DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 263

T-200 ready for the road trip to Alberta, at Vancouver, British Columbia.
Photo: John Kimberley © 23 April 1992 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-FOMS of CARIBOU GROUP, at Edmonton, Alberta.
Photo: Anthony J. Hickey © March 1994 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N335AK on a rainy Juneau ramp.
Photo: Neil Aird © 13 September 2004
N335AK off again, viewed from the pond.
Photo: Neil Aird © 13 September 2004
N335AK next day, a little drier!
Photo: Neil Aird © 14 September 2004
N335AK beat me to Victoria - CYYJ, British Columbia.
Photos: Neil Aird © 19 September 2004

c/n 263

T-200 C-FOMS

N335AK

x

• T-200 Indonesian Air Force on 18th June 1958.

• Un regd Mike Hackman Aircraft Sales, Edmonton, MB. Circa 1991.

Total time 2,283 hours at circa 1990.

• C-FOMS Randy D'Aoust, dba Quality Aircraft Sales, St.Albert, MB. Regd 10-Aug-1992. Canx 11-May-1994.

• C-FOMS Possibly leased to Caribou Group, Edmonton, AB. Circa 1984.

• C-FOMS Black Sheep Aviation & Cattle Company Ltd., Whitehorse, YT. Regd 09-May 1994. Canx 27-Jan-1995.

• C-FOMS Almond Lansair Ltd., Whitehorse, YT. Regd 27-Jan-1995. Canx 28-Apr-1998-

• N335AK Alaska Juneau Aeronautics Inc., dba Wings of Alaska, Juneau, AK. Regd Apr-1998.

Accident: Tenakee Springs Seaplane Base 4 September 2002, While operating a scheduled flight, suffered damage while taxying after landing. There were six passengers and the pilot on board, none of whom were injured. An ocean current carried the Otter beyond the intended docking area, and the left wing struck a wooden piling, causing damage to the left wingtip, left wing aileron and pitot tube. The damage was repaired and the aircraft returned to service.

• N335AK Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA Trustees, Salt Lake City, UT, Regd 16-Nov-2004. Canx 25-Apr-2013.

Accident: Andros Island, Bahamas 9 December 2006. Accident happened on take off - details unknown.

Status unknown

Otter 263 was delivered to the Indonesian Air Force on 18 June 1958, together with number 266. After test flying at Downsview the two Otters were packed into crates and shipped to Indonesia where they were re-assembled. Initially marks ELL-200 and 201 had been proposed but the actual serials allocated were T-200 for 263 and T-201 for 266. The Otters were used to commence an air service linking remote areas of the huge island of Kalimantan.

T-200 continued in Air Force service until deleted from the inventory in 1975. It was however retained for the personal use of a General, as was T-202 (300). When the General was killed in the crash of a Dornier aircraft in 1986, these two Otters were put into storage at Kalijati Air Base, some eighty miles from the capital of Jakarta, and put up for sale.

The two Otters were purchased by Mike Hackman Aircraft Sales of Edmonton. When Mr Hackman travelled to Indonesia in July 1989 he found both Otters at Kalijati Air Base. T-200 was on amphibious floats, with a white upper fuselage, grey lower fuselage and red cheat line. It had been well looked after and featured an original DHC interior. After  difficult months of negotiation, both Otters were purchased. By Bill of Sale dated 28 January 1990 they were transferred to Antonio Budiarta, an associate of Mike Hackman. The two Otters were paint-stripped at Kalijati, dismantled and shipped via Singapore to Vancouver, arriving in May 1990. The two aircraft were stored, with the fuselages in the Aeroflite hangar at the Vancouver International Airport and the wings in the Hackman facility in Edmonton. They were advertised for sale, as the known, lowest-time Otters in the world. T-200 only had 2,283 hours total time. Asking price for the aircraft was Canadian $315,000.

The market for Otters was soft at the time, having just been “flooded” by the arrival in Canada of six former Burmese Air Force Otters, and the two Otters from Indonesia remained in store for quite a time. It was hoped they would be purchased for turbine conversion and although they were inspected by many, no sales emerged. In April 1992 Mike Hackman trucked the two fuselages to Edmonton, leaving Vancouver on 23 April, where they were re-united with their wings. Both Otters were sold to Randy Daoust, who traded as Quality Aircraft Sales and who had a farm with an airstrip and hangar at St.Albert, not far from Edmonton, to where both Otters were taken for rebuild. By Bill of Sale 16 April 1992 T-200 was transferred to Randy Daoust and Dianne Rueda. Following rebuild the Otter was registered to Randy Daoust and Dianne Rueda on 10 August 1992 as C-FOMS (the other Otter T-202 became C-FOSM) and the Otter received its Certificate of Airworthiness on 9 September 1992.

