Otter 336 was delivered to Hudson Bay Air Transport Ltd, Flin Flon, Manitoba on 21st June 1960, registered CF-MIQ. It flew alongside the company's other Otters CF-JOR (212) and CF-KTI (269) until they were destroyed in a fire which burned down the company's hangar at Flin Flon on 4th April 1963. MIQ had a lucky escape on that occasion. It had arrived back at base the previous evening, but had been left outside the hangar on the lake ice for the night. It then flew alongside the replacement Otters CF-PEM (438) and CF-PEN (439). CF-MIQ thus became the longest serving HBAT Otter, flying from its delivery in June 1960 until sold in 1982, a remarkable 21 year career flying in the bush without any incident.
During the 1960s, the Otters were used by HBAT in support of exploration and development. Operating on floats in summer and wheel-skis in winter, they were able to fly to lakes in remote regions of the north, flying in the equipment to establish drilling camps and then keeping the camps supplied. The mid 1960s were a very busy time for the three Otters. They operated alongside a Cessna, two helicopters and a Beechcraft, the fleet logging over 2,900 hours in the air during 1968, a high for the company.
In the 1970s, things changed somewhat. Forest industry logging roads sprang up around the North, opening up areas which were once only accessible by bush plane. This led to the first major cut-back in HBAT's operation in 1976. The three Otters remained in the fleet, but with exploration activity at an all time low due to the economic climate, the Otters were only used sparingly to service the company's facility at Island Falls, for the odd trip to Snow Lake, and to transport line cutters and stakers. As the years went by, sadly the operation became uneconomic and flying ceased in July 1983. The remaining aircraft were sold, and the HBAT operation closed down.
CF-MIQ had already been sold by then, having been sold in November 1982 to Parsons Airways Northern Ltd., also based at Flin Flon. In June 1983 it was sold on to Nakina Outpost Camps & Air Service Ltd., of Nakina, Ontario who converted the Otter to a Vazar turbine, the work being done by Recon Air at Geraldton, Ontario. More than twenty years later, the Otter was still in service with Nakina Outpost Camps.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)