DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 188

C-FODG
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c/n 188

3745

C-FODG

 3745 Royal Canadian Air Force. Delivered 19-Dec-1956.

Initially assigned to 115 Air Transport Unit, which was a UN support unit based at El Arish, Egypt until 27th July 1962.

Jul-1962 Commenced an airlift back to Canada in an RCAF C-130 Hercules but the flight was interrupted by a stop at RCAF Langar, Nottinghamshire, UK for an unknown reason. This lasted for some five weeks, before continuing to Canada and RCAF Dunnville ON., where damage suffered on the first part of the journey was repaired at 6 Repair Depot followed by a period of storage.

Sep-1964. To Saskatoon, SK., for further storage.

Nov-1965. 6 Repair Depot Dunnville ON., for painting!

Dec-1965. Assigned to 411 Squadron, Downsview, ON.

May 1966. returned to storage at Saskatoon, SK.

Oct-1966. Assigned to 402 Squadron, Winnipeg,MB., where it was to serve for the next nine years.

Sep-1975. Deployed with 402Sqd. north to Churchill and Coral Harbour. The purpose of the mission to these remote northern points was to create mapping mosaics and survey fuel caches using oversize tundra tires to land on eskers.

Nov-1975. Returned to storage at Saskatoon until Apr-1977 when sold.

• C-GOFG Province of Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources, Regd Apr-1977. Stripped down, rebuilt to” better than new” condition.

Accident. Linklater Lake, Ontario. 19th August 1981. The Otter was engaged in water bombing operations against a forest fire and had landed on the lake to pick up water. The lake proved too small and on take-off the aircraft was unable to clear the trees on the shore. It struck the trees, crashed and burned. Fortunately, the pilot was not injured, but the aircraft was a total loss.

Written off

Otter 188 was delivered to the RCAF on 19th December 1956 with serial 3745. Its early history is the same as for Otters 183 (serial 3743) and 185 (serial 3744). All three were shipped on board the aircraft carrier 'HMCS Magnificent' from Halifax on 29th December 1956 and joined 115 Air Transport Unit based at El Arish, Egypt.

3745 is mentioned in the unit's history. On 6th July '57 it flew the Canadian Ambassador on a special reconnaissance flight to the Gulf of Aquaba. On 24th October '57, to celebrate UN Day, one RCAF Dakota and three Otters flew in a box formation at El Arish, and 3745 then flew from Gaza to Cairo with passengers. On 3rd May '58 3745 flew from Cairo to Gaza with seven Yugoslav entertainers. Several low passes had to be made at Gaza to clear cattle and sheep from the runway. On 10th May '58 the Otter attempted to make a combined transport flight to Ras and a recce flight, which had to be abandoned due to low cloud.

3745 continued in service with 115 ATU until 27th July 1962, when it was airlifted back to Canada by RCAF Hercules. The Otter was off-loaded for some reason at the RCAF base at Langar in England, where it was held in storage by 30 AMB for five weeks, before continuing its journey home to Canada. On arrival, it was placed into storage with 6 Repair Depot at Dunnville and damage occasioned during the trip was repaired. In September 1964 it was transferred to Saskatoon for continued storage. In November '65 it was taken back to 6 Repair Depot for painting, prior to assignment to 411 Squadron, Downsview the following month.

The Otter continued to fly for 411 Squadron until May 1966, when it returned to storage at Saskatoon. This was only for a short time, however, as in October 1966 3745 was assigned to 402 Squadron at Winnipeg, where it was to serve for the next nine years. In September 1975 it deployed north to Churchill and Coral Harbour on a photographic mission. It routed Coral Harbour - Pumpkin- Paws - photo shoot- Paws- Coral Harbour. It also travelled to Repulse Bay. The purpose of the mission to these remote northern points was to create mapping mosaics and survey fuel caches. The Otter used oversize tires to land on eskers. On completion of this mission, the Otter went back into storage at Saskatoon in November 1975.

3745 remained in storage at Saskatoon until April 1977, when it was one of seven ex Canadian military Otters transferred to the Province of Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources, which were allocated registrations C-GOFA to 'OFG inclusive. 3745 was allocated C-GOFG and a ferry permit issued for a flight on 28th April 1977 from Saskatoon to the Ministry's base at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Here, 'OFG along with the other six Otters, were completely stripped and rebuilt to better- than-new standard, and re-painted in the Ministry's yellow and black colour scheme. OFG was the last of the seven to be converted, and whereas the first six were in operation during the summer of 1978, OFG was only finished during the winter of 1978/79 and had to await spring break-up at Sault Ste. Marie before making its first flight after rebuild. C-GOFG flew for the Ministry until it was destroyed in an accident at Linklater Lake, Ontario on 19th August 1981. The Otter was engaged in water bombing operations against a forest fire and had landed on the lake to pick up water. The lake proved too small and on take-off the Otter was unable to clear the trees on the shore. It struck the trees, crashed and burned. Fortunately, the pilot was not injured, but OFG was a total loss.

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

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