DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 333

58-1715 at Fresno Air Terminal - KFAT, California.
Photo: Unknown photographer © November 1974 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N-567KA at Vancouver - CYVR, British Columbia.
Photos: John Kimberley © December 1989 - Upper: Karl E. Hayes Collection - Lower: Michael J. OdyCollection
N-567KA without power plant, outside Aeroflite facilities at YVR.
Photo:John Kimberley © December 1989 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N-567KA in Ketchum service, at Anchorage - Lake Hood, Alaska.
Photo: John Kimberley © July 1992 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N336AK on her wheels at YVR.
Photo: John Kimberley © April 1993 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N336AK at Vancouver - CYVR, British Columbia.
Photo: John Kimberley © May 1993 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N336AK still with her venerable piston power plant.
Photo: Michael J. Ody © 02 June 1999
Photo: Fred Barnes © July 2002 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N336AK at the end of a busy day, being hauled out of the Juneau Pond.
Photo: Neil Aird © 14 September 2004
N336AK during change over at Vernon, British Columbia.
Photos:John W. Olafson © 27 September 2005
N336AK at Vernon, work completed.
Photo:John W. Olafson © 23 April 2006
N336AK back in service, at her dock.
Photo: Helge Nyhus © September 2006 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
N336AK at Juneau Harbour, Alaska.
Photo: John W. Olafson © 18 May 2011
N336AK at Taku Lodge.
Photo: Warwick Bigsworth © 19 June 2013

c/n 333

58-1718 • N5352G • C-GBNJ • N567KA

N336AK

x

• 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 26 June 1959 with serial 58-1715 (tail number 81715). It was assigned to the 18th Aviation Company, Fort Riley, Kansas. When that company left Fort Riley in December 1961 to deploy to Vietnam, a number of its Otters, six in total, were not fit to travel and remained at Fort Riley, including 81715. The operation of these six Otters was taken over by the 1063rd Aviation Company, a unit of the Iowa National Guard. In October 1961 this Unit was upgraded to Active Duty status and sent to Fort Riley to operate the six Otters.

The 1063rd operated 81715 until July 1962 at Fort Riley, at which stage the Unit returned to Waterloo, Iowa and brought two of the Otters with it, 81715 and 92214.  The two Otters continued to fly from Waterloo until January 1964.  The history of 81715 over the next few years is unfortunately unknown but it was apparently designated an RU-1A until December 1966 and then joined a National Guard unit with code WPU4AA until June 1972. It was then assigned to the California National Guard and based at the depot at Fresno as a support aircraft, where it would remain for the rest of its military career. Personnel at the depot proudly referred to it as the “last active Army Otter west of the Rockies”. It flew spare parts for aircraft to and from Army installations, repair shops and manufacturer’s facilities throughout the western United States. It continued to serve here until December 1976, when it was deleted from the Army inventory.

81715 was then assigned to the Civil Air Patrol and flown to Boeing Field where it was to be prepared by Foreign & Domestic Enterprises Inc, this being the company of Lloyd Rekow who specialised in Otters. Marks N5352G were allocated. By March 1977 it had been refurbished and converted to civilian DHC-3 and its Certificate of Airworthiness issued on 28 March 1977, the aircraft having a total time at that stage of 7,563 hours on the airframe. It was formally registered to the CAP as N5352G. It was still at Boeing Field in August 1977, tied down in outside storage, still in its Army olive drab colours. It is not known what use the CAP actually made of the Otter but in June 1979 they sold it to Silver Pine Air Services Ltd of Pine Falls, Manitoba and it was flown to Pine Falls. It was de-registered from the American register on 6 July 1979 and having been refurbished by Silver Pine Air Services was registered C-GBNJ in January 1980. It was then sold on to Parsons Airways Northern Ltd., of Flin Flon, Manitoba to whom it was registered on 5 June 1980.

