DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 168

PI-C55 at Cebu City, Philippines.
Photo: Unknown photographer © April 1957 - Karl E. Hayes Collection

c/n 168



 PI-C55 Philippine Air Lines (PAL), Manila, Philippines. Delivered 24-Oct-1956.

Accident: Ozamiz City, Labo Airport. Mindanao. Philippines. 11-Dec-1967. Climbing through 75 feet after takeoff, the Otter suddenly turned left and descended. The airplane hit two trees and caught fire. PROBABLE CAUSE: "The uncontrollable stall at low altitude which resulted from the abrupt steep climb immediately after takeoff. Contributing factors were: 1) The improper loading of the aircraft; and 2) The prevailing gusty wind with a relatively high ambient temperature.

Written off


Otter 168 was the fifth of six Otters delivered to Philippine Air Lines (PAL), being delivered on 24 October 1956 with registration PI-C55. It was used before delivery as part of an advertisement for TAG Airlines, whose first otter N96T (110) had been delivered in April 1956. The PAL Otter was flown from Downsview to the Island Airport in Toronto, where it was photographed with passengers deplaning. It was then packed into a crate at Downsview and shipped to the Manila and re-assembled, entering service with PAL on its ‘Rural Air Service’.

Unfortunately PI-C55’s service was brief, as it was destroyed in an accident on 11 December 1957.  At 13:10 hours that day the Otter took off from  Ozamis City, Mindanao on a scheduled flight to Pagadian with the pilot, nine passengers and two infants on board. Following a normal take-off, at an altitude of 75 feet it was seen on a steep climb, followed by a steep turn to the left. It then suddenly lost altitude, hit two trees and crashed in a nose-down attitude. Fire broke out immediately. The pilot and one passenger were killed. The crash site was in a coconut plantation on the left side of the runway, two thousand feet from the take-off point. The Otter was destroyed by impact and fire.

The probable cause given in the subsequent accident report was an uncontrollable stall at low altitude which resulted from an abrupt steep climb immediately after take off. Contributing factors were the improper loading of the aircraft and the prevailing gusty wind, with a high ambient temperature. The Accident Board recommended that the PAL Otter operation be temporarily suspended until a thorough study and evaluation of its operations and practices had been made by the company to the satisfaction of the CAA. As a result PAL voluntarily suspended the Otter operation on 24 December 1957 and resumed operations on 4 February 1958.

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.