DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 348

59-2210 as an RU-1A in South Vietnam.
Photo: Unknown photographer © c. 1968-1969 - www image - via Dennis Newell
C-GLAB on the Ottawa River at Gatineau.
Photo: Sheldon D. Benner © June 1978 - Michael J. Ody Collection
C-GLAB at Ottawa / Uplands - CYOW, Ontario.
Photos: Neil Aird © 1979
C-GLAB at Roberval - CYRJ, Québec.
Photo: Anthony J. Hickey © May 1993 - Karl E. Hayes Collection
C-GLAB at Nestor Falls, Ontario.
Photo: Karl E. Hayes © May 2004
C-GLAB at Pelican Lake, Sioux Lookout, Ontario.
Photo: Rich Hulina © 10 August 2011

c/n 348




• 59-2210 United States Army. Delivered 28-Dec-1959. Designated U-1A.

Initially assigned to the New Cumberland Army Depot, PA., as an operational support aircraft.

Dec-1965. To Vietnam joining 54th Aviation Company.

Aug-1966. Maintenance at the Army Aeronautical Depot Maintenance Centre ARADMAC Depot, Corpus Christi, TX.

Nov-1966. re-joined the 54th Aviation Company

Mar-1968 Assigned to the 18th Aviation Company.

Apr-1968. Converted to RU-1A configuration.

Nov-1968 Joined 2nd Signal Group, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon.

Jun-1969. Converted back to U-1A configuration.

Aug-1969. To the 56th Transportation Company for storage.

Sep-1969. To the 520th Transportation Company for further storage.

Nov-1969. Shipped back to the USA.

Jan-1970. Arrived at Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, CA.

Feb-1973, Deleted from the Army inventory and put up for disposal.

• Un regd Purchased by Laurentian Air Services Ltd., Ottawa, ON. 15th January 1974 who refurbished, civilianised and painted it in the Laurentian Air Services colour scheme.

• C-GLAB Laurentian Air Services Ltd., Ottawa, ON. Regd Aug-1974.

• C-GLAB Air Schefferville Inc., Schefferville, QC. Circa 1981.

• C-GLAB Delay River Outfitters, Schefferville, QC. Canx 02-Mar-1992.

• C-GLAB Aviation Quebec Labrador Ltée., Sept Îles, QC. Regd Mar-1992. Regd 03-Aug-1994. Canx & re regd 10-Jan-1995. Canx 09-Sep-1999.

• C-GLAB Air Roberval Ltée., Roberval, QC. Regd 09-Feb-1999. Canx 12-Mar-1999.

• C-GLAB Air Bellevue Inc., St Felicien, QC. Regd 12-Mar-1999.

Accident: St. Felicien, QC. 11-Jun-1999. Control was lost in turbulence just after take-off. When passing through 200 feet in the climb, the Otter was forced down by a severe wind and struck the surface of the water.

Note: Aircraft Sent to Aviation V.L. Inc., for repair and who registered the aircraft.

• C-GLAB Aviation V.L. Inc., St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC. Regd 29-Mar-2000. Canx 29-Mar-2000

• C-GLAB Wilderness Air Ltd., Vermilion Bay, ON. Regd 26-May-2000. Canx 30-Jul-2018.

Power-plant. Converted to a Vazar turbine over the winter of 2007 / 2008 by Recon Air at Geraldton, Ontario.


Otter 348 was delivered to the United States Army on 28th December 1959 with serial 59-2210 (tail number 92210). It was assigned to the New Cumberland Army Depot, Pennsylvania as an operational support aircraft, flying personnel and parts in support of the Depot. This use continued until December 1965 when it went to Vietnam, joining the 54th Aviation Company. It returned to the United States in August 1966 for depot level maintenance at the ARADMAC Depot, Corpus Christi, Texas. In November 1966 it went back to Vietnam and re-joined the 54th Aviation Company. It continued to serve the unit until March 1968, when it joined the 18th Aviation Company.

