winnipeg, MB. Regd 8th July 1980.
• C-GGSC Raecom Air Ltd., Yellowknife, NT. Canx 01-Oct-1986 and 10-Feb-1987.
• C-GGSC Air Mont-Laurier (1985) Inc., Sainte-Véronique, Lac Tibériade , QC. Regd Aug-1987 & 18-Apr-1988. Later address, Rivière-Rouge, QC. Re-regd 04-Apr-2007. Based Sainte-Véronique, Lac Tibériade, QC.
Total time: 8,272 at Aug-1987.
• Current •
Otter 366 was delivered to the United States Army on 25th March 1960 with serial 59-2222 (tail number 92222). It was allocated to Fort Riley, Kansas as an operational support aircraft and in April 1962 it joined the 17th Aviation Company, Fort Ord, California. It served here until June 1964 when it moved to the Presidio of San Francisco, based at Crissy AAF., again in an operational support role.
As Herbert Nichols writes: “After my return from Peru (where he had flown Otters on the IAGS survey) I returned to the Presidio of San Francisco to await my service in Vietnam. While at the Presidio, I flew an Otter which was used for the first local air evacuation flights of the wounded returning from Vietnam. The troops were being flown into Travis Air Force Base and then bussed to the Presidio hospital. We looked for a better way to transport them, so the Otter was configured for troop carrying and the wounded were the passengers. I made the inaugural flight mid summer 1965. This worked for quite some time, but changed when the wounded were then transported by CH-34 helicopters. The main cause of this change was that the weather was frequently poor in and around the field at Crissy and the helicopter was thought to be better suited for the marginal approach facilities”.
In February 1966 92222 joined the Otter Transition School at Fort Ord, California where it acquired the nick name 'Quad Deuce'. Jim McNeill, who flew the aircraft at Fort Ord, provides some detail: “The School used four Otters, which were shared with the Fort's Command Aviation Section, to conduct training for US Army aviators who were being posted to Otter units around the world. Like any other transition course, we provided ground schooling on aircraft systems and maintenance, weight and balance with emphasis on using the aircraft's load computer and other general flying subjects. The program of instruction was broken into four general phases - orientation and basic flight operations, emergency procedures, tactical flight and instrument training. Flights were made to many areas of northern and central California. Tactical training used 'field' landing strips and approved low-level flight training areas on Camp Hunter-Liggett, some one hundred miles south-east of Fort Ord”.
“Our aircraft were also used by the Fort's Command Aviation Section for administrative flights. We transported soldiers to and from Travis AFB and transported VIPs and cargo to other military installations, notably Crissy Field, San Francisco. We provided aerial medical evacuation for wounded soldiers returning from Vietnam and participated in air shows and displays throughout California and Nevada. 'Quad Deuce' was a favourite of the School and staff pilots, not only for the unique tail number but because it seemed to be a little more reliable and a little more responsive than the other aircraft”.
92222 continued flying for the School until it closed. With the withdrawal of the Otter from service in Vietnam in the early part of 1971, there was no longer a need for an Otter Transition School. In May 1971 'Quad Deuce' moved to Fort Lewis, Seattle, Washington as an operational support aircraft. In July 1972 its official record describes it as being loaned out for non-military use, which was the Environmental Protection Agency survey project already described in relation to Otter 92220 (362) which was also engaged on that project in the north-eastern part of the United States. 92222 continued on the project until February 1976, when it joined the Army Electronics Command at Lakehurst NAS, New Jersey as a test aircraft. A few months later, on 8th June 1976, an incident was recorded over Virginia. The Otter was cruising at 3,000 feet when smoke entered the cockpit from under the dash, followed by an extremely rough running engine developing only partial power. A landing was made without further mishap.
In August 1976 'Quad Deuce' headed west, crossed the country to its new base at Fort Huachuca, Arizona where it served as a test aircraft supporting the Electronic Proving Ground. Another incident was recorded on 6th January 1978 in Arizona. Twenty minutes into a flight, the engine began running rough and at times quit for a second or two. The Otter landed at a civil airport, where the engine was changed. The Otter continued flying from Fort Huachuca until its military career came to an end in April 1979. On 24th April 1979 it was transferred to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) registered N5072F and assigned to the CAP's Southwest Region, Texas. It was put up for sale the following year, and by Bill of Sale dated 1st May 1980 was sold by the CAP to Waggoner Aircraft Inc of Wiley Post Airport, Bethany, Oklahoma. At that stage of its career, it had 6,116 hours on the airframe. On 8th July 1980 it was sold on by Waggoner Aircraft Inc., to Air Ranger Ltd., of Winnipeg. It appears that the Otter had remained in Texas, as it was ferried from there to Winnipeg, where it was overhauled by Manwest Aviation and registered C-GGSC to Air Ranger. It was then sold to Raecom Air Ltd., and headed north to its new base at Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories.
For the next seven years it flew out of Yellowknife, on floats during the summer and on wheel-skis in winter. It was sold in August 1987 to Air Mont-Laurier (1985) Inc., of Sainte-Véronique - Lac Tibériade, Québec. At that stage, its airframe hours had increased to 8,272 and it was described as being in “rough condition”, after many years service in the harsh conditions of the Northwest Territories.
Between 5th and 7th August 1987 it was ferried Yellowknife-Stony Rapids-Thompson-Pickle Lake-Val d'Or-Laval for complete overhaul. On 27th May 1988 it arrived at its new base at Sainte-Véronique and entered service with Air Mont Laurier.
Air Mont Laurier is a family business run by Norman Ouellette together with his wife and two sons, both bush pilots. As well as the Otter, the fleet comprised two Beavers and a Cessna 206. The aircraft were active during the summer months only, May to end September and were used to bring fishermen and hunters into the bush country to the north of Sainte-Véronique. The company runs four fishing camps, the furthest away at Lac du Male, a flight of one hour fifteen minutes. The fishermen are transported to this remote wilderness location where they can fish to their heart's content all day, and be well cared for in the cabin at night. Each year, from mid August to end September, the Otter heads north to Fort Chimo, Québec for the annual caribou hunt, before returning to base where it is stored for the winter. As at April 2001 the total time had increased to 13,031 hours. The Otter was still in service during the summer of 2004.
To be updated.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)