Otter 212 was delivered to Hudson Bay Air Transport Ltd (HBAT) of Flin Flon, Manitoba on 22nd March 1957 registered CF-JOR. Over the years, HBAT flew six different Otters, which were used to fly personnel and equipment to establish exploration camps in remote northern areas, move the camps and keep them supplied. CF-JOR was totally destroyed when the company's hangar at Flin Flon went on fire on 4th April 1963, as was Otter CF-KTI (269), and Grumman Mallard CF-FLC, which were also in the hangar at the time.
As the Flin Flon Daily Miner newspaper reported: “Estimated damage of between half and three quarters of a million dollars was sustained early this morning (Thursday 4th April 1963) when the Hudson Bay Air Transport hangar at Channing was completely destroyed by a fire of undetermined origin. The loss included three aircraft, two tractors and other equipment, tools and spare parts.
Located on the south shore of Schist Lake in the Channing sub-division area, the hangar contained two Otter and one Mallard aircraft at the time of the fire”. The report went on to explain that the Otters were the company workhorses and were in daily use supporting mining and exploration throughout the area. The Mallard was used to transport company personnel, and had brought in the company's president, which it was due to take to New York some days later. The company's third Otter CF-MIQ (336) had a lucky escape. It arrived back at base late the previous evening but had been left outside the hangar on the lake ice. The HBAT helicopter, the only other member of the fleet, was away out in the bush on exploration work.
The fire had started at around five o'clock in the morning and the fire services arrived ten minutes later, but such was the ferocity of the blaze that they could not save the building. As the Fire Chief explained, when they arrived the hangar was burning furiously, with flames shooting high into the air. The new fire truck pumping equipment worked exceptionally well, the Chief said, with strong pressure throwing the water a good distance. A hole was chopped in Ross Lake and water pumped into the truck's tank and then relayed to the hoses. The hangar had been constructed some twelve years previous. It was reported to have been purchased from the Dauphin Airport, where it had originally been erected by the RCAF during the war. It had a steel frame covered with lumber and sheet metal. Gasoline in the tanks of the three aircraft along with quantities of cleaning fluid, paint and other flammable material were given as the reason for the furious blaze that destroyed the building within minutes. “The heat from the fire was so intense that it was impossible to see any remains of the aircraft in the smouldering ruins this morning”. Sadly, the two Otters had been burned to complete extinction.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)