DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 146

55-3294
Photo:

c/n 146

55-3294

X

 55-3294 United States Army. Delivered 25-Jul-1956. Designated U-1A.

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

Jul/Aug to Brookley AFB, Mobile, AL. Here the aircraft was loaded on board a ship serving with the Military Sea Transportation Service, which set sail for Bremerhaven, Germany arriving in Aug-1956.

Aug-1956. 2nd Aviation Company based at Illesheim, Germany until Jul-1959 when the unit moved to France.

Jul-1959. 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.

Mar-1967. Assigned to the 56th Aviation Detachment at Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany which took over the duties which the 2nd Aviation Company had performed.

Note: Logged at Prestwick - EGPK 30-Jun-1966 by Neil Aird.

Oct-1967. Transported back to USA

May-1968: 388th Transportation Company at Vung Tau, Vietnam, in May 1968.

August 1968 assigned to the 18th Aviation Company, Nha Trang, Vietnam, serving with the Company's First Platoon.

Incident: Qui Nhon Vietnam 27-Jan-1969. While on climb out, the engine backfired and oil covered the windshield. The pilot reversed course and landed downwind. The cause of the engine failure was a broken push rod housing on the number four cylinder. Aircraft repaired.

Accident: Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. 26-Oct-1969. While engaged on a training detail a wheel's first landing caused the aircraft pitched out of control and came to rest between the runways with major damage to the landing gear, propeller and wing. A subsequent attempt to recover the aircraft with a helicopter failed when it was dropped from a height and wrecked.

Oct-1969. To the 79th Transportation Company at Qui Nhon for salvage and disposal.

Destroyed

Otter 146 was delivered to the United States Army on 25th July 1956 with serial 55-3294 (tail number 53294). It was assigned to the 2nd Aviation Company, Fort Riley, Kansas which later deployed to Germany, then France (as described in relation to Otter 124). 53294 continued in service with the 2nd Aviation Company until March 1967 when the Company disbanded, and was then transferred to the 56th Aviation Detachment, Mannheim, Germany, which took over the duties which the 2nd Aviation Company had performed. The Otter continued flying for the Detachment until October 1967, when it was transported back to the United States and onwards to Vietnam, arriving with the 388th Transportation Company at Vung Tau in May 1968. It was assigned to the 18th Aviation Company in August 1968, serving with the Company's First Platoon based at Nha Trang.

On 27th January 1969 “Reliable 294” was being flown from Qui Nhon to Nha Trang. Three minutes after take-off, while on climb out, the engine backfired and oil covered the windshield. The pilot reversed course and landed downwind. The cause of the engine failure was a broken push rod housing on the number four cylinder. The damage was repaired and the Otter continued in service with the 18th Aviation Company, until it met its demise on 26th October 1969 at Cam Ranh Bay. It was engaged on a training detail when a wheel's first landing caused the aircraft to pitch out of control and come to rest between the runways with major damage to the landing gear, propeller and wing. The Otter was lifted up by a Chinook helicopter, to be brought to Dong Ba Thin for repair.

Unfortunately, the Chinook dropped the Otter, which was completely wrecked. The wreckage was brought to the 79th Transportation Company at Qui Nhon for salvage and disposal.

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