57-6108 • (N44CD) • C-GLAA
• 57-6108 United States Army. Delivered 02-Dec-1957. Designated as U-1A.
Initially delivered to Fort Leavenworth, KS for use by the University of Wichita,
Unknown date. 12th Aviation Company at Fort Sill, OK.
Circa 1962. 12th Aviation Company Fort Wainright, AK. Alaska, until June 1971.
Jul-1971. Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, California where it was put into “serviceable storage.
Feb-1973. Deleted from Army Inventory when it was placed in the hands of the Defence Property Disposal Office for disposal as military surplus.
• (N44CD) City of Sikeston Civil Defence Unit, Silkeston, MO. NTU. Rd 14-Jul-1972. Canx 05-Jun-1973. Aircraft remained in storage.
• C-GLAA Laurentian Air Services Ltd., Ottawa, ON. Regd 15-Jan-1974. This company refurbished and civilianised the aircraft.
• C-GLAA Air Schefferville Inc., Schefferville, QC. Circa 1981.
• C-GLAA Pourvoyeurs Riviere Delay Inc., / Delay River Outfitters Inc., Schefferville, QC. Based Ottawa, ON. Regd 03-Jun-1994. Canx 10-May-1996.
• C-GLAA 1191517 Ontario Ltd & 948976 Ontario Limited (Piper Martin Air Partnership Number One), Thunder Bay, ON. Based Sault Ste. Marie, ON. Regd 22 Jan-1999.
• C-GLAA Leased to Johnny May’s Air Charter Ltd., Kuujjuaq, QC. Regd 30-Jun-1999. Canx 22-Jun-2000.
Total time: 16,013 hours
• N226UT Otters R Us LLC., Anchorage, AK. Regd 29-Jun-2000. Later shown as Chitina, AK from May-2013.
Power plant: Jun-2000. Converted to Garrett TPE 331 engine power by Texas Turbines Inc. at their facility at Decatur, TX. Completed 2001.
Modifications: Jun-2001.Further converted with large scenic windows and repainted by Springer Aerospace at Bar River, ON.
• N226UT Leased to Ultima Thule Outfitters, Chitina, AK. Actual dates unknown but photo evidence shows in May 2014.
• Current •
Otter 226 was delivered to the United States Army on 2nd December 1957 with serial 57-6108 (tail number 76108). It was delivered from Downsview to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for use by the University of Wichita, after which it joined the 12th Aviation Company at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. It deployed with the 12th Aviation Company in 1961 when the Company moved to Alaska, establishing at Fort Wainright. 76108 continued to fly with the 12th Aviation Company for the remainder of its Army career, until June 1971. The following month, it arrived at the Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, California where it was put into “serviceable storage”. It remained in storage at Stockton until deleted from the Army inventory in February 1973, when it was placed in the hands of the Defence Property Disposal Office for disposal as military surplus.
The Otter was allocated to the City of Sikeston Civil Defence Unit, Missouri and registered N44CD but never actually went to this unit. Instead, the Unit were assigned U-6A Beaver tail number 54-1697 from surplus Army stocks, which took up the marks N44CD, and the Otter remained in storage in Stockton. It was one of a batch of four ex-Army Otters (manufacturers serial numbers 226, 314, 316 and 348), all in storage at Stockton, sold to Laurentian Air Services Ltd., of Ottawa on 15th January 1974, the price for Otter 226 being $18,200. Laurentian Air Services sold on two of these Otters (314 and 316) and flew the other two (226 and 348) to their maintenance base at Ottawa, where they were refurbished, civilianised and painted in the Laurentian Air Services colour scheme. 76108 (226) was registered C-GLAA and 92210 (348) became C-GLAB, both registered in August 1974 on completion of the work on the aircraft. Both Otters entered service with Laurentian, flying mostly in Quebec and Labrador.
In 1981 the Otters still flying for Laurentian Air Services were transferred to a subsidiary company, Air Schefferville Inc., of Schefferville, Quebec. This was because the aircraft were based at Schefferville and performed most of their flying in Québec, whose authorities preferred to deal with a Quebec corporation rather than an Ontario-based corporation. C-GLAA continued to fly for Air Schefferville for many years, serving the Quebec bush country. An incident was recorded on 8th May 1989 on take-off from Schefferville. During the take-off roll, the rear ski and wheel were damaged. On landing, directional control problems caused the aircraft to veer to the left. The problem was rectified. Another minor incident was recorded at Arnprior (South Renfrew Municipal) Ontario on 5th October 1991. While taxying on the water to dock in strong, gusty winds, the Otter struck a moored aircraft, damaging the vertical stabiliser and right aileron of the moored aircraft.
C-FLAA continued to fly for Air Schefferville until the company was closed in 1999 and its aircraft sold. The Otter was then sold to 1191517 Ontario Ltd., (Piper Martin Air Partnership Number One), to whom it was registered in January 1999, based at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. This was a leasing company and the Otter went on lease to Johnny May's Air Charter Ltd, based at Kuujjuaq in northern Québec for the summer of 1999. It spent the winter of 1999/2000 parked at Sault Ste. Marie and in May 2000 was put up for sale, having at that time a total airframe time of 16,013 hours. It was sold the following month to another leasing company, Otters R Us LLC, of Anchorage, Alaska to whom it was registered as N226UT on 29th June 2000. It was dispatched south that month to Decatur, Texas where it became the second Otter to be converted with the Garrett TPE 331 engine by Texas Turbines Inc. at their facility at Decatur. After the conversion had been completed in June 2001, it flew north to Springer Aerospace at Bar River, Ontario where it was further converted with large scenic windows and was repainted in an eye-catching red and yellow colour scheme for its next operator, Ultima Thule Outfitters, who were taking the Otter on lease. When this work was finished, the Otter continued north to its new base at Chitina, Alaska.
As its website proclaims: “Ultima Thule wilderness lodge is located 100 miles up the Chitina River from the village of Chitina. Access to the lodge is by aircraft only. We offer air charter service to all areas of the Wrangell/St. Elias National Park and beyond. We can land climbers, mountaineers and skiers at the base of every major peak in the area. We fly regularly to St. Elias, Blackburn, Bona, Wrangell, Sanford, Drum and the Bagley Icefield”. The lodge provides climbing, skiing and hiking adventures, glacier excursions and wildlife viewing. The extra power on N226UT is essential for its high altitude operations in the mountains.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)