DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 130

55-3281 on manœuvres.
Photo: DHC © Date unknown (DHC ref:4921) - Dennis Newell Collection
CF-KOA of Lauzon Aviation, at Calgary - CYYC, Alberta.
Photo: Anthony J. Hickey © March 1979 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
CF-KOA at Lauzon Lake, Ontario.
Photo: Peter Keating © August 1976 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
CF-KOA at Selkirk, Manitoba.
Photo: John Kimberley © April 1993 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-FKOA at Selkirk, Manitoba.
Photo: Neil Aird © 15 September 2003
C-FKOA now under turbine power, at Selkirk - CKL2.
Photo: John W. Olafson © 27 April 2014

c/n 130

55-3281 • N88753 • CF-KOA

C-FKOA

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• 55-3281 United States Army on 20th June 1956.

Assigned to 2nd Aviation Company, Fort Riley, KS.

April/May 1957 to Brookley AFB., Mobile, AL. Here the aircraft were loaded on board the 'USS Tripoli', an aircraft carrier then serving with the Military Sea Transportation Service, which set sail for Bremerhaven, Germany arriving on 16-May-1967.

2nd Aviation Company based at Illesheim, Germany until Jul-1959 when the unit moved to France.

The Company headquarters of the 2nd Aviation Company and one platoon were based at Orléans, a second platoon at Verdun and a third platoon at Poitiers. During its time in France the aircraft was either based at or visited all three locations for different levels of maintenance

Jan-1962. At Coleman Barracks Depot, Mannheim, Germany.

May-1962 Allocated to Southern European Task Force (SETAF) Vicenza, Italy, where it served until September 1963.

Note: History between 1983 and Jul 1968

To Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, CA in July 1968 for overhaul.

Mar-1970. 388th Transportation Company, Vung Tau, Vietnam.

Aug-1970 18th Aviation Company and based at Qui Nhon, Vietnam. Stood down in January 1971.

Jan-1971 79th Transportation Company at Qui Nhon and was shipped back to the United States.

May 1971 Army Red River Depot Texarkana, TX and put into storage and deleted from the Army inventory in May-1971. Put up for sale as “salvage”

• Un regd J. W. Duff Aircraft Company, Denver, CO.  (Purchased 15-May-1973 for $31,800.)

• N88753 Seneca Aviation Inc., Mena, AR. Purchased 27-Feb-1973. Regd 01-Mar-1973. Rebuilt and put into civilian configuration. Canx 26th October '73

Airworthiness date: 21-May-1973.

Total time: 3,553hrs at May-1973.

• CF-KOA Lauzon Aviation Company Ltd., Algoma Mills, ON, Regd circa Oct-1973.

• CF-KOA Parsons Airways Northern Ltd., Flin Flon, MB. Regd circa Mar-1979.. Canx 07-Mar-1988.

• CF-KOA Sioux Narrows Airways Ltd., Winnipeg, MB. Based Yellowknife, NT. Regd 28-Feb-1990. Canx 24-Jun-2011.

Power plant: Changed to: Polish PZL 1000.

Incident: Thirty miles north of Thompson, MB 18-Jun-2001. Aircraft was in the cruise when the pilot noticed the carburettor temperature indicator was above the normal range. He elected to return to Thompson and landed without incident. a cracked weld was found in the exhaust system near the engine air intake

Incident: Forty eight miles west of Fort Resolution, NT, 27-Jun-2001. during a float take-off on a small lake, the engine failed. The pilot was able to land back on the lake without damage to the aircraft and relay his situation to Fort Smith through a passing airliner. Again the Otter was repaired and resumed service.

• CF-KOA Blue Water Aviation Services Ltd., Pine Falls, MB. Based Silver Falls, MB. Regd 24-Jun-2011. Canx 08-Jan-2015. regd 21-Mar-2016.

Note: Converted to turbine power engine, date currently unknown.

• C-FKOA Plummer’s Lodge titles. Date of re registration currently unknown.

