DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 349

C-FZDV at the Yellowknife dock.
Photos: Fred Barnes © October 2006 - Karl E. Hayes Collection

c/n 349

59-2211 • EA-52 • N28NC



• 59-2211 United States Army. Delivered 28-Dec-1959. Designated as U-1A.

Initially assigned to the Forest Park, Atlanta, GA.,  Army Depot as an operational support aircraft.

July 1968. Passed to Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, TX., where it was in storage for a time.

EA-52 Ethiopian National Defence Force. Donated to Ethiopia under a Military Aid Program. Jun-1968.

05-Mar-1978 Put into storage at Lidetta Air Base, Addis Ababa, until 1991.

• Un-regd. Purchased by NCA International, then a subsidiary of Newcal Aviation, Little Ferry, NJ. Circa 1991.

• N28NC. Newcal Aviation, Little Ferry, NJ. Regd Jan 1992.

Note. Stored at Luqa, Malta until 1994 after which it was shipped to New Jersey.

• N28NC Pen Turbo Aviation Inc., Rio Grande, NJ. Regd 19-Aug-1995. Canx 09-Jan-1996 on export to Canada.

• N28NC Purchased by Randy D'Aoust, dba Quality Aircraft Sales Ltd., St. Albert, AB. Remained in storage.

• N28NC Norman Sequin, Spruce Grove, AB. Regd 07-Apr-2005. Canx 24-Aug-2005.

• C-FZDV Quality Aircraft Sales Ltd., St.Albert, Edmonton, AB. Regd 23-Sep-1996. Canx 11-Sep-2000. Remained in storage.

Note The above sequence of owner/registrations to be confirmed.

Note: To Kal Air Ltd., Vernon, BC . Remained in storage.

• C-FZDV Air Tindi Ltd/, Yellowknife, NT. Regd 08-Jun-2006. Canx & re regd 07-May-2009. Canx 30-Mar-2011.

• C-FZDV Liard Air, Muncho Lake, BC. Regd 13-Apr-2011. Canx 04-Jan-2012.


Otter 349 was delivered to the United States Army on 28 December 1959 with serial 59-2211 (tail number 92211). It was assigned to the Forest Park, Atlanta, Georgia Army Depot as an operational support aircraft. It continued in this role until July 1968 when it went to the Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, Texas where it was in storage for a time, until made ready for its next assignment. It was donated to the Government of Ethiopia in September 1968, one of six Otters donated to Ethiopia under a Military Air Program.

It was operated by the Ethiopian Army with serial EA-52. It made its last flight from Negele to Awasa on 5 March 1978 and was then put into storage together with the other three surviving Ethiopian Otters EA-50 (347), EA-53 (350) and EA-54 (132).  At that stage EA-52 had 4,492 hours on the airframe. These four Otters remained parked at Lidetta Air Base until 1991, when they were purchased by NCA International, then a subsidiary of Newcal Aviation Inc., a company which specialised in the sale of parts for DHC aircraft.  They were registered to Newcal Aviation in January 1992, EA-52 becoming N28NC. The four aircraft were taken by truck and ship to Malta, where they remained until 1994, when they were shipped to Newcal Aviation’s facility at Little Ferry, New Jersey.

The four Otters remained in storage at the Little Ferry warehouse for two years. In August 1995 they were registered to Pen Turbo Aviation Inc., Rio Grande, New Jersey which was a Newcal company incorporated to develop a turbine powered version of the DHC-4 Caribou. In 1996 the four Otters were sold to Mr. Randy Daoust, whose company was called Quality Aircraft Sales Ltd., of St.Albert outside of Edmonton, Alberta. All four Otters were trucked the long distance from New Jersey to Alberta where they went into storage in the hangar which Randy Daoust had at his farm at St.Albert. Mr. Daoust also bought an ex Canadian military Otter (409) from Newcal, which was also trucked to St.Albert and although this Otter was rebuilt and sold on, none of the Ethiopian Otters were rebuilt by him.

