DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 218

CF-ODT at Tukanee Lake, Ontario.
Photo: William Haines © 03 September 1972 - Michael J. Ody Collection - Aird Archives
CF-ODT dockside at Tukanee Lake.
Photo: Larry Milberry © 23 July 1974 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
CF-ODT in winter mode at Nakina, Ontario.
Photo: Larry Milberry © 03 March 1975 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-FODT at Lac Sébastien, Québec.
Photo: Karl E. Hayes © May 2001
C-FODT as she is in 2016.
Photo: Air Saguenay © FB Page

c/n 218




 CF-ODT Ontario Provincial Air Service (OPAS), Sault Ste. Marie, ON. Delivered 29-Apr-1957.

Accident: Dogtooth Lake, 20mls south east of Kenora, ON. 26-Jun-1961. During a water dropping mission, whilst positioning to pick up water a wing touched the lake surface during a turn. Despite trying to power away. the pilot lost control of his aircraft which collided with trees and then struck the water in a nose down attitude. The pilot escaped to the shore and the aircraft was only partly salvaged. Full story below.

• CF-ODT White River Air Services, White River, ON. Dates currently unknown.

• CF-ODT Leased to Sault Airways Ltd., White River, ON., for the summer of 1974

• C-FODT Returned to White River Air Services, Timmins, ON. in 1975.

• C-FODT Leased to Austin Airways, an associated company of White River Air. Dates unknown.

• C-FODT Returned to White River Air Services, Timmins, ON.  Canx 06-Jul-1983

• C-FODT Pickle Lake Air Services Ltd., Pickle Lake, ON. Regd in July 1983. Canx 09-Jan-1987.

• C-FODT V. Kelner Airways Ltd., Pickle Lake, ON. Regd 02-Mar-1987. Canx 15-Jul-1988.

• C-FODT Paul Petawabano, Mistassini Lake, Baie Du Poste. QC. Regd 13-Jul-1988. Canx 14-Jun-1989.

• C-FODT Waasheshkun Airways Ltd / Compagnie D'Aviation Waasheshkun Ltée., Baie-du-Poste (Mistassini Lake), QC. Regd 01-Nov-1989. Canx 24-Mar-1994.

• C-FODT Andre Bernier, Entrepreneur Forestier (1993) Inc., St Felicien, QC. Based Dolbeau, QC.

• C-FODT Expeditair (1989) Inc., Alma, QC. Based Dolbeau, QC. Regd 17-Jun-1994. Canx 23-Sep-1999.

• C-FODT Air Saguenay (1980) Inc., Jonquière, QC. Regd 23-Sep-1999 & 02-Sep-2003.


Otter 218 was delivered to the Ontario Provincial Air Service (OPAS) on 29th April 1957, registered CF-ODT. It was one of the large fleet of OPAS Otters, based at Sault Ste. Marie, serving the Ontario bush country. Its career with OPAS came to an end on 26th June 1961 when it was badly damaged in an accident at Dogtooth Lake, some twenty miles south east of Kenora, while water bombing a forest fire.

The pilot circled the fire, located on an island. He selected a suitable area to pick up water and flew downwind. At about 500 feet above ground, a medium turn to the left was made with more than normal power because of the wind conditions. Near the completion of the turn, the left wing and nose of the aircraft dropped. The pilot applied power and right rudder, but despite this corrective action the aircraft struck the water. The accident report concluded that “while approaching to land in a strong gusty wind condition, the pilot lost control of his aircraft which collided with trees and then struck the water in a nose down attitude”.

The pilot managed to get out as the aircraft sank and made his way to the shore. Subsequently an OPAS salvage crew working off a barge raised the Otter, salvaged what they could, including the wings, and allowed the fuselage to sink back into the lake. It would appear that the salvage rights were then sold, and a more determined effort managed to retrieve the fuselage from the lake. It was later noted at the Ontario Central Airlines hangar at Reddit, north of Kenora. In due course, the Otter was rebuilt, using another set of wings, and entered service with White River Air Services, still registered CF-ODT. The original wings which had been removed by the OPAS salvage team were returned to the base at Sault Ste. Marie where they were found to be only moderately damaged. They were repaired and put into storage. They were used many years later by the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre in the rebuild of Otter C-FODU (369) at Sault Ste. Marie.

Otter ODT was registered to Sault Airways Ltd, White River, Ontario for the summer of 1974 but reverted to White River Air Services Ltd., as C-FODT in 1975. It was repainted into the striking yellow, red and black colour scheme of Austin Airways, an associated company of White River Air Services, and flew for Austin Airways on amphibious floats. It continued to fly for this operator until sold to Pickle Lake Air Services Ltd of Pickle Lake, Ontario in July 1983, moving on to V. Kelner Airways Ltd also of Pickle Lake in March 1986. It headed east two years later, being registered to Waasheshkun Airways Ltd., Baie-du-Poste, (Mistassini Lake), Québec in July 1988. This was a Cree Indian owned airline serving northern Québec, where ODT joined Otter C-FDIO (452) and Beaver C-GAXL. ODT continued to fly for Waasheshkun Airways until June 1994, when it was registered to Expeditair (1989) Inc., based at Alma, Québec, and then in September 1999 it joined Air Saguenay's large fleet of Otters, based at Lac St. Sébastien, near Chicoutimi, Québec.

Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)