C-FOMS was based at St.Albert for the remainder of 1992 and during 1993.  By March 1994 it had arrived at Calgary, Alberta where it was painted by Field Aviation, in a white fuselage and dark brown cheatline, a scheme it would retain for the rest of its career. It had “Caribou Group, Edmonton, Alberta” painted onto the fuselage for a short period for a photograph to be taken. By Bill of Sale 11 March 1994 Dianne Daoust (nee Rueda) transferred her interest to her husband Randy and by Bill of Sale 7 May 1994 he sold the Otter to Almon Landair Ltd., of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. It went on lease to Black Sheep Aviation & Cattle Company Ltd., of Whitehorse, to whom it was registered on 9 May 1994. Despite the unusual name, this was a standard bush operator and OMS flew for the company until January 1995, when it was returned off lease and registered to Almon Landair Ltd., on  27 January 1995.

This was a company, also based at Whitehorse, owned by a Swedish gentleman named Alexander Landolt, which specialised on guided wilderness and bush flying adventure tours, mostly fishing and camping. It retained the same colour scheme as before but with Landair titles. The Otter flew for Landair on amphibious floats and was noted visiting Dawson City and places on the Yukon River during July 1996. By September 1997 its total time had increased to 2,850 hours. It continued in service until sold in April 1998, being replaced by a Grumman Goose C-GDAO, which unfortunately was later destroyed in a hangar fire at Whitehorse.

By Bill of Sale 1 April 1998 Almon Landair sold the Otter to Wings Airlines Services Ltd., of Juneau, Alaska to whom the Otter was registered that month as N335AK.  Registration C-FOMS was formally cancelled on 28 April 1998 on the re-registration of the Otter as N335AK. The company traded as Wings of Alaska and N335AK joined their fleet of Otters flying charters out of Juneau, specialising in sight-seeing flights during the summer months for cruise ship passengers, as well as on the company’s scheduled flights. It acquired small “Wings of Alaska” titles on the tail.  One incident was recorded while the Otter flew for Wings of Alaska, on 4 September 2002. The Otter, operating Flight 71, took off from Juneau at 08:10 that morning, still on its amphibious floats. At 08:30 while taxying after landing at the Tenakee Springs Seaplane Base, it sustained damage. There were six passengers and the pilot on board, none of whom were injured. The pilot shut off the engine as the airplane approached the seaplane dock. An ocean current carried N335AK beyond the intended docking area and the left wing struck a wooden piling causing damage to the left wing-tip, left wing aileron and pitot tube. The damage was repaired and N335AK returned to service. Total time at that date was 8,092 hours, showing how busy the aircraft had been over the previous few years.

The Otter continued in service with Wings of Alaska until the end of the summer 2004 season, when it was sold to a private individual by the name of Charles Bethel who lived in the Bahamas. It departed from Juneau on 16 September 2004, flying first to Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. On departure that day it taxied into position on runway 11 at Port Hardy and departed to the south. The pilot did not contact the FSS until five minutes later. He apologised stating that he had a radio failure which he did not realise. The Otter flew on to Victoria, British Columbia where it was parked, in the care of Viking Air. It was registered on 16 November 2004 to Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA of Salt Lake City, Utah on behalf of its new owner. It was still painted in the same scheme as before, white with brown cheatline, never having acquired Wings of Alaska’s own scheme. The Otter was to remain parked at Victoria for quite a time. It was still there under overhaul in August 2005 and did not leave until January 2006 for the long delivery flight to the Bahamas, still on amphibious floats.

The routing of this five thousand mile delivery flight, which took forty flying hours, was as follows, from Victoria-Salem, Oregon-Medford, Oregon-Columbia, California-Palm Springs, California-Truth or Consequence, New Mexico-El Paso, Texas-Waco,Texas-Mobile, Alabama-Baton Rouge, Louisiana-Sarasota, Florida-Fort Lauderdale to Nassau. It then continued to Flamingo Cay on Andros Island, the home base of its new owner, Charles Bethel.  He was the owner of the Flamingo Cay fishing resort. To quote from its website: “Flamingo Cay is a small, exclusive fishing and hunting resort nestled in a private, secluded cove on the west side of Andros Island in the Bahamas. The cay was acquired by the Bethel family in the 1920s and maintained since then for waterfowl shooting and fishing. Huge schools of medium to large bonefish roam the pristine white sand flats of Andros Island. Teal and ducks are found in great number, providing the wing-shooter with an unforgettable experience”. The resort is only accessible by air, so guests arriving at Nassau were collected and flown to the Lodge by the Otter. It also travelled to the mainland to collect and deliver guests and was noted for example at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on 30 November 2006 picking up guests for the Lodge. It also flew guests from the Lodge to outlying locations for fishing, swimming and so forth.

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.