For the next nine years the Otter served the northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan bush country, one of nine Otters flown by Parsons over the years. The company had 27 different tourist/fishing lodges around the territory and also flew in support of exploration companies. During its time with Parsons it was painted light green overall with a white cheatline. It continued in service with Parsons until the end of the summer 1988 season and was then put up for sale. It was sold to Rocky Mountain Aircraft of Calgary and sold on by them to Ketchikan Air Service Inc. On 5 March 1989 Craig Ketchum wrote to the FAA asking that marks N567KA be reserved for the Otter. By Bill of Sale 10 May 1989 ownership was transferred to Ketchum Air Service Inc., who picked up their Otter at Calgary’s Springbank Airport and flew it all the way to Anchorage, where it was overhauled. Its Certificate of Airworthiness as N567KA issued to Ketchum on 24 May 1989, by which stage the Otter had total time of 12,344 hours.

The Otter flew for Ketchums for the summer of 1989, servicing its fishing lodge guests. It was still in its green and white colours and the registration was painted on the aircraft as N-567KA. It arrived in Vancouver on 24 November 1989 from Anchorage, to be refurbished by Aeroflite Facilities. It was noted at the Aeroflite hangar at the Vancouver International Airport on wheels with the engine removed for overhaul. It was put on amphibious floats and returned to Anchorage in May 1990 and resumed service with Ketchums, one of four Otters in its fleet, as well as several Beavers and Cessna 185s. It carried Ketchum Air Service titles in white on the tail and also on the floats.

N567KA continued in service with Ketchum Air Service until sold to Alaska Juneau Aeronautics Inc., trading as Wings of Alaska by Bill of Sale dated 18 December 1992 and was re-registered N336AK. It was noted at Vancouver in May 1993 repainted in full Wings of Alaska colour scheme, of two shades of blue with a white cheatline, about to be delivered to its new base at Juneau, Alaska. It went on to serve as part of the Wings of Alaska fleet for many years, alongside its other Otters, flying countless cruise ship passengers on sight-seeing flights during the summer months, as well as some scheduled services and charter work. On 19 July 2001 it was registered to Wings Airline Services Inc, Juneau, continuing to fly as part of the Wings of Alaska fleet. On 26 March 203 the Otter was registered to Alaska Coastal Airlines Inc of Juneau but again continued to fly as part of the Wings of Alaska fleet. These were companies owned by employees of Wings of Alaska, which leased the aircraft to Wings of Alaska, thus enabling the employees share in the profits from the aircraft’s operation.

N336AK was converted to a Texas Turbine Otter over the winter of 2003 / 2004, the work being undertaken at Juneau, conversion # 9. It re-entered service with Wings of Alaska as a turbine Otter for the remainder of 2004. By April 2004 the aircraft’s total time had increased to 18,072 hours. That month GPS and other navigation and communications equipment was installed in the Otter as part of the FAA’s Capstone Program, Phase II, the work being performed by Helipro at Juneau. The Capstone Project was a joint industry and FAA research and development effort to improve aviation safety and efficiency in Alaska. The FAA provided the avionics equipment for the aircraft and supporting ground infrastructure. A minor incident was recorded on 12 May 2004 when N336AK ran into sister ship N337AK (418) while docking at Juneau Harbour. Only superficial damage was caused and both Otters were soon back in service and flew again for the company for 2005.

N336AK arrived on Okanagan Lake, Vernon, BC on 28 September 2005 at the end of its flight from Juneau. From the lake it was towed to the facility of Kal Air at the Vernon Airport where it was to spend the winter of 2005 / 2006 being repainted and having a new interior installed. The new paint scheme involved a white fuselage with blue cheatline and trim but no titles. It departed Vernon on 24 April 2006 to Vancouver and onwards back to Juneau. The employees of Wings of Alaska purchased the floatplane sight-seeing division of the airline, which was re-branded as Wings Airways and was initially run as Alaska Coastal Airlines Inc., doing business as Wings Airways. On 27 October 2008 N336AK was re-registered to Wings Airways Inc., and on 18 January 2012 was again re-registered to IPA leasing Inc., the IPA standing for Inside Passage Aviation. All the while N336AK continued to fly for Wings Airways, one of its five turbine Otters, whose main business is providing sightseeing flights for tourists visiting Juneau during the summer months, who arrive on cruise ships which ply the Inside Passage. The Otters are put into storage at Juneau during the winter. As of summer 2017 N336AK continued on this business, again going into storage over the winter of 2017 / 2018.

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.