While with the 18th Aviation Company, it was converted to RU-1A configuration in April 1968 and in November 1968 it joined the 2nd Signal Group, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon. In June 1969 it was converted back to an ordinary U-1A and in August 1969, its military career over, it was entrusted to the 56th Transportation Company for storage. The following month it was passed on to the 520th Transportation Battalion for storage and remained with that unit until November 1969 when it was shipped back to the US. It arrived at the Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, California in January 1970 and was destined to remain there in storage until February 1973, when it was deleted from the Army inventory and put up for disposal.

The Otter was one of a batch of four ex Army Otters (226, 314, 316 and 348), all of which were in storage at Stockton, sold to Laurentian Air Services Ltd., of Ottawa on 15th January 1974, the price for Otter 348 being $24,600. 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. 226 was registered C-GLAA and 348 became C-GLAB, both registered in August 1974 on completion of the work on the aircraft. They both entered service with Laurentian, flying mostly in Québec and Labrador.

In 1981 the Otters still flying for Laurentian Air Services were transferred to a subsidiary company, Air Schefferville Inc., of Schefferville, Québec. This was because the aircraft were based at Schefferville, did most of their flying in Québec, whose authorities preferred to deal with a Québec corporation rather than an Ontario one. C-GLAB continued to fly for Air Schefferville for many years, serving the Québec bush country. A number of incidents are recorded, all of a minor nature. While taxying in after landing at Lac McNeill, Québec on 10th May 1984, the Otter sank through the ice surface. On 14th June 1985, at a place 100 miles east of Schefferville, during a short landing on a sandy strip, the left wing tip struck a post. On 6th June 1989, on climb out from Swampy Bay River, Québec the engine misfired and the pilot elected to return for a landing. On approach, the aircraft encountered a downdraft. The Otter clipped some trees, damaging the left wing and float.  The aircraft step-taxied to the shore. On 11th March 1991, on initial climb out after take-off from Schefferville, a serious oil leak occurred. The oil spilled onto the windscreen, greatly reducing visibility, but the pilot managed to land successfully.

In March 1992 the Otter was sold to Aviation Québec Labrador Ltée., of Sept Îles, Québec for whom it was to fly for seven years. One incident was recorded, on 26th February 1994, one mile south east of La Romaine, Québec. The ski-equipped Otter landed on a frozen lake due to adverse en-route weather. The eight occupants were rescued by snowmobile. There was no damage to the aircraft. In February 1999 C-GLAB was sold to Air Roberval Ltée., of Roberval, Quéebec and then registered the following month to associated company Air Bellevue Inc., of St. Felicien. On 11th June 1999, while flying for Air Bellevue, the Otter was taking off from the company's seaplane base at St. Felicien when control was lost in turbulence just after take-off. When passing through 200 feet in the climb, the Otter was forced down by a severe wind and struck the surface of the water. The Otter went to Aviation V.L. Inc., of St. Jean for repair and was registered to this company in March 2000.

After repair by Aviation V. L. Inc., the Otter was sold to Wilderness Air Ltd., of Vermillion Bay, Ontario to whom it was registered on 26 May 2000. It joined Otter C-FODV (411) in the Wilderness Air fleet, serving the tourist industry in Northwest Ontario during the summer months. Wilderness Air services ten fly-in fishing outpost camps. Over the winter of 2007 / 2008 C-GLAB was converted to a Vazar turbine Otter by Recon Air at Geraldton, Ontario. It then resumed service with Wilderness Air, continuing to fly alongside Otter ODV, which remained as a piston Otter and continued to fly for Wilderness Air in the years that followed.

Otter C-GLAB was damaged by hail at the end of the summer 2016 season and was flown to STOLAirus at Kelowna, BC., in November 2016 for repairs. It returned to its base at Vermillion Bay, Ontario after repair in April 2017 and flew again for Wilderness Air that summer.

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.