DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 420

C-GLCO at Biggin Hill - EGKB, United Kingdom.
Photo: Fred Barnes © 19 June 1974
C-GLCO at Baie Comeau - CYBC, Québec.
Photo: Karl E. Hayes © May 2001
C-GLCO awaiting "ice out".
Photo: Kenneth I. Swartz © 01 May 2004 - Karl E. Hayes Collection

c/n 420

G304 • (CF-ZFK) • G304 • N17681

C-GLCO

x

• G304 Ghana Air Force. Delivered 21-Jul-1961. Based at Takoradi Air Base.

• (CF-ZFK) Lambair Ltd. ,The Pas, MB. Registration allocated 21-Apr-1971. ntu 30-Apr-1971.

Note: The following registrations were allotted to Lambair Ltd., The Pas MB. on 21-Apr-1971 who were considering a deal to purchase seven of the Ghanaian Otters. However, the deal did not proceed and the allotment was withdrawn by Department of Transport 30-Apr-1971 after. See notes below.

418 CF-ZFJ, 420 CF-ZFK 422 CF-ZFL, 424 CF-ZFM 428 CF-ZFN, 430 CF-ZFO, 431 CF-ZFP.

• G304 Ghana Air Force. Continued in service until withdrawn in 1973.

 N17681 Joseph V. Masin, Rodenkirchen, West Germany. Regd 23-Jun-1974. Canx date unknown.

 C-GLCO Air Craftsmen Ltd., St. John, NB. Dates unknown.

 C-GLCO Nova Leasing Company Ltd. Oct-1974.

 C-GLCO Leased to Horizontes SRL, La Paz, Bolivia and later based in Peru. Dates unknown.

 C-GLCO Kipawa Air Service Inc., (later re-named Air Kipawa Inc), Kipawa, QC. Canx 06-Sep-1985.

Total time: 4,541 hours at Jun-1980.

 C-GLCO Air North Bay Inc., North Bay, ON. Regd 28-Jul-1986. Canx 17-Aug-1989.

 C-GLCO Air Kipawa Inc., Kipawa, QC. Regd 28-Jan-1990. Canx 27-Apr-1990.

 C-GLCO Air Wemindji Inc., Wemindji, QC. 13-Jun-1990

Incident. Lac Atil, QC. 18-Sep-1990. It made an emergency landing after smoke appeared in the cockpit.

 C-GLCO Aviation Portneuf Ltée., Lac St. Augustin, QC.  in March 1993

 C-GLCO Expeditair (1989) Inc., Alma, QC. Regd 20-May-1993. Canx 07-Mar-1995.

Accident: Lac a la Peche, 08-Jun-1994. On final approach over trees, a sudden gust of wind caught the aircraft. The pilot endeavoured to regain control of his machine, but in vain. The aircraft alighted heavily on the water, damaging the floats. The right wing also touched the water and the aircraft came to rest at the side of the lake. Damage included the floats, struts and both wings and the fuselage, which was twisted in what was a very heavy landing.

 C-GLCO Air Saguenay (1980) Ltd., Chicoutimi, QC. 07-Mar-1995.

 C-GLCO On lease to Northern Lights Air Service Ltd., Goose Bay, NL Regd 01-Apr-1996. Canx 19-Sep-1996.

 C-GLCO Air  Saguenay (1980) Ltd., Chicoutimi, QC Regd 13-Sep-1996. Canx 14-Apr-1998.In April 1998.

 C-GLCO Transferred to Ashuanipi Aviation Ltd., Jonquière, QC, an associated company of Air Saguenay. Regd 14-Apr-1998 & 02-Sep-2003. Canx 07-Jun-2004 ,

 C-GLCO Labrador Air Safari (1984) Inc., Jonquière, QC. Based Baie Comeau, QC, Regd 07-Jun-2004 also an associated company of Air Saguenay.

Power plant. Now fitted with Texas turbine. Conversion # 23.

