9402 • C-GVMC • N357AS • (C-GIWT)
• 9402 Royal Canadian Air Force. Delivered 04-May-1960. Designated as CSR-123.
Initially assigned to 438Sqd St. Hubert, near Montreal, QC.
03-Nov-1960. 401Sqd, St. Hubert, QC.
03-Dec-1981. Into storage at CFB Mountain View, ON.
20-Jan-1982. Allocated to Crown Assets Disposal Corporation (CADC) for sale.
Total time: 8,224 hrs.
• C-GVMC John King, Grimshaw, AB. dba King's Construction Ltd., Grimshaw, AB. Canx 17-Jul-1987.
• N357AS Aeronautical Services Inc., Friday Harbour, WA. Regd July 1985.
Total time: 12,065 hrs. Sep-1999.
• (C-GIWT) Raven Centre Holdings Ltd., Fort St.John, BC. Purchased Apr-2001 but not used. Does not appear on CCAR.
• C-FHAA Harbour Air Ltd., Richmond, BC. Regd 29-Nov-2002. Canx & re-regd 12-Jun-2006.
Power-plant. Converted to Vazar turbine power. Date unknown but pre Mar-2003.
• Current •
Otter 357 was delivered to the RCAF on 4th May 1960 with serial 9402. It was allocated to 438 Squadron, St. Hubert, Montreal and then on 3rd November 1960 to 401 Squadron, also based at St. Hubert. It remained based at St. Hubert throughout its career with the Canadian military, shared by both 401 and 438 Squadrons. It served with the Canadian military for more than twenty years without incident. It was the St. Hubert “VIP Otter”, fitted with airline type seats in case any VIP required to use it. Its military career came to an end on 3rd December 1981 when it went to the storage depot at CFB Mountain View, Ontario. On 20th January 1982 it was allocated to the Crown Assets Disposal Corporation (CADC) for sale.
It was one of seven ex Canadian military Otters put up for sale in September 1982 by the CADC, advertised as having 8,234 hours on the airframe. The purchaser was a Mr John King of Grimshaw, Alberta at a price of $56,155 Canadian, and the Otter was registered to King's Construction Ltd., Grimshaw, Alberta as C-GVMC. Mr King also purchased Otter 3671 (26) at the same sale, which was registered C-GVMO. Otter C-GVMC (357) left Mountain View on 28th November 1982 and its delivery routing was to Port Huron-Marshall-Battle Creek, Michigan-La Crosse, Wisconsin-Pierre, South Dakota-Glasgow, North Dakota-Edmonton, where it arrived on 5th December 1982 after 25 hours flying. The aircraft had been purchased with Mike Hackman Aircraft Sales of Edmonton acting as broker.
C-GVMC was used throughout 1983 and 1984 by John King in connection with his construction business, on wheels in the summer and on wheel-skis in winter. Destinations visited during this period included Peace River, Edmonton, Grimshaw, Vtikuma, Shaftesbury, Lubicon, Talbot and Joker Lake. It was sold the following year and registered in July 1985 to Aeronautical Services Inc., Friday Harbour, Washington as N357AS. This company also operated Otters N2634Y (59) and N98T (181), servicing a UPS contract flying small packages throughout the San Juan Islands off the Washington coast, as already referred to in relation to Otter number 59. Otter 357 was delivered Edmonton- Boeing Field,Seattle-Friday Harbour on 20th July 1985 and entered service as part of the fleet.
As well as servicing the San Juan Islands, Aeronautical Services also had a UPS contract based out of Long Beach, California, serving Catalina Island. N357AS was first deployed on this contract, and was to be seen in daily service flying from Long Beach, packed full of freight, still in its silver and white Canadian military colour scheme, although it was eventually painted in the Aeronautical Services blue scheme. So successful was the operation out of Long Beach that the loads outgrew the Otter, and in July 1993 Otter N98T was sold and replaced with a DC-3. From then on, Otters N2634Y and N357AS flew only around the San Juan Islands. By September 1999, the total airframe hours on N357AS had increased to 12,065.
The two Otters continued in use with Aeronautical Services until November 2000, by which stage this unique cargo Otter operation was coming to an end. The growth in cargo had exceeded even the Otter's capacity, and a revised pattern of distribution saw the cargo move around the islands by large trucks using the ferries. Both the Otters were sold in Canada, N2634Y becoming C-GIWQ and N357AS becoming C-GIWT. After the Otter operation came to an end, number 357 was parked for a time at the Bayview/Skagit Regional Airport near Burlington, Washington. It was sold in April 2001 to Raven Centre Holdings Ltd., of Fort St. John, BC as C-GIWT. It appears that it was not used, but remained parked at Fort St. John. It was sold the following year and arrived at Vancouver on 24th November 2002 on delivery to Harbour Air Ltd. It was registered to its new owners on 29th November 2002 as C-FHAA and entered their hangar at Vancouver to be converted to a Vazar turbine Otter and repainted into the Harbour Air yellow and white colour scheme. By May 2003 it was flying for Harbour Air on its scheduled services as a DHC-3T, linking the mainland with Vancouver Island, part of the company's large fleet of turbine Otters.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)