58-1718 • N5352G • C-GBNJ • N567KA
• 58-1715 United States Army. Delivered 26-Jun-1959.
Initially assigned to 18th Aviation Company, Fort Riley, KS.
Unknown date. Aircraft not sent to Vietnam, taken over by the 1063rd Aviation Company, a unit of the Iowa National Guard, based at Waterloo, IA.
Oct-1961. 1063rd Aviation Company moved to Fort Riley, KS.
Jul-1962 1063rd Aviation Company moved back to Waterloo, IA.
Jan1964. Left the 1063rd but remained with the Army National Guard. Unit or Units unknown.
Jun-1972. California Army National Guard, Fresno, CA.
Dec-1976. Deleted from Army inventory.
• N5352G. Civil Air Patrol, Pacific Region. Seattle, WA. Regd Jun-1977.
• C-GBNJ Silver Pine Air Services Ltd., Silver Falls, MB. Regd Jan-1980.
• C-GBNJ Parsons Airways Northern Ltd., Flin Flon, MB. Regd 05-Jun-1980. Canx 04-May-1989.
• N567KA Ketchum Air Service Inc., Anchorage, AK.
Airworthiness date: 24-May-1989.
• N336AK Alaska Juneau Aeronautics Inc., dba as Wings of Alaska. Regd Mar-1993.
• N336AK Re registered to Wings Airline Services Inc., Juneau, AK. Regd 19-Jul-2001.
• N336AK Alaska Coastal Airlines Inc., Juneau, AK. Regd 29-Mar-2003.
Power plant. Converted to Texas Turbine Otter (#9) by Kal Air at Vernon, BC
• N336AK IPA Leasing Inc., Juneau, AK. Leased to Wings Airways, Juneau, AK. Regd 27-Oct-2008.
• Current •
Otter 333 was delivered to the United States Army on 26th June 1959 with serial 58-1715 (tail number 81715). It was assigned to the 18th Aviation Company, Fort Riley, Kansas. When that Company departed from Fort Riley in December 1961 to deploy to Vietnam, a number of its Otters, which were not fit to travel, remained at Fort Riley, including 81715. The operation of these Otters was taken over by the 1063rd Aviation Company, a unit of the Iowa National Guard based at Waterloo, Iowa. In October 1961 this unit was upgraded to Active Duty status and sent to Fort Riley, to operate the Otters which the 18th Aviation Company had left behind.
The 1063rd operated 81715 until July 1962 at Fort Riley, when the Otter returned with the Company to Waterloo, Iowa, where it was operated until January 1964. It remained with the National Guard but its subsequent operating units are not known, until June 1972 when it joined the California National Guard, with whom it was to serve for the remainder of its military career. It was assigned to the Depot at Fresno, California as a support aircraft. Personnel at the Depot proudly referred to it as “the last active Army Otter west of the Rockies”. This was correct in so far as the Continental United States was concerned, there being Army Otters active in Alaska at that time as well. 81715 continued to serve at Fresno until December 1976, when it was deleted from the Army inventory.
The Otter was transferred to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). It was noted at Boeing Field, Seattle during June 1977, still in its Army olive drab colours but registered N5352G, and was assigned to the CAP's Pacific Region. In January 1980 it was sold on, being registered C-GBNJ to Silver Pine Air Services Ltd., of Silver Falls, Manitoba who refurbished the Otter, and it was then sold to Parsons Airways Northern Ltd of Flin Flon, Manitoba to whom it was registered on 5th June 1980. For the next nine years it served the northern Manitoba bush country, one of a number of Otters flown by Parsons.
It was sold in May 1989 to Ketchum Air Service Inc., of Anchorage, Alaska and was registered to its new owners as N567KA. It arrived in Vancouver on 24th November 1989 to be worked on by Aeroflite Industries prior to delivery to Anchorage. It was noted in Anchorage during July 1992 flying for Ketchums, but still painted in the green / white colour scheme it had worn during its days with Parsons Airways. Although it carried Ketchum titles, it never was painted in their blue / white house colours. The Otter was sold to Alaska Juneau Aeronautics Inc., trading as Wings of Alaska, in March 1993 and re-registered N336AK. It was noted at Vancouver in May 1993, repainted in full Wings of Alaska colour scheme, about to be delivered to its new base at Juneau.
It went on to serve as part of the Wings of Alaska fleet for many years, flying countless cruise ship passengers on sightseeing flights during the summer months. On 19th July 2001 it was registered to Wings Airline Services Inc., Juneau, continuing to fly as part of the Wings of Alaska fleet. On 26th March 2003 the Otter was registered to Alaska Coastal Airlines Inc of Juneau, but again continued to fly as part of the Wings of Alaska fleet. During the winter of 2003 / 2004, N336AK was converted to a Texas Turbine Otter (#9) by Kal Air at Vernon, BC.
A minor incident was recorded on12th May 2004 when N336AK ran into sister ship N337AK (418) while docking in Juneau Harbour. Only superficial damage was caused and both Otters were soon back in service.
N336AK returned to Vernon, landing on Okanagan Lake on 28 September 2005 at the end of its flight from Juneau. From the lake it was towed to the Kal Air facility where it was to spend the winter of 2005 / 2006 being repainted and having a new interior installed and other work carried out. It departed Vernon on 24 April 2006 to Vancouver and then onwards back to its Juneau base.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)