Otter 356 was delivered to the RCAF on 2nd May 1960 with serial 9401. Whereas the first batch of Otters had been delivered to the RCAF between March 1953 and February 1955 to replace the Norseman in the rescue and liaison role, 9401 was the first of a second batch of Otters which were acquired by the RCAF to equip auxiliary squadrons. 9401 was allocated to 400 Squadron at Downsview, Ontario, the airfield where it had been constructed.
Its period of service with the RCAF was brief. The Downsview-based Otters were shared between 400 and 411 Squadrons. On a cross-country navigation training flight flown with a 411 Squadron crew, the Otter crashed on 28th May 1961 on take off from Guelph Airport, Ontario. The take off attempt occurred in a cross wind of 40-45 mph. The aircraft commenced to roll, lifted over onto the starboard wing, ran for 500 feet without becoming airborne, went through a fence into a parking lot, hit four cars and a truck and cart-wheeled to a stop. A station wagon was destroyed by the Otter's propeller, another car's roof was caved in by the Otter's wheel and a truck fender was crumpled by a wing. The pilot had not used a met forecast, took off in a cross-wind beyond limits and had used take-off flap in gusty wind conditions. There were only minor injuries to the two on board, but the Otter was a write-off. It was taken to No.6 Repair Depot, Trenton and in August 1961 struck off the inventory as an “A” category crash.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)