In September 1996 Otter 349 was registered to Quality Aircraft Sales Ltd., St.Albert as C-FZDV but remained in storage. Mr. Daoust subsequently sold his property at St.Albert and the former Ethiopian Otters were moved, 349 going to the Kal Air facility at Vernon, BC., where it was noted in September 1999 . The registration was cancelled 11 September 2000. Kal Air then started work on the aircraft, to prepare it for conversion to a turbine Otter and installing panoramic windows. For some reason work on the project stopped and the dis-assembled Otter was put into storage in a private hangar at Vernon.

Having lain in storage for some years, there was renewed activity with the Otter when on 7 April 2005 it was registered C-FZDV to Norman Seguin, with an address at Spruce Grove, Alberta and was reportedly for sale. In August 2005 the Otter was taken from the hangar to the Kal Air facility in Vernon where over the winter of 2005/ 2006 it was rebuilt as a Vazar turbine Otter with panoramic windows and was painted in the colour scheme of its new owner Air Tindi of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.  The Otter was to replace Otter C-FXUY (142) of Air Tindi which had crashed in June 2005. Otter 349 was registered to Air Tindi Ltd., as C-FZDV on 8 June 2006 and departed Vernon on 17 June 2006 on delivery to the Air Tindi base at Yellowknife, where it entered service on floats, based at the downtown seaplane base.

While operated by Air Tindi, it had fleet number and radio callsign of 302. It was only used for charters, on floats from the seaplane base, and not as part of Air Tindi’s scheduled fleet.  It flew alongside a Cessna Caravan and a Twin Otter. The Single Otter was frequently used for canoeists (and their canoes), as well as hunters and tourists and to supply exploration camps. “Floatplane Scenic Tours” were advertised by Air Tindi with the Otter, carrying eight passengers, at $1,223 for a one hour dock to dock local area tour; $4,116 for a four hour Great Slave Lake tour and $11,021 for a full day tour to the Nahanni National Park.

An incident involving Otter ZDV was recorded on CADORS on 29 August 2008 at Yellowknife. RCC Trenton reported that SARSAT formed a composite of an active ELT in the Yellowknife area, which    was also confirmed by several high fliers. Local float plane operators were contacted and all of them reported it was not their aircraft. 440 Squadron RCAF at Yellowknife launched one of their Twin Otters and homed the signal to C-FZDV, which was parked at the seaplane base at Yellowknife.

In August 2010 the Otter was advertised for sale. It had 4,678 hours total time and an asking price of US$1,530,000. It was on stretched EDO floats, to accommodate the gross up weight limit of 9,000 pounds. It had Satellite Sky Track flight following with built-in sat phone. It was the “Lowest fly time Single Otter available”. The Otter was taken out of the water at the end of September 2010 and brought to the Yellowknife Airport for winter storage. In late January 2011 a sale was agreed with Liard Air, to replace its turbine Otter G-GNNP (465) which had been destroyed in a hangar fire at its Muncho Lake base on 18 January 2011. Otter C-FZDV was registered to Liard Air on 13 April 2011 and it arrived in Vancouver from Yellowknife in early May 2011, to be prepared for service with its new owner.

ZDV flew for Liard Air for summer 2011 still painted in the Air Tindi colour scheme. It returned to Vancouver in October 2011 for overhaul and repaint into Liard Air’s colours. On 4 January 2012 the Otter was re-registered to Liard Air as C-GUDK, taking the registration of the company Beaver which had also been destroyed in the disastrous hangar fire. The Otter was noted at Pitt Meadows, BC on 6 April 2012 before returning to its base at Muncho Lake in northern BC., and re-entering service with Liard Air.

The founder of Liard Air was Urs Schildknecht, who arrived in BC from his native Switzerland in 1981. He also established Northern Rockies Lodge at Muncho Lake, a full service hotel with outpost fishing and wildlife cabins, only accessible by floatplane. The Otter is used on tourism-related flying to the Nahanni National Park and Virginia Falls. It flies into the Muskwa and Ketchika wilderness areas, to the fishing and cabins and is also used for sightseeing flights. The Otter continued to fly for Liard Air in the years that followed.

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