Cancelled

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Otter 130 was delivered to the United States Army on 20th June 1956 with serial 55-3281 (tail number 53281) and was assigned to the 2nd Aviation Company, Fort Riley, Kansas which later deployed to Germany, then France (as described in relation to Otter 124). By January 1962 the Otter was in the depot at Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany as a maintenance float and in May '62 was allocated to SETAF in Italy, where it served until September 1963. Details of its subsequent military career are unfortunately missing until it arrived at the Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, California in July 1968 for overhaul. It was transported from there to Vietnam where it was received in March 1970 by the 388th Transportation Company at Vung Tau.

The Otter was allocated in August 1970 to the 18th Aviation Company and based at Qui Nhon, but its service with the unit was relatively brief, as it stood down in January 1971. The Otter was then placed with the 79th Transportation Company at Qui Nhon and was shipped back to the United States, arriving at the Army's Red River Depot in Texas in May 1971, where it was put into storage. It was deleted from the inventory in May 1972 and put up for disposal as “salvage”, apparently not being in the best of shape after its time in Vietnam.

The Otter was sold on 15th February 1973 to J. W. Duff Aircraft Company of Denver, Colorado for $31,800. Duff Aircraft, based at Denver's Stapleton Airport, were a company which specialised in dealing in military surplus aircraft and spare parts. Very rapidly they sold on the Otter on 27th February '73 to Seneca Aviation Inc of Mena, Arkansas who proceeded to return the aircraft to flying condition. It was registered to Seneca Aviation Inc on 1st March 1973 as N88753 and performed a test flight at Mena on 12th April 1973 after rebuild and conversion to civilian configuration. The Certificate of Airworthiness was issued to Seneca Aviation Inc on 21st May 1973, at which stage the Otter had a total time of 3,553 hours on the airframe.

The Otter was put up for sale and the American registration cancelled on 26th October '73 on the sale of the aircraft to Lauzon Aviation Company Ltd of Algoma Mills, Ontario, to whom it was registered as CF-KOA. After five years service with this Ontario bush operator, KOA arrived in Calgary, Alberta on 4th March 1979. The 'Lauzon Aviation' titles were removed that week and the aircraft prepared for its next operator, which was Parsons Airways Northern Ltd of Flin Flon, Manitoba. It served with them for eleven years, until sold to Sioux Narrows Airways Ltd, to whom it was registered on 28th February 1990. The Otter was converted by its new owners with the Polish PZL 1000 engine and joined another PZL-powered Otter C-GSMG (363) which also flew for Sioux Narrows Airways.

This operator was owned by Warren Plummer and used to service the sports fishing lodges he had established on Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake and on the Arctic Coast in the Northwest Territories. The fishing season runs from May to September each year, guests typically arriving by chartered Boeing 737. Then the Plummers Lodge's fleet took over for transport within the Northwest Territories. Their long-serving DC-3 C-FQHY connected the Great Slave, Great Bear, Trophy and Tree River camps and tied in to Yellowknife, carrying not only the passengers but fuel and supplies as well. The two Otters were used to take guests, eight at a time, from the lodges on special fly-outs to choice fishing spots. A Beaver and a Cessna 206 catered to smaller groups. At season's end the fleet flew south to Selkirk, Manitoba for winter maintenance and storage.

Two incidents were recorded during June 2001. On 18th June C-FKOA was in the cruise thirty miles north of Thompson, Manitoba when the pilot noticed the carburettor temperature indicator was above the normal range. He elected to return to Thompson and landed without incident. Maintenance found a cracked weld in the exhaust system near the engine air intake. This was repaired and returned to service. A few days later, on 27th June, forty eight miles west of Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories during the float take-off on a small lake, the engine failed. The pilot was able to land on the lake without damage to his Otter and relay his situation to Fort Smith through a passing airliner. Again the Otter was repaired and resumed service.

Full history courtesy of Karl E. Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter: A History (2005).

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