Current

Otter 420 was delivered to the Ghana Air Force on 21st July 1961 with serial G304. It was the fifth of an order for twelve Otters, all of which were packed into crates and shipped to Ghana where they were re-assembled and entered service. The Otters were based at Takoradi Air Base. During 1970 Lambair of Manitoba negotiated with the Ghana Air Force with a view to purchasing a number of their Otters, including 420, and marks CF-ZFK were reserved but no deal was concluded and G304 remained in service with the Ghana Air Force.

The Otters were withdrawn from service in 1973 and put up for sale. As explained in relation to number 418, eight of the Ghana Air Force Otters were acquired by brokers Masin Aircraft of Cologne and Otter 420 was registered to Joseph V.Masin of Rodenkirchen, West Germany as N17681. These eight Otters together with a former US Army Otter which Masin Aircraft had acquired (189) were sold to Air Craftsmen Ltd of St.John, New Brunswick, a company which specialised in buying, refurbishing and selling on ex-military Otters. On 26th April 1974 Air Craftsmen Ltd., reserved Canadian marks for all nine Otters, although some of these were not taken up and the aircraft ferried to Canada using their American registrations.

Otter 420 did however take up its Canadian marks of C-GLCO and together with C-GLCT (430, ex G310 of the Ghana Air Force) it routed from Gibraltar to Marseille on 15th June 1974 in the course of the ferry flight up from Africa. On 17th June both Otters arrived at Biggin Hill airfield near London. Also arriving at Biggin Hill that day from Germany was Otter C-GLCV (189), the former US Army Otter which Air Craftsmen Ltd., had bought from Masin Aircraft. All three Otters were fitted with ferry tanks for the trans-Atlantic crossing at Biggin Hill and departed together for Prestwick, Scotland on 21st June 1974. They then continued together across the Atlantic, via Iceland and Greenland to the Air Craftsmen Ltd., base at St.John, New Brunswick.

Here C-GLCO was overhauled and civilianised and in October 1974 was sold to Nova Leasing Company Ltd., and went on a contract in South America, on lease to Horizontes SRL, La Paz, Bolivia and later based in Peru. The following year it was sold to Kipawa Air Service Inc., (later re-named Air Kipawa Inc) of Kipawa, Québec who took delivery of the Otter in Peru and ferried it all the way to Kipawa in a month-long ferry flight. It entered service based out of Kipawa and by June 1980 had 4,541 hours on the airframe. As well as the usual charters for hunters and fishermen, the Otter was much used in the north of the province by Québec Hydro and Societe d'Energie de la Baie James. In July 1986 it was registered to Air North Bay Inc., of North Bay, Ontario, a company associated with Air Kipawa and then registered again to Air Kipawa Inc., in January 1990. In June 1990 it was sold to Air Wemindji Inc., of Wemindji, Québec. It made an emergency landing at Lac Atil, Québec after smoke appeared in the cockpit on 18th September 1990.

The Otter continued flying for Air Wemindji until registered to Aviation Portneuf Ltée., of Lac St.Augustin, Québec in March 1993 and then to Expeditair (1989) Inc., of Alma, Québec in May 1993. While flying for this company it suffered an accident at Lac a la Peche on 8th June 1994. On final approach over trees, a sudden gust of wind caught the aircraft. The pilot endeavoured to regain control of his machine, but in vain. The aircraft alighted heavily on the water, damaging the floats. The right wing also touched the water and the aircraft came to rest at the side of the lake. Damage included the floats, struts and both wings and the fuselage, which was twisted in what was a very heavy landing.

Following repairs, LCO was registered to Air Saguenay (1980) Ltd., Lac St.Sebastien, Québec in March 1995 and entered service as part of their large Otter fleet. It went on lease to Northern Lights Air Service Ltd., at Goose Bay, Labrador during the summer of 1996, then reverting to Air Saguenay. In April 1998 it was transferred to Ashuanipi Aviation Ltd., of Wabush, Newfoundland, an associated company of Air Saguenay, continuing to serve the bush country of Québec, and Labrador, as it had done for years. On 7th June 2004 it was registered to Labrador Air Safari (1984) Inc., of Baie Comeau, Québec, also an associated company of Air Saguenay. On the same day, two Beavers, the only other members of the Ashuanipi Aviation fleet, were also transferred to Labrador Air Safari.

To be updated.

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