DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 386

C-GHYB docked at Silver Falls, Manitoba.
Photo: Karl E. Hayes © May 2004
C-GHYB at Silver Falls, Manitoba.
Photo: Rich Hulina © 20 April 2018

c/n 386




• UB-656 Union of Burma Air Force. Delivered 23-Sep-1960.

• 4656. Re serialled after change of country name to Myanmar. Date unknown. Operated with Transport Squadron at Mingaladon AFB.

1985. Withdrawn from service and put into storage.

Purchased by Golden Aviation, Rolla-Vichy, MO. Purchased circa-1998 / 1999.

• C-GHYB. South Peace Services Ltd., Silver Falls, MB. Regd 23-Apr-2001. Canx 13-May-2002.

Power-plant:. Re engined with Polish PZL 1000hp engine. Now with Walter Turbine since 2009 / 2010.

• C-GHYB Blue Water Aviation Services Ltd., Silver Falls, MB. Regd 13-May-2002.


Otter 386 was delivered to the Union of Burma Air Force on 23rd September 1960 with serial UB 656. The Air Force took delivery of nine Otters, three in December 1958 and a further batch of six in 1960/1961. All were packed into crates and shipped to Burma where they were re-assembled and entered service. Burma was subsequently re-named Myanmar. Its Air Force aircraft were re-serialled, adopting Burmese numerals, equivalent of the old serial with a '4' prefix and deleting the UB.  Thus UB 656 became 4656, depicted on the side of the aircraft in Burmese numerals. The Burmese Otters were withdrawn from service in 1985 and stored.

In 1989 six of the Burmese Otters were purchased by a Canadian aircraft dealer and shipped to Canada, but 4656 was not included and remained in Myanmar. During 1995, with the founding of the Defence Services Museum in Yangdon (where Otter 277 is on display), the Myanmar Air Force rounded up all of its historic aircraft, which were spread far and wide throughout the country, moving them to the Air Base at Mingaladon. Here the authorities made a careful selection of the machines to be restored and exhibited. The remainder were put up for sale. Throughout 1997 and 1998, Golden Aviation of Rolla-Vichy, Missouri carried out negotiations with the Myanmar government, and were ultimately successful in acquiring the complete package. During 1999, seventeen containers were dispatched from Mingaladon to Rolla-Vichy containing three Spitfires, a Seafire, three Percival Provosts, four Bell 47 helicopters, two DHC-1 Chipmunks and the Otter. As one report, entitled “Massive Operation Recovers Burmese Treasures” noted : “Otter 4656, a little bruised after its transportation and the subject of an insurance claim, would seem fit for many more years of commercial bush flying”.

Golden Aviation were primarily interested in the “warbirds”, and the Otter was put up for sale. It was sold in September 2000 and trucked from Missouri to Silver Falls, Manitoba, the base of its purchaser South Peace Services Ltd. It was registered C-GHYB to South Peace Services on 23rd April 2001. Following its re-build and re-engining with a Polish PZL one thousand horse power engine, it was registered to associated company Blue Water Aviation Services Ltd., also based at Silver Falls, Manitoba on 13th May 2002. It entered service alongside the company's other Polish- engined Otter C-GBTU (209), flying tourists, fishermen etc to remote parts of Manitoba during the summer months.

During the summer months Otters BTU and HYB flew hunters, fishermen and tourists into the northern Manitoba bush country and year round supported exploration activity and flew supplies to native settlements. HYB’s colour scheme was white with a cheatline of two shades of blue. During the winter of 2004 / 2005 Otter BTU was converted to a Walter Turbine Otter but HYB continued as a Polish Otter for a few more years. However over the winter of 2009 / 2010 HYB was also converted as a Walter Turbine Otter, the work carried out by Winnipeg River Aircraft, an overhaul company also based at Pine Falls. It was conversion # 11 and was flying as a turbine Otter by April 2010.  Both BTU and HYB as turbines continued to fly for Blue Water Aviation Service in the years that followed. Over the winter of 2017 / 2018 HYB was repainted into a revised colour scheme of white upper fuselage, with lower fuselage two shades of blue and Blue Water Aviation titles on the tail.

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.