DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 343

N5370G at Seattle - Boeing Field, Washington.
Photo: Kenneth I. Swartz © 08 October 1977 - Aird Archives
Photo: Peter Kirkup / Aviation Archives © October 1977 - Karl E. Hayes Collection

c/n 343




• 59-2206 United States Army. Delivered 22 Oct-1959. Designated U-1A.

Assigned to the 12th Aviation Company, Fort Sill, OK.

Aug-1961. To Fort Wainwright, AK when the 12th Aviation Company was re-assigned the Yukon Command.

Unknown date. Alaska Army National Guard, at Fort Richardson, AK.

Sep-1967. Moved to Nome, AK.

Incident. Un-named strip in Alaska. 20-Aug-1975. Damaged tail wheel taxiing on ground. Repaired on site.

Dec-1976. Retired from service. Transferred to Alaska Wing of Civil Air Patrol. Remained parked at Anchorage, AK.

• N5370G Civil Air Patrol. Regd Oct-1977. Initially at Seattle, WA., and later to Texas where it was attached to the CAP’s Southwest Region.

Airworthiness date: 04-Nov-1977.

Accident. Del Rio Int Airport, TX. 10-May-1978. Crashed on take-off following failure of elevator assembly. Lost control and crashed after take-off because the elevator push-pull tube had broken. The aircraft had been parked in strong winds without the controls being locked. Pilot and two passengers killed.

• N5370G J.W. Duff, dba J.W. Duff Aircraft Company, Denver, CO. Regd 20-Feb-1981. Canx 27-Oct-2014 as expired.

Status unknown

Otter 343 was delivered to the United States Army on 22 October 1959 with serial 59-2206 (tail number 92206). It was assigned to the 12th Aviation Company at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and in August 1961 flew north to Fort Wainright, Alaska when the 12th Aviation Company was re-assigned to Alaska to join the Yukon Command.  92206 was destined to spend the rest of its military career in Alaska. The 12th Aviation Company also had a platoon at Fort Richardson, outside of Anchorage and 92206 was based at Fort Richardson by January 1962. It continued to fly with the 12th Aviation Company until September 1967, when it was transferred to the Alaska Army National Guard and moved to Nome to join the 1st Eskimo Scout Battalion.

Doug Brandon recalls his time at Nome with 92206:  “My official title was US Army Advisor, 1st Eskimo Scout Battalion, Nome, Alaska National Guard. Part of my job was to train the Special Forces unit in Kotzebue. I had to jump with them and certify their jump pay. When I had to inspect the units at St.Laurence Island I chartered a twin-engined aircraft to inspect the Gambell and Savoonga units. However I did fly the Otter using skis when inspecting Little Diomede Island. My area began at St.Michael north to Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Koyuk, Elim, Golevin, White Mountain, Nome itself, Teller, Taylor, Wales, Shismaref, Deering, Kobuk, Ambler, Kivalina, Point Hope, Cape Lisburn, Point Lay, Wainright, Point Barrow, Koyukuk and Galena. We had units at each of these villages. We provided them with all combat equipment, rations, ammunition and fuel. The units on the coast were re-supplied by ship and the rest I flew in with the Otter as necessary. Once a year we went on war games”.  Clearly 92206 was a well-travelled Otter all around the most remote parts of western and northern Alaska.

In December 1971 92206 was joined by Otter 81713 (330) when it arrived at Nome from the Sharpe Army Depot in California, and both Otters would fly together from their base at Nome for the next five years. An incident involving 92206 was recorded on 20 August 1975. After landing the pilot taxied to the parking area at a strip in Alaska and found the area had deep ruts made by trucks. He stopped and looked the area over and decided to turn around before he got stuck in the soft mud. While turning the tail wheel hit a hard packed six inch berm and was damaged. The pilot had turned faster than normal to keep from getting stuck. The damage was repaired.

92206 continued in service at Nome until December 1976, when use of the Otter by the Alaska National Guard came to an end (being re-placed by DHC-6 Twin Otters). That month the Guard had four Single Otters in Alaska, 92206 and 81713 with the 1st Eskimo Scout Battalion at Nome and 53278 and 81695 with the 2nd Eskimo Scout Battalion at Bethel. In December 1976 all four were deleted from the Army inventory and taken on charge by the Alaska Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and parked at Anchorage. They were then ferried to Boeing Field, Seattle by CAP pilots. Colonel Marc Stella recalls ferrying one of these Otters and being stuck for two days at Watson Lake, BC, thawing the engine and avionics due to the -50 degree temperature.

Having arrived at Boeing Field, 92206 was entrusted to Foreign & Domestic Enterprises Inc, the company of Lloyd Rekow, to be overhauled, civilianised and made ready for service with the CAP. On 29 August 1977 it was registered to the CAP as N5370G and on 4 November 1977 Lloyd Rekow applied for its Certificate of Airworthiness, which issued that day. At that stage of its career the Otter had total airframe time of 3,636 hours. N5370G, which was still in its Army olive drab colours, was then assigned to the Southwest Region, Texas of the Civil Air Patrol and set off  for the long delivery flight from Boeing Field to Del Rio International Airport, Texas.

N5370G flew from Del Rio until it crashed there on 10 May 1978, on a flight to Alamagordo, New Mexico sadly killing the pilot and two passengers. The accident happened during the initial climb, when the Otter crashed to earth as a result of the failure of the elevator assembly. The accident investigation found that the elevator push-pull tube had broken as a result of previous damage. The aircraft had been parked outside in winds of 30 knots, gusting to 58 knots, and the controls had not been locked.

The wrecked Otter was brought to the CAP’s main supply depot at Amarillo, Texas where it lay until acquired by the J.W.Duff Aircraft Company of Denver, Colorado, a company which specialised in aircraft parts and salvage. It was transferred by Bill of Sale dated 15 December 1979 from the CAP to J.W.Duff Aircraft Company and registered to that company on 13 January 1981. It was noted in a dismantled condition at Boeing Field, Seattle in May 1985 and again at the Aeroflite Industries facility at the Vancouver International Airport in October 1998. Registration N5370G was officially cancelled on 31 December 2013. It would appear that the wreck of the Otter was parted out and used in the rebuild of other Otters.

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.