Otter 367 was delivered to the RCAF on 16th June 1960 with serial 9407. The Otter was assigned to 418 Squadron at Namao Air Base, Alberta where it served until 18th January 1961, when it transferred to 403 Squadron, Calgary. On 9th March 1964 it arrived back with 418 Squadron at Namao and served with the Squadron until 1st November 1975 when it headed east and joined 1 Air Reserve Wing at St.Hubert, near Montréal for use by 401 and 438 Squadrons.
9407 was used on 'Operation Polar Dip 77', to transport Naval Reserve divers from Montréal to King William Island to search for relics of the Franklin Expedition. This mission took place during August 1977. Crew on 9407 were Major John Aspinall, pilot, Major Frank Morrow, Navigator and Corporal Dave Amberly, crewman. As Major Morrow recounts: “The route was from St. Hubert to Timmins, to Geraldton (Kenogamisis Lake) with an overnight, on to Big Trout Lake, to Churchill. We had to stay in Churchill for an extra day as the winds from the north were too strong for us to make it to Baker Lake with our endurance. On to Baker Lake, which we found to be very busy, so we popped over to White Hills Lake to make lunch, then to Gladman Point, a DEW Line site. This journey took place 30th July - 3rd August 1977, flying time 24.3 hours. We were at Gladman Point from 3rd to 7th August, when we were relieved by another crew. While at Gladman Point we did side trips to Gjoa Haven, Jenny Lind Island, O'Reilly Island and a couple of fishing lakes on King William Island. It was thought that the remains of the Franklin Expedition might be in shallow waters in that vicinity”.
9407 continued to serve with No.1 Air Reserve Wing based at St. Hubert until it was tragically lost in an accident on the night of 19th December 1980. The accident happened at Slide Mountain, New York State, about thirty miles north of the town of Stewart. The Otter impacted the south side of a ridge in the Catskill Mountains at the 3,800 foot level, about 400 feet below the peak. A post crash fire occurred and all four on board were killed. The accident report found that the pilot attempted to traverse a mountainous region at an altitude that was insufficient to ensure adequate terrain clearance under the environmental conditions forecast and existing at the time.
The Otter, with two crew on board, had set off some days previous from its base at St. Hubert and flown to the US Navy base at NAS Norfolk, Virginia, where it had collected two CAF officers who had attended an exchange course at Navy Norfolk. On Friday 19th December, the Otter with its two crew and two passengers, departed NAS Norfolk and flew to Stewart Airport, New York to refuel, before setting off that night for a two hour forty-five minute flight to Ottawa, where one of the passengers was destined, and the Otter was then to return to St .Hubert. Sadly, all four on board were killed when the Otter impacted the side of the mountain and burst into flames. The site of the crash was located by rescue helicopters the next day, but an attempt to drop a paramedic had to be cancelled because of high winds and blowing snow. A ground party reached the scene the following day and retrieved the bodies, which were flown to Ottawa by CAF Hercules on Monday 22nd December. The remains of the three Montréal-based personnel were flown to St.Hubert by the Hercules the next day, where a memorial service was held